Some elderly people move into care homes without too many problems, but in many cases a residential home is not the best option. There are many reasons why placing your loved one in residential care could accelerate a worsening of any medical or psychological issues they may have.
An Emotional Transition
Leaving the familiarity of a home where they may have lived a long time can be very upsetting. They are leaving behind all that they have known and loved and going into a strange environment where they may not know anyone. They may be unable to take with them their favourite possessions and beloved pets. In some cases, the decision to move into a care home may have been taken by someone else on their behalf perhaps because of a health crisis or family circumstances and the elderly person may have no time to prepare for and adjust to this.
Studies have shown that a move into residential care whether voluntary or forced upon them can have unforeseen and unexpected consequences such as:
- A deterioration in mental and physical health
- Feelings of a loss of independence and dignity especially if they have to accept physical support from strangers
- A loss of status as in no longer being an independent homeowner
- There may be difficulty in forming new relationships and making new friends
- There may be less continuity of care where there is an ever-changing shift rota of carers
- There may be feelings of abandonment by family members or friends
Stumbling Blocks for Families
The provision of residential care varies dramatically throughout the UK. Some areas are well served by good, reputable care homes but others are not. One of the most upsetting issues for families when it comes to deciding whether a care home is right for their elderly loved one is being sure you’ve made the right choice. Residential care homes are run as profit making businesses and the bottom line is uppermost in some cases; homes have been known to close when they become financially unviable and there have been several well documented upsetting cases where vulnerable residents are packed off to wherever is available.
Even when you find what you consider to be a good choice the place may not necessarily be close enough for you to regularly visit your loved one and this can further the stress involved for all concerned.
The Other Best Option
In-home care services are an increasingly popular choice for older people who need support with everyday living or health needs. A professional carer is matched to their patient’s needs and lives in their home to provide the care they need and help with everyday tasks such as shopping, cleaning, personal care, trips out and even pet care.
Live in care helps them to continue living independently with care in their own home and avoids the stress and confusion of moving into a strange environment. Best of all they have a continuous relationship with a regular carer who understands them.