Making the decision to move into a frail care or assisted living facility can be a difficult choice to make for seniors and their loved ones. Unfortunately, there usually comes a time for any senior where they are no longer able to care for themselves. We know that the wisdom, experience and love we receive from our elderly population is invaluable and they deserve to be taken care of.

Performing daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, bathing and getting dressed, become more and more difficult over time as a result of physical frailty, mental decline and often both. It is in these moments where the hardest and best decisions need to be made.

Seniors in these situations are moved into the care of a professional, fully-equipped and well-resourced frail care or assisted living facility. This is not always – but often – the best decision seniors and their families can make to ensure the best quality of life possible, in a safe and caring environment.

Here are a few things that you should know about frail care before making that important decision:  

Frail care is designed to be a long-term living solution

The decision to move a loved one into frail care usually occurs after some kind of health incident. A heart attack, stroke, bad fall or mental health decline can all be a requisite for more acute hospital care. However, some seniors will not be able to recuperate enough to return to their normal lives and, it is at this point, more long-term solutions are considered.

For these senior members of society and others who have become unable to care for themselves, frail care or assisted living facilities can provide the around-the-clock access to the health care services that they need. For those who cannot care for themselves indefinitely, frail care facilities can become a permanent home where the level of care is necessary and beneficial to those who live in them.

The types of frail care services will differ across retirement villages

While most retirement villages are intended to meet the needs of older people generally, frail care facilities, services and level of care will vary from one community to another. Retirement villages will commonly offer basic services, caregivers will help their community members with daily tasks, such as cooking, bathing, laundry, cleaning and even taking medication.

Another retirement village may have a more sophisticated and better-staffed frail care facility that could include part-time or full-time medical staff, a pharmacy, surgical theatres for urgent care and life support equipment. The comprehensive range of frail care services at different retirement villages could offer independent or assisted-living facilities with healthcare access or specialised facilities for mental illness, in addition to their frail care wings.

Medical aid may not cover frail care

Medical aid schemes are notorious for their fine print. In the case of senior health care, there is an unforgiving difference in the way that health insurance companies define medical care versus frail care. In the type of health incidents, we covered earlier, short-term healthcare provision may be covered, but only for a limited time. If you suffer a stroke, heart attack or broken hip, they will cover your immediate medical care which does not include assisted living or frail care if that is what you require after recovery. Some medical aids may cover frail care, but it is usually for an exorbitant insurance fee.

Frail care is often the more affordable alternative to home-based care

The health impact of having part-time or live-in caregivers at home are unquestionable and our seniors benefit greatly from the services provided. It is an effective solution for elderly members of society who are timid about leaving the comfort and familiarity of their homes which is understandable. However, it can become a cost-prohibitive process and their access to high-level medical care is limited.

Not to mention the potential added costs of transport, groceries, housekeeping, hospital stays and at-home GP visits. On top of a deserved salary for the caregiver, these costs are hard to maintain for seniors and their families. For thousands of rand less, your loved ones can get the full-time care they deserve with medical professionals and facilities accessible in the retirement village they choose.

It is a huge and life-changing decision

Deciding to move into a retirement village’s assisted living or frail care facility is life-changing decision for seniors and should not be taken lightly. It should to be a considered and thoughtful family decision that takes into account the needs and feelings of our loved ones Choosing the right retirement village – with all the requisite facilities and resources – is critical to ensuring the best quality of life, wellbeing and care for our beloved elderly members of society.

If you are looking for a retirement village, with frail care or assisted living facilities, that are fully staffed and equipped by health professionals and caregivers who are committed to the health and happiness of their community, look no further than Manor Retirement.