What does your personal future look like?
Making deliberations on aged care becomes necessary for our loved ones as they continue ageing. In doing so, the choices we make will hopefully reflect the choices that others make for us.
Although there are seniors capable of leading their lives comfortably within their homes with little or no assistance at all, many Australian seniors require residential aged care.
While the transition to residential aged care can be challenging, there are many incredible benefits that come too.From social connection to safety and potentially life-saving improvements, residential aged care offers much.
Let’s get into each one.
#1 – Activities and Stimulation
Moving into a residential aged care facility means organised opportunities for participation in an array of activities for your loved one including exercise classes, outings, games and happy hours.
These are usually provided in residential aged care. The mood of your loved one can be boosted and their outlook on life improved through such positive activities.
These sort of activities may not be within the reach of seniors who reside at home. They may not have access to them, especially if there is no family member close by or there is not any form of transportation.
#2 – Increased Social Life
Socialising is a crucial part of our wellbeing as humans – senior or otherwise. It is as important as physical exercises. Quality of life and mood can be hugely influenced and improved through socialisation. Being around others also helps to stall memory loss and sustain brain health.
From indulging in meals together to engaging with each other in games, socialising is a part of residential aged care. Older Australians residing within a residential aged care community can take advantage of the ability to interact and connect with others.
#3 – Dementia Support
According to Alzheimer’s Australia, an estimated 400,000 people are living with dementia in Australia.
This progressive decline of one’s mental functioning – including judgment, decision-making, concentration and memory – can pose a serious challenge for live-in carers and family members.
The performance of regular day to day routines is affected by dementia. While this disease normally occurs in individuals who are over 65 years of age, with its incidence levels progressing with age.
Aged care facilities provide 24/7 supervision to seniors living with dementia. Safe and secure conditions are provided within these communities in addition to daily structured activities.
While help performing daily activities such as taking meals, bathing and the management of medication is also provided.
Naturopathic physician Janine Brundle of Havelock Healing notes that dementia-prevention is also practiced in residential aged care. “Brain and heart-healthy diets are the norm in senior homes because elderly care experts also supervise nutrition. Physical activity, if their condition allows it, can be used to help with those suffering from dementia. All of this contributes to overall wellness, but it’s also very effective in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
#4 – Specialised Healthcare
Ageing comes with a variety of health concerns. Specialised care that is of high quality is one of the perks that come with living in such a community.
According to the team at Flex Osteopathy, promoting pain-relief is a healthcare priority for older adults. They explain “Osteopathic care for the elderly, for example, involves gentle massage techniques that relaxes muscles and joints. It’s a form of maintenance treatment promoting functional mobility and postural balance on top of pain-relief.”
These communities have nurses and doctors on-site with the availability of transport in events where your loved one needs to access healthcare urgently. Physical therapy for seniors may also provided by on-site experts.
#5 – Nutritious Diet
Essential calories and nutrients are required by seniors for them to stay healthy whilst maintaining an ideal weight. This may not be possible for seniors living at home.
Many seniors living independently at home consume little food or eat unhealthy meals. On the other hand, living in a residential aged care community helps ensure that seniors are consuming healthy meals that are prepared by skilled and experienced chefs.
Some seniors might also require a targeted approach to nutrition. Integrative medicine expert Verona Chadwick of Get a Healthy Life notes, “personalised healthcare ensures that an elderly’s particular nutritional needs are met. Everybody has different needs and having caregivers on hand to oversee and keep track of everybody’s health is crucial in residential aged care.”
#6 – Ancillary Services
Various services can be enjoyed by seniors within a residential aged care community.
For example, most facilities have on-site hairdressing services offered to make seniors look and feel sharp. Meal preparation and cleaning services are also provided at t he facility, making life easier for your ageing loved one..
These services help in the improvement of the quality of life. Seniors residing alone may not have access to such services and family members may not live close by or transportation may not be available.
#7 – Safety
Elderly people often experience dangerous slips and falls.
From slipping on wet surfaces to falling while trying to get out of a bathtub, the deterioration of physical health and impaired vision are some of the reasons why seniors fall and injure themselves.
Admittance to hospitals is usually required during such circumstances due to serious injuries like hip fractures. Immediate medical treatment may not be easily accessible for seniors living alone, thereby putting them at risk.
In contrast, living within a residential aged care facility provides assurance that immediate care will be provided in case of injury or emergency when falls occur. This makes life within these communities safer compared to living alone.
Having peace of mind since you know that your loved one is in a safe environment receiving proper care is one of the main advantages of residential aged care. Reputation, food quality, location, security and accessible quality healthcare are some of the considerations that you need to make when going for a residential aged care community for a loved one. Are you looking for more information regarding your loved ones?Chat to a Signpost Aged Care consultant today by calling 1800 744 676.
Simon Moore is an Australian freelance writer and Sydney-based university student. As a business student, he has a passion for learning about global changes in business culture and specialises in entrepreneurship and innovation-related topics. When Simon isn’t at his desk, you’ll find him exploring National Parks.