Our quality of life is better than it has been for generations. Medical science has made huge advances and can keep us fit and well for far longer than before.
This is a great thing and a boon to us all, but it does come with some unavoidable complications that have to be faced head on. A recent UK government report on the care home sector identified that the population of over 85’s is estimated to grow 36% in a ten year period. This is going to mean a significant increase in the number of people in that age range. Although the afore mentioned advances in health care help there are still going to be significant numbers afflicted with the problems associated with age.
If you think about it from age 65 men have an average expectation of another 8.9 years of good health while for women, the figure is around 9.8. This means from then on, and quite likely by the time 85+ is achieved, there will be need for some form of support or care. For many elderly people looking after themselves day to day can be difficult. Those that are fortunate enough to have family around them may still find that the younger family may not be able to devote as much time to them as would be ideal leading to loneliness and even risk of harm.
Humans are social animals. We all want to be surrounded by company, ideally company of like mind and interests.
Good quality care homes can fill both of these needs. The ideal residential care home will provide the social stimulus that keeps mental agility and enjoyment of life going as well as have specialist carers attuned to the needs of the elderly medical, physical, and emotional.
It is not just a case of pulling out a directory and sticking a finger on a listing to select a care home either for yourself or for a loved one though. The operative word is ‘home’ and the same, if not greater, degree of care and attention should be given to selecting this home as any other.
One of the reasons that might not be so obvious at first was articulated very well by Nikki Lowes of Lovat House in a recent interview.
“You have to remember that some elderly people are emotionally fragile as well. If they are in an environment that makes them feel uncomfortable, they can still feel hesitant or even frightened to ask to move. Some of them have no idea how to go about requesting a change as the arrangements may have been made on their behalf if they did not have the capacity at the time. That is why we make sure to keep our family run feeling and we always insist that not only potential residents, but their families come to see Lovat House and make sure they will be comfortable here.”
It is important to remember that for an elderly care home resident changing homes can be a seismic shock. You want to be very sure you do a full due diligence inspection of the homes you are looking for and reassure yourself that the residents, the staff, the facilities and setting all work for you. It is a commitment you really do not want to get wrong.