If the needs of yourself, or someone you love mean living at home is no longer an option, residential care is good to consider. Residential care is not just a place for the elderly but anyone who struggles to maintain a certain quality of life at home, whether that is for mental health reasons or because of a disability.
In the United States during 2016, there were over 800,000 residents of care communities. For many people, residential care is the best option in order to live a happy life.
Before you make any drastic decisions, here is everything you need to know if you are considering residential care for yourself or someone you know.
What is Residential Care?
Residential care is a long-term environment that homes adults and children who can no longer live at home. Depending on the set needs of an individual, there are a variety of different care homes that cater to a broad range of individuals, including those who suffer from mental health problems, disability, behavioral problems, welfare issues, and even injury.
Often residential care is considered as a last resort if home care cannot be provided, which can often be the case in many circumstances.
Care homes are often run by charities, private organizations, and sometimes local councils.
When Should Residential Care Be Considered?
Residential care should be considered if it is believed a person is no longer fit to stay at home. Whether that is an elderly person suffering from dementia, or a child who has a rare health condition which needs constant medical support, residential care is a good way to ensure a person’s specific needs are met.
When considering residential care for yourself or someone else, ask yourself these questions to help determine whether a care home is the best option.
- Is residential care being used as the last option?
- What is the reason for considering residential care?
- What will be the benefits?
- What will be the cons?
- Is it achievable?
- Will it be solving a problem?
Residential care is not a quick fix and should be used as a long-term arrangement.
What Are the Pros?
There are several key advantages of residential care, here are some of the highlights.
Always Someone Around
With many residential care facilities, they are designed to enhance your social life, particularly for elderly people who often previously lived alone in isolation. It is nice to know that you are never alone in a residential care facility, and there is always someone there when you need them, whether that is a nurse or a friendly member of staff.
Assistance with Daily Living
This is a driving force behind the reason many people turn to residential care. For those that need assistance with basic tasks such as getting changed and eating food, a residential home is a great place to ensure all needs are met.
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Peace of Mind
When you are a resident in a care home, you know you are in a safe place that has been designed with your needs in mind, which will allow you to relax and not worry. Similarly, if someone you love lives in residential care, you have peace of mind knowing they are being looked after and are having social contact day to day, meaning their needs are not being neglected.
Another great social aspect of residential care is the opportunity for activities and organized day trips. It is appealing to know you can take part in new experiences and opportunities when you live in residential care, which is also an effective way for residents to socialize and make positive connections.
Being a resident of a care home does not mean your freedom has to be compromised.
Good Living Conditions
A lot of money is spent on ensuring residential facilities are to a good enough standard to house vulnerable individuals. Some of the more senior facilities in America often include communal garden areas for residents to gather and socialize during the day.
One of the main reasons people choose residential care is for the necessity of ensuring appropriate care is available. Unlike many cases of vulnerable people living at home, residential care offers peace of mind surrounding each individual needs and requirements, as these facilities are designed to prioritize all residents to ensure they have a good quality of life outside a traditional home environment.
Urgent Care Available
Nurses are readily available in most residential facilities, including other relevant health professionals, which provides the security of knowing you are going to be well looked after, should you need urgent medical assistance.
What Are the Cons?
With anything in life, there are often a few drawbacks among the long list of positives, and unfortunately, residential care homes are no different.
It is not cheap to be a resident in a care facility, particularly if it is privately owned, which means residential care can be hard to access without sufficient finances. However, there are several funding options you can consider and investigate in more detail.
Hard Environment to Get Used To
For anyone who is new to residential care, it can be hard to get used to due to how much your lifestyle will change. You will have to live under a new schedule, in a new environment, and live around new people, often in a completely new area. As much as staff will try to make your experience feel as homely and relaxing as possible, it is easy to get home-sick at any age.
Particularly if you used to live with your family members, it could be emotionally challenging to live in a residential facility, even more so if you have moved a long-distance away. Despite the fact you can still arrange times to see your family regularly when you live in a care facility, it is still expected that you will miss being around the familiar faces you love.