This is part of a series of articles that walk families through the decision process of hiring a home care agency. Additional topics include how to evaluate home care agencies and caregivers, aligning expectations with home care agencies, and how to open a conversation with your loved one about home care. Click here for our full series of articles on home care.

A residential setting, like assisted living or independent living, is going to provide a safe space in which to live life comfortably. One of the highlights of a communal setting is that it provides an infrastructure of social interaction, which usually contributes to increased quality of life.

You might ask yourself, is my loved one able to get the food that they need to keep in the house? Does that food get used, or does it rot and cause other problems? Are they able to cook their own meals? Are they eating? Are they drinking enough water? Older adult residential communities can be an excellent option, especially as most offer a spectrum of care to meet needs as they evolve.

If someone is cognitively impaired to the extent that their judgment is in question, such as  someone who may wander outside and get lost, forget to eat, or ingest unsafe products, it is incumbent upon the family to find secure housing with appropriate staff to ensure safety at all times.

24-hour care at home is quite costly and not always ideal for someone with advanced dementia. A secure memory care unit with trained staff will provide safeguards that may not be found as readily at home.

Meals provided daily, safe and engaging social spaces with peer interaction, and medication management highlight a few of the primary benefits of living in an adult residential community.

If the primary issue is that a person can no longer ambulate in their own home, it’s possible that  home modifications can make the environment safe enough to put off a move to residential community. Potential home modifications include chair lifts, widening doorways, taking out sinks, and putting in different levels of countertops. These can help address some of the daily challenges that would otherwise require moving to a residential community.

About the Author

Karen Faith Gordon specializes in providing support to individuals and families addressing issues of aging. Services provided include mental health counseling, grief counseling, patient advocacy, medical care coordination, real estate and placement guidance to address short and long term care needs, and adaptive yoga for optimal well being.

In a system fraught with bumpy rides, Karen provides guidance, direction, and reassurance to achieve optimal well-being for older adults and those caring for them.

Karen’s ideal client is someone who is facing the challenges of a spouse/parent/loved one who is experiencing cognitive or physical decline. This client seeks guidance and support from a knowledgeable expert to create a plan to address short- and long-term needs.

Her relationships with clients, colleagues, and providers of care reflect years of collaborative effort to achieve best outcomes. She has presented to audiences locally and nationally to educate on topics of care management, affordable health care, and the benefits of yoga and aging.