How to Decide It’s Time for Long-Term Care

 How to Decide It’s Time for Long-Term Care

When caring for an elderly loved one, caregivers might come to a point when they are unable to provide the amount of care the senior needs. Considering the options of where to go and what to do can be overwhelming. However, it might be time for the senior to move into long-term care at a senior care community.

Long-term care is a good solution when seniors need extended care from someone to keep them well in all aspects of life – physically, mentally and emotionally. When at-home caregivers have trouble providing the level of care that’s needed, professionals take over the day-to-day tasks involved in maintaining their loved one’s well-being. 

“Our Traditional Nursing Care program provides excellent care for our residents,” says Susan Irrgang, Executive Director of Saunders House, located in Wynnewood, PA. “Our nurses, specialists and therapists all work together to keep our residents happy.”  

Signs It’s Time for Long Term Care

There are several issues to watch out for when trying to determine if long-term care is the next course of action. Deterioration in any of these categories should show that it could be time to consider long-term care for your loved one.

  • Physical Signs. Changes in weight, strength, energy and balance can be dangerous to a senior, especially if he or she is living alone. This can also complicate actions like dressing and eating. The nursing staff aids residents with these actions in long-term care.
  • Mental Signs. Memory loss or confusion could be signs of dementia and should not be ignored. If a senior is continually having trouble with memory, this can turn into a safety issue. Additionally, confusion about names, dates and places that were once common can be frustrating and demoralizing.
  • Lifestyle. If the house is in disarray or if things are strangely out of place then this might signal that long-term care is required. There can be more serious signs like marks on the fence or garage from the car hitting it or burn marks in the kitchen from the stove left on for too long.
  • Hygiene. Inability to use the bathroom or shower and forgetting to brush their teeth are detrimental to health and are other signs that they need long-term care.

The decision to move a loved one into long-term care is a big step. After noticing the signs that it’s time to make the change, caregivers and their families might have some misgivings about moving their loved one somewhere else. They might feel like they’re giving up on their loved one or abandoning them, but that’s not the case at all. The bottom line is if a loved one can no longer live by himself or herself and the caregiver’s assistance is not enough for the senior to live a healthy, safe and meaningful life, then long-term care is needed. This is not a failure on anyone’s part, this just means it is time to let a team of professionals take over.

There are plenty of opportunities to visit and spend time with the loved one at the community. Family members and friends will be able to see how much their loved one is thriving and leading an enriching life that was made possible because of the decision to move to long-term care.

Benefits of Long Term Care

  • Safety. There is no longer a reason to constantly worry about problems with household appliances or mixing up medications.
  • Professional care. Trained professionals will be looking out for their residents with a compassionate perspective that allows the residents to trust and be comfortable around the staff.
  • Social aspect. With plenty of activities to participate in with other residents, seniors have many opportunities to socialize with staff and friends on a daily basis.  
  • Peace of mind. Knowing their loved one has care from people looking out for them and making their lives as enriched as possible, former family caregivers can rest assured that they made the right decision with long-term care. 

Traditional Nursing Care at Saunders House

  • The Staff. Saunders House has 24-hour care from a highly skilled and dedicated team comprised of people who are ready to provide the best care possible every day.
  • Therapy. Physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy are all offered at Saunders House. With this range of therapeutic categories, residents that require therapy will be able to get the services they need.
  • Environment. This is the residents’ home and its design and decoration reflect that. With furnished rooms, a dining room, places for recreational activities, outdoor patios and safety accommodations, Saunders House feels just like home. 
  • Lifestyle. Residents can see their families whenever they want. When their families are not here, residents can participate in the engaging Life Enrichment programs. A few examples of the types of the programs are arts & crafts, cooking classes and games.

We understand that the decision to move a loved one to long-term care is a big step for families. After recognizing the signs that their loved one needs professional support and should move into a community, it’s common to have doubts or concerns about the decision. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s for the well-being of their loved one. After seeing how well they’re doing in their new community, families will know they made the right choice and their loved one is getting the best care and best life possible.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

Discover Our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Medical Center, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue. 

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services – including short-term rehabilitation, traditional nursing care, restorative care, memory care, respite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our Short-Term Rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at (610) 658-5100 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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