As the holidays come around most people spend them with family and close friends. For many people, the holidays are the only time of year they get to see many of their family members. Children may come home to visit parents or vice versa, regardless it is a special time of the year where we enjoy the company of those closest to us. It can also be a rude awakening for some, however. For those who haven’t seen mom or dad since last year, it can be a shock to see how quickly they may be declining in health. It can be a shock that seems to materialize overnight for many and can cause additional stress in an already stressful time of year. If one or both of your parents is experiencing a sharp decline in health and cognitive ability it may be time to consider getting them some extra help or maybe even moving them to a new location. These are big decisions to make and should not be made lightly. How do you know which choice is best in your situation though? We have included below some common situations and the best remedies available to help inform and guide you throughout the decision-making process. There are several options available and the choices can seem overwhelming. Retirement, assisted living, and memory care are the most common options and between the three provide a pretty good range of activities for people in all stages of life. Retirement communities offer senior activities and resources though they don’t provide any additional living assistance. A retirement community is simply an apartment complex that only allows people of a certain age, typically 55 and older. Retirement communities can be nice for the active senior who is having trouble getting around on their own or maybe can no longer drive but would still like the ability to get out of the house and run errands. They are a great place for the socially involved and active senior. Assisted living is what most people commonly mistake for a nursing home. It is just as it sounds, however “assisted” living. Meaning they offer light assistance such as medication administration and monitoring, light housekeeping, and they will bring meals. There is also someone on standby in case of any type of emergency. This is nice for those who can live largely independently and just need some extra help in keeping up with chores and other activities of daily living. Next is the memory care units which is typically occupied only by those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Now that you know a little bit more about the most common options hopefully you can make the best choice on which is right for you or your loved one. These may be the most commonly mentioned options in the senior community, but they are not the only options available. Nursing homes are also an option and they are federally regulated meaning that they will take government insurance such as Medicaid. Nursing homes, however, are typically reserved for those in the later stages of life who are suffering from serious mental or physical disabilities and sometimes both. They typically are funded through insurance though if looking to pay privately they are very expensive and are typically not a good first option. Adult Family Homes are another option and they are very similar to a nursing home as far as the services offered. The difference, however, is that an Adult Family Home in Washington state may have a maximum of six residents. This keeps it more of a home feeling versus a big facility. This appeals to many people though it isn’t for everyone and is not a conducive environment for the more active senior lifestyle. Finally, there is an in-home care and in-home health care. The distinction in Washington state is home care will come in and provide assistance with all activities of daily living. That includes cooking, cleaning, grooming, and much more all from the comfort of your own home. Home health care will also help with ADL’s though they typically focus more on the skilled nursing aspect providing services such as wound care and physical therapy. Now that you know a little bit more about the typical services provided for seniors in Washington state you should be able to make the best decision possible for you or your loved one. Check out the rest of our web site for more information and other blogs.