As your parents, or other loved ones, become older, the likelihood is that they might become frail, weak, and even poorly. With that in mind, there’s no denying that their needs will become more significant. But if you want your older relatives to continue living as comfortable a life as possible, it’s important that you understand the importance of quality elderly care and what options there are available to you.
If you’re currently exploring elderly care options or are considering reaching out for more support to help with your loved ones, then we understand. It can be an extremely emotionally challenging time for everyone involved. So first off, it’s also important for you to recognise that there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to types of elderly care, and the first step, in any case, should be getting a good understanding of the needs of your loved ones.
What is elderly care?
In short, elderly care serves the needs and requirements of older people. It really is as simple as that. Take things one step further, and elderly care provides health care and assistance with activities of daily living for older people, either in their homes or within care facilities.
Elderly care can come in many forms, whether it be community support, assisted living, adult day care, long-term care, nursing homes, or help from a hospice. And, while some families and friends feel they can support their loved ones themselves, they often choose to call in some support from a professional organisation.
This article is specifically focussing on the importance of elderly care in the community.
The difference elderly care makes
Allows loved ones to stay at home
Home care offers an alternative for older people who need extra support but want to live in their own homes rather than residential care. This also means they can retain as much independence as possible.
Home care can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual, which means the frequency of visits and what is involved in each visit can change depending on the person being cared for. In some cases, a person might need support with everyday domestic tasks, like cleaning and cooking, while others might need extra help with personal things like getting dressed or washing.
As well as supporting elderly people with their physical needs, making sure they are receiving elderly care also helps prevent loneliness.
Everyone, whatever their age, needs social interaction to thrive in life. But it’s no secret that as people get older, less mobile, or poorly - and with the same thing happening to their friends – they end up spending more and more time alone. In a recent survey by Age UK, 1.4 million older people across the UK were reported to be lonely. And this loneliness or social isolation, which often results in depression.
Having elderly care in place can help to prevent this loneliness or social isolation. Whether they’re physically caring for a person or they are providing essential companionship, ultimately, elderly care can be the difference between your loved one seeing someone or spending their entire day – or week – alone.
Support for the family
It’s no secret that caring for a loved one can be tough, both physically and emotionally – however much that person means to you. Taking care of yourself always seems to drop to the bottom of the list, but it’s OK to need or want a bit of support yourself sometimes. From supporting you if you’re an inexperienced carer to giving you the chance to take a short break or some much-needed time to yourself, bringing in care for your elderly relatives, promises to bring with it many benefits for you too, not just your loved one.
It’s clear just how important elderly care is, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can still be a hugely overwhelming and emotional period for both you and your loved one. With that in mind, it’s always best to get in touch with a professional care team, even if it’s just for some friendly advice. At Oxford House, we provide care in the community, as well as care in our nursing home. For more information on what care would be best for your loved one, then get in touch.