When Is The Right Time to Explore Assisted Living or Nursing Care?
By Helen Foster, St. Annas Residence, New Orleans LIVING WELL Magazine
If you are a caregiver for a family member, you know that it can be extremely fulfilling, but at times challenging. You may have asked yourself at one point or another how long you can do it before needing additional resources – other family members, more “housekeeping” assistance, home care, assisted living or nursing care.
“There is a tendency to try to manage on your own,” says Kelley Weems, social worker at St. Anna’s Residence, a nursing care community located in New Orleans’ Garden District. “However, it’s good to explore your options, so you have a plan in the event that more care is needed than you can realistically provide.”
In some cases, a change in health might create an obvious need for assisted living or nursing care, and professional caregivers will offer support in decision-making. When the need is less immediate, decisions about residential care may be left to the caregiver, which can be difficult.
“Caregivers often contact us when they realize the need for care is all day, every day. And, they feel such a sense of relief once their family member is here.” Weems says.
The timing of the decision depends on the unique circumstances of each family, and the key is to regularly evaluate your situation, to ensure quality of life for all involved. Seek input from trusted advisors – including friends, family, clergy and professional caregivers. Also, keep in mind that even if you can provide care in the home, assisted living or nursing care might still be a better option because these communities balance care with attention to social, spiritual and psychological wellbeing – in a secure and comfortable environment.
“Our residents are like family,” Weems says. “We do all we can to make the experience as positive as it can be.”
St. Anna’s Residence offers respite, rehabilitation, and nursing care – short term and long term. St. Anna’s recently affiliated with Lambeth House, New Orleans’ premier retirement living community – itself offering independent living, assisted living and nursing care. For additional information, contact Carrie Fisk at (504) 523-3466.