Understanding Care Options for your Aging Loved Ones

Professional nurse checking patient's blood pressure
There’s a whole range of options to consider when you’re evaluating your elder loved one’s living needs versus their abilities. Depending on their health and their abilities you could arrange for them to be living in Colorado Springs at home on their own, or at the other end of the spectrum, you might have to provide round-the-clock care at a skilled nursing facility, because your loved one simply cannot care for them self at all. Each of these living options offers different types of elderly care, so understanding what’s available from each should be your first step toward deciding how to manage your senior’s living arrangements.

Home Care

Elderly in-home care for seniors is often referred to as ‘living in place’, and it’s what the majority of seniors prefer to do, simply because it keeps them in familiar surroundings, and sometimes among people they care about. However, being able to provide home care for your senior loved one will also depend on their health status and their mental capabilities. While they’re in relatively good health and have suffered no cognitive impairments, senior living home care remains a good option for seniors, because it will generally be what they want, and it won’t involve too much extra effort on the part of relatives.

Home Health Care 

Home healthcare is a little different than senior home care would be, because it requires some actual medical treatment for your senior loved one. Chances are, you personally won’t have the skills necessary to provide this kind of care, so you may have to engage the services of a medical professional such as a nurse, or at least someone who possesses basic medical skills. This will also depend on the actual health status of your senior loved one, and just what kind of care it is that they require on an ongoing basis. If their health needs are not too extensive, you can still keep your senior at home, and have them treated in place, in the same comfortable surroundings.

Palliative Care

Palliative care provides specialized treatment for elderly at risk individuals who are suffering from some kind of major illness. The type of care which is delivered emphasizes relief from the symptoms and the stresses associated with the illness itself. The goal of palliative care is to help minimize the effect of these symptoms and to improve the quality of life for the patient. The nature of palliative care is such that it must be administered by group of trained medical personnel who work with the patient’s family doctor to deliver supplemental medical support. This kind of care is always based on the specific needs of the patient, and can be delivered at any stage of a major illness. If possible, a program of curative treatment will be administered, so that the patient can eventually recover from the major illness.

Hospice care is a different kind of healthcare, because it focuses on relieving pain and other symptoms being experienced by a patient who is terminally ill. If your loved one has only a short time left to live, this is probably your best living option, because it will allow caretakers to attend to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care is ideal for providing comfort to the terminally ill, and for reducing any suffering or pain they may be going through as a result of their medical condition. It is expected that someone in hospice care could pass on at virtually any time, so with the time remaining, the emphasis is always on making them as comfortable as possible, and as pain-free as possible.
If you have a loved one in need of care, and are unsure what care is needed or need help caring for them, contact Gentle Shepherd Home Care to find the best care options.  
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