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Are you deciding which senior care option is best for your parent or loved one? It’s a tough choice, especially when emotions are involved, and it’s not one that should be made in a hurry. There are so many smaller decisions and questions to consider, and the final decision can be just as complex and difficult. But hopefully, this guide can make that decision a little easier for both family caregivers and seniors who need extra care.

Seniors May Need Home Modifications for Safety

Whether they will be living in their own homes or moving in with loved ones, seniors who need care typically also need accessibility changes to make their home safer. The Neighborly Home Chore program can help with many of the projects that will make spaces safer for seniors, such as installing grab bars and fixing railings.

Whether you work with Neighborly, an independent contractor, or DIY the work, one of the first rooms to start in is the bathroom, where adding grab bars around toilets and showers can help reduce falls, whereas replacing a tub with a walk-in shower can make bathing less hazardous

as well. Other aging-in-place home changes to consider inside of the home include adding railings to stairs or steps, pulling up loose carpets or rugs, and increasing the amount of light throughout the home, all of which can help seniors avoid falls and trips that can lead to serious injury. Lighting can be especially important for aging adults, considering that low vision is one of the most common age-related issues that can cause seniors to fall in the first place. So lighting inside the homes of seniors should not only be brighter but it also needs to be evenly placed, which can include adding night lights or other lighting fixtures to any dark corners or spaces. Extra daylight is also important to consider, so repairing windows, replacing blinds with sheers or opening the curtains can make it easier to let more light in.

While some modifications can be easy to DIY, there will be instances that require an expert. When it comes to finding contractors for modifications, get several quotes for prices. For example, a bathroom remodel can start at $2,000 and go up from there, while window repair or replacement glass can go as high as $375 per pane. Another reason to get several quotes? Additional discounts or promotions. Some businesses might even have senior specials!

Senior Caregivers May Need More Accessible Homes

If family members will be providing care to senior loved ones, they may be thinking about moving seniors into their current home, but this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Although countless families live in multigenerational households, having a senior parent who needs care in that home can put pressure on marriages, individuals, and finances.

One of the financial pressures that can impact family caregivers is figuring out how to pay for the senior home modifications listed above. There may be loans or financial programs that can help senior citizens and their families afford these changes, but it may also be necessary to move into a new home altogether. This can be the case if the current home is too small or it would be too expensive to make it safe for seniors. In these cases, any new home costs also need to be factored into the decision to provide care for an aging parent or relative.

Seniors May Need More Specialized or Dedicated Care

Caregiver stress and burnout are serious issues and should be weighed carefully. Aside from financial stress, It’s not uncommon for both caregivers and seniors to experience intense feelings of anxiety, isolation, and even hopelessness when the dynamics of their relationship shifts so dramatically. While these emotions are common, when they become overwhelming it may be time for family caregivers to think about adult day centers or assisted living options for their older loved ones. Neighborly has three adult day centers in Pinellas County, all of which provide meals and snacks, no-cost transportation for seniors to and from the facility of their choice, and customized, personal care based on every senior’s needs. Plus, we have some funding for free care, and we accept insurance, VA assistance, and private funds. Assisted living may be the most ideal living arrangement when aging relatives show signs of dementia, display aggression, or have become a danger to themselves and their caregivers.

For caregivers who are having a difficult time with this decision, following some helpful steps to ease the move and transition can help calm some of their worries. Those steps include using research tools and references to locate the best facility and finding ways to discuss the move with the senior in question. Moving a senior to an assisted living facility or a nursing home is never a fun choice to make, but there are many cases where this emotional decision is the best one for all involved, including senior family members.

Finding the best care option for seniors takes some serious thinking and planning. Caregivers may need to consider home changes and lifestyle changes if they will provide that care themselves, or consider whether choosing assisted living is really the best way for their senior loved ones to receive that care. If you’re a caregiver, hopefully the information above will help.

Author: Karen Weeks