Residential senior care is making its presence felt across the world. While it was common in the Western world to have a range of residential senior care. In India, it was traditionally the joint family system. The last decade, however, has seen a transition to nuclear families, double income for better lifestyles, and is now opening up to the need for residential eldercare services. The taboo attached to moving elders into care that offers medical and overall monitoring is slowly withering away. Different concepts are emerging, like investing in a society with dedicated residential homes for elderly care or assisted living facilities or Care homes that run at subsidized rates or donations.
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Location plays a critical role depending upon the health conditions of the resident. If they are looking at retirement living, the facility should ideally be closer or easily reachable by friends and family members. It needs to be aligned culturally to the place they have lived mostly. If the resident is bedridden or sick, the facility ideally should be closer to multi-specialty hospitals.
As they say, there are no free lunches. If one aims for a good facility, medical care, decent staff ratio, and 24*7 all-around caregivers, then charges will apply. Monthly pricing may vary from fifty thousand to one lakh rupees per month. The finances need to be planned futuristically as to who will pay, their income or savings to back up if any hospitalizations happen, etc. The pricing will also depend on the city, location, and facilities offered.
The structure and the facilities in it need to be safe and secure. See if surveillance cameras are on to prevent wandering off in case of memory loss. Look out for features like nonskid tiles, grab-bars in bathrooms, bedside bells for emergencies, ambulance on call, safe windows, fire-fighting equipment, and qualifications and aptitude of staff. Eventually, they will be the primary caregivers, and the facility will be their home.
Residential senior care homes should have access to multispecialty hospitals in the city for health emergencies. The facility must be wheelchair accessible with ramps and wide doors. It should have walking supports, hand bars, low-raised bathroom fixtures, etc.
We are genetically wired in our food habits to have certain foods prepared a certain way. A facility we put our loved ones in need to cater to these tastes. The place must allow individuals to have preferences or rights to religions, attires, celebrations, etc. The Social circle, languages spoken needs to be closer to what one is used to.
Residential elderly care needs nursing staff to administer timely medicines and care when sick. Equipment like ECG, oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, nebulizers, hospital beds, BP, and sugar testing kits should be available for the usual monitoring. A doctor on call and therapist on request needs to be available at all times.
It is worth looking at the activities planned around the day to see if they include a form of workout or leisure activities like gardening, music, art, etc. A list of festival celebrations and birthdays and going through videos on the website and social media will help with a vibe check and inclusivity of all at such events.
Check for bound legal contracts with clear policies and payment terms. Any good senior residential care will have clear written and verbal communication from the word go of you placing an inquiry. It’s a mandate to check on refund and discharge policies. The visiting hours, mode, and frequency of family updates will all tell you more about the facility.
Papayacare has been unique since its conception almost eight years ago, being the only assisted living facility in Ahmedabad. The city has many NGOs that run elderly care, but that is minus the medical care with round-the-clock caregivers.
Papayacare offers a package that includes retirement living, memory care, ortho care, psychological care, and palliative care. The basics of hygiene, comfort, and medical monitoring are maintained. Diet is strictly homemade based on medical advice and personal preference. Medicine administration is on time, vital signs get checked, and nurses are around to tackle emergencies or accompany them to hospitals.
The activity charts include yoga, walking, physiotherapies, games, music, dance, spiritual talks, devotional songs, celebration of festivals, birthdays, etc. Mental health is always a concern, and staff is always in and out of the rooms to keep them away from any loneliness.
The decision to keep your loved one in facility care is never right or wrong. It is about making the best possible choice for those for whom care is a priority. Let us create opportunities for them to mingle with like-minded people, socialize, and have a sense of community. They need to be safe, secure, and respected. A residential senior care home is the one that provides us with that comfort, along with their physical and mental care.