How to Grow Old Gracefully in a Care Home

Aging is defined as “the accumulation of changes in an organism or object over time.” In human beings the aging process refers to physical, psychological, and social changes that are occurring as we get older. Some of these factors will grow over time, while others will decline.

Pursuing proper learning regarding this avails us with the ability to cope with the aging process. Maturity relates to certain abilities in a person’s life. Appreciating the simpler things in life, seeing the positive in things rather than the negative, and learning how to interact with others as well as understanding their situation is all a part of the maturity process. But the bottom line is coping and preparing.

What happens when you age?

As the body ages, immunity goes down, the chances of osteoporosis (depletion of calcium from the bones) and other organ related diseases is higher due to the body’s incapacitated to renew cells. A proper balanced, nutritious diet, moderate exercise and a positive attitude can go a long way in keeping both the body and mind healthy.

Having the proper attitude about getting or growing older, and knowing the difference is what will make the process easier to deal with. Resisting from a physical standpoint will only get more frustrating for you as time passes. The best attitude is to make the best of it and attempt to grow older as gracefully as possible. That is where care homes step in providing the security of constant attendance as and when required, in a relaxed atmosphere with a degree of personal independence.

Types of Care Homes

As a person ages, the requirement for familiar surroundings and a place to call their own becomes imperative, but to stay home alone may not be possible after a certain age. While you look around for a care home, it’s best to ascertain what is required and the degree of assistance that the elderly person will require before finalizing the place. Some degenerating diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia require constant monitoring and supervision as the disease progresses.

To solve these problems of aged people, there are many options available such as Extra Care Housing, Sheltered Housing, Close Care Homes, Dual Registered Homes and Care Homes with Nursing.

• Extra Care Housing
As the name suggests, the extra sheltered housing has a variety of support facilities. A 24 hour care is available to meet individual requirements with a variability to respond in intensive care needs. The positive aspects of extra Care Housing are that it promotes a feeling of independence and living in a community with the 24 hours available support. Additional help of assisted baths and laundry services are available. But these types of homes are localized and may not be able to provide a home for life.

• Sheltered Housing
These are self contained flats within a complex where the Warden maintains a regular contact with the people and is on call, when help is required. This is best for those who want to remain independent, with the option of remaining secure. The best aspect of Sheltered Housing is that it provides the security of community living while retaining independence. Well maintained gardens and community parks that d not require personal maintenance while the facilities of a 24 hour emergency bell in each house are additional benefits. The cons of this kind of a facility are that there is no care provided and meals are not catered to. If the old person requires additional care facility or nursing requirement arises they will have to be moved.

• Close Care Homes

Though these are similar to quite an extend to Sheltered homes, where residents are able to maintain personal independence, in Close care homes, apartments and bungalows which are located within the care home grounds can be rented or bought. These are popular because the security of 24 hours care is provided and the facilities of the main unit can be enjoyed such as outdoor trips, community activities etc. Some of these care homes also provide domestic help for personal services. As per requirement, the option of moving into the main building is available if extra care is required.

• Dual Registered Homes
Some care homes are Dual Registered- that is -registered for both nursing and residential care. Elderly people with major handicaps or serious medical conditions might require a home with constant medical attendance or some just need residential homes but medical assistance might be needed in the future, so they do not have to be shifted then, as these types of homes provide both facilities.

• Care Homes with Nursing Facility
These are good options for those who require constant nursing care and medical assistance round the clock. There are qualified nurses on duty, meals and other services are inclusive in the charges. Additional features include facilities of constant assistance is provided for personal care and different activities are arranged that suit an individuals requirements. However, there is little personal freedom and rooms may seem a little smaller. These are only suited to infirm and elderly people who need to have constant nursing and medical requirements.

Essentials of A Care home – Deciding Factors

Well established care homes provide security, comfort and care with the constant nursing requirements as per requirement. Assisted personal care, basic nursing care and independence are the hall mark of quality care homes. Each resident is usually provided with a separate furnished room with bathroom while nursing and housekeeping staff looks after daily needs, which may vary according to individual requirements.

It’s good to do a general research, look up a few homes and then decide on the basis of these points–
– What is the strength of nursing staff and care givers at night?
– Ask about the level of personal care that is provided in the home.
– Simulating facilities that are available.
– Check if personal items are allowed to make the place more personal.
– See if residents are encouraged to go on walks and stay outdoors
– How much does the care home have an interaction with the local community?
– Does the menu cater to a variety of tastes or does it have a standard menu?

These might just be a few features but do heed them, while checking out a care home for a family member. Aging is irreversible so it is best to make the sunset years as comfortable as possible so, choosing a care home becomes an essential aspect of growing old gracefully.

Anita Choudhary has been freelancing and writing on a variety of topics for over 4 years. She provides professional copywriting and editing services. Check out for more information.

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Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist

Psych Talk

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