5 Alternatives to Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

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An elderly person living comfortably at home with her caretaker

One study found that about one million people live under assisted living care, typically senior widowed women.

Are you thinking about moving your parent(s) into an assisted living home? Do you feel like you don’t have any other options? You may want to consider alternatives to nursing homes for seniors. 

It can be hard to care for your elderly loved one on your own, especially if you have a family of your own and a job to maintain. Life is already demanding enough. Figuring out how to avoid a nursing home while ensuring your loved one receives personalized care can seem daunting. 

Thankfully, you have other options. Learn more about five alternatives to assisted living and nursing homes for your loved one.

1. Build a Mother-in-Law Suite or Cottage

One of the many alternatives to assisted living includes creating a separate space for your loved one. Consider attaching a mother-in-law or cottage suite to your property.

Your home may not have extra rooms, but you can have a tiny house built next to it. Usually, these small cottages have a kitchen, bathroom, electricity, water, a bedroom, and a living room – similar to a studio apartment.

These structural additions can be expensive, but compare this option to the cost of assisted living homes. You may find that you save money in the long run by moving your loved one into a mother-in-law suite.

2. Modify Your Home

Moving your loved one to your home is another possible alternative to nursing homes. Instead of taking on a big project like building on your property, you can modify your home’s inside to care for your loved one.

If you want your loved one to stay close so you can personally care for them, you will need to make a few safety adjustments to your house.

For example, if your loved one struggles to use stairs, you will want to give them a room on the first floor. Don’t put anything essential upstairs to prevent them from falling.

Put safety handrails in the shower, tub, and even near the toilet as a precaution.

If your loved one uses a wheelchair, you will need to widen your doorways or arrange furniture so they can comfortably get around. These are just some of the structural adjustments to consider when moving an elderly parent into your home.

3. Adult Daycare

You may have to drop your kids off at daycare while you’re at work, but did you know there are adult daycares?

Adult daycares are for seniors who have trouble taking care of themselves during the day. Every daycare center is different, but many of them focus on keeping seniors safe and healthy while also providing entertainment. 

Most adult daycares offer things like meals, social activities, entertainment, and health-related assistive care for seniors.

If your elderly loved one has to spend the day alone while you work, they may get bored, lonely, and lack the assistance they need. Daycare for older adults is a safe way for your aging mother or father to socialize with others their age in a safe environment.

Like children’s daycare, adult daycares can get expensive, depending on where you live and how many days per week your parent needs help. However, daycares for the elderly can be convenient to use on certain days of the week if your loved one doesn’t require 24/7 care.

4. Retirement Community

Instead of adult daycare, maybe a retirement community is a better alternative for your loved one.  

If your aging parent can’t live in your house, find a 55+ community where they can enjoy affordable housing and socialize with other seniors. 

Each senior community is different, but older adults typically live in a small home by themselves or a duplex-type building. When the buildings are shared, people of the same interests tend to live near each other, fostering more organic relationships.

Various activities in the community provide different ways for seniors to stay busy and make new friends.

A retirement community is a perfect alternative to assisted living if your loved one doesn’t need much medical care and can live independently. However, when that privilege starts to fade away, you may need to look into an alternative care plan for your aging parent.

5. In-Home Care

The best alternative to a nursing home is hiring in-home care, which can further support the other options above. You can enable loved ones to age comfortably and safely at home with a caregiver’s help.

Caregivers can come to your home or attached mother-in-law suite, your loved one’s home, or a retirement community if they wish to live independently. Even if a loved one enjoys going to adult daycare, they still may need personal care during other parts of the day.

An in-home caregiver can provide relief to family caregivers and support their loved ones with activities of daily life. In general, caregivers can help with essential hygiene tasks, meal preparation, transportation, light housekeeping, urgent care, etc.

One of the most valuable services a caregiver can provide is companionship. In-home caregivers for the elderly enjoy working closely with seniors and getting to know them. They offer a social interaction that most older adults can’t experience elsewhere.

The Best Alternative to Assisted Living: In-home Care

We’ve only listed five alternatives to assisted living and nursing homes, but there are plenty of options available. 

For any of these alternatives to nursing home care, make sure to do your research. Consider talking with a professional care manager to lay out a personal care plan for your loved one if at-home caregiving seems like the best alternative.

In-home care is a great, supportive way to care for loved ones in various living situations.

In-home care is a great, supportive way to care for loved ones in various living situations. Contact Stowell Associates today to learn more about your options for quality senior care in Wisconsin.

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