How to Choose the Right Level of Care for Your Elderly Parent

old_man_in_rainAdult children are often unprepared when their parents’ health deteriorates to a point that it necessitates around-the-clock care. A lot of decisions need to be made, especially when it comes to safety. The most important thing to do is learn as much as possible about elderly care and apply that knowledge to comprehensive care.

Choosing the Right Type of Care

There is a range of senior care options, including light to moderate care. Patients who are capable to take care of themselves, but have some health or mobility issues, only require light to moderate care, as opposed to 24 hour care. Here’s some examples of short-term, or out-patient care options:

  • Telephone service, which calls to determine if the patient is healthy, and taking their medications on time. This service can be used by family members, and sometimes combined with devices capable of altering emergency services if the patient has sustained an injury and needs help.
  • Home health aides; companions; caregivers; respite care providers come to the patient’s home and assist with errands and chores. Sometimes, the duties are more intensive and can only be managed by a licensed caregiver or visiting nurse, such as patients who require assistance while bathing, or someone who requires a professional to administer medicine.
  • Continuing care retirement communities are congregate homes, and assisted living communities and apartments or condos that are designed to better assist the elderly. Among other safety features, these facilities include ramps and bathrooms equipped with safety bars.
  • Nursing homes provide full-time medical care, as well as provide assisted grooming. They’re basically responsible for all levels of care. Hospice provides a similar care, but is only for terminally ill patients.

Choose a Facility or Service That Welcomes Family

If it feels wrong; don’t do it. Not all home health aides and nursing homes are reputable. It’s important to seek out an establishment or service that is welcoming to your family. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does the inpatient care facility welcome family members to see the patient at any time? (Within reason, of course. Most places would prefer that guests don’t bombard the elderly during their nighttime hours; typically after eleven pm).
  • What is the individual or establishment’s reputation like? Ask for references if you can’t find your answer online.
  • What is the staff like? Are they kind, outgoing, sincere? Or, cold, methodical, and disingenuous?

Know the Signs of Abuse and Neglect

It’s important to monitor your parent closely. Care providers have been known to inflict physical and/or emotion pain on the elderly. While most institutions offer true personalized care in a safe environment, others may have bad people in their employ and an unsafe environment. The following are warning signs that abuse or neglect is occurring:

  • Change in parent’s behavior
  • New bruises, skin discolorations, marks from restraints, injuries requiring hospitalization, etc.
  • Malnutrition; rapid weight loss
  • Frequent illness
  • Bed sores

According to, a comprehensive source for information on bed sore prevention, “Some facilities suggest that the development of bed sores is an inevitable part of the aging process, the overwhelming majority of circumstances behind the development of bed sores at a medical facility indicate that the facility was simply not doing an adequate job caring for the patient.”

Stay Close, and Love Your Parent

If you give your mom every opportunity to feel heard in the discussion about her care, she’ll feel closer to you – same goes for dad. If you create this level of openness, you’re almost guaranteed your parent will tell you if something isn’t right.

About the Author

Jenna is a freelance blogger who is most often writing about finance and savings, especially for families. In her spare time Jenna is usually reading, riding her bike, or working on some wacky DIY project!



  1. 1

    It’s a shame that there needs to be a section about the signs of abuse and neglect in this article. Nobody wants their parents to get inadequate car from their senior care providers. Looking out for the signs of neglect can help you move your parents to a different care center if needed. Doing your research beforehand is also a good idea. Thanks for the article.

  2. 2

    It’s always sad to hear about neglect and abuse in home care facilities or anywhere for that matter. I could not imagine one of my parents or any loved one being abused. What a nightmare that would be. Thank you for sharing. Take care!

  3. 3

    I honestly didn’t know that there were so many options for senior care. You have some great tips for looking at these options and finding the best one for your loved one.I especially like how you said “if it feels wrong, don’t do it.” I agree, something like this should come down to your gut feelings.

  4. 4

    There is endless options in senior care but not every one is right for your parents. Looking for mood changes is a good way to tell if the care is helping or hurting your parents. It’s so important to spend as much time with them as possible. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 5

    Great Article!
    It is true that you have to Choose the Right Level of Care for Your Elderly Parent.So,it is our responsibility to choose the best care center for them.

    Thanks ,for sharing this valuable information with us.

  6. 6

    Senior apartments and retirement community are the place where senior people can live with comfort and security. The senior apartments provide 24 hours care to their residents.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. 7

    Hey JENNA !!

    Informative share !!
    Many of us find that as our parents age, they’re more likely to need assistance to carry out everyday activities. Barbara’s first instinct was to suggest that her mother move in with her and her family. And while this is often a first–and sometimes the best–solution, it’s one that needs careful thought and planning.

    Keep posting
    Warm regards

  8. 8

    Hey Jenna !!

    Great share !!

    Its been great to read such blog.I really appreciate it.Some of us will provide care to our parents in our own home for a period, but this is not always possible for all families, or always desired by the children or parents themselves. Many families find themselves searching for assisted living, an intermediate level of residential care for seniors who aren’t safe living alone.

    keep posting !!
    Have a great day

  9. 9

    If there’s a staff member who isn’t doing his or her job properly, an administrator needs to know. And if the issue is a bad attitude, and not just a need for more specific training, perhaps it’s time for that aide to find another job.

  10. 11

    I don’t categorize any care needed for my parents.. As much as I can provide, I will provide everything. I love my parents so much!

    • 12

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  11. 13

    Great post! I did not know there were so many options for elderly parent care. It definitely great to know all of your options. Thanks for sharing.

  12. 14

    A significant advantage of home care is the opportunity for your family and friends to be a larger part of your care plans.

  13. 15

    This is such a great read! The least thing that we could do to repay our folks for everything that they gave us is to ensure that their needs are met when they can’t do it for their selves.

  14. 16

    This is such a great read! The least thing that we could do to repay our folks for everything that they gave us is to ensure that their needs are met when they can’t do it for their selves.

  15. 17

    Well for me, experts will know what the level of the care the elders really need. When they told you already what level of care they need then its now up to the nurse how to execute it. They better do their job rigt or the institute gets a bad reputation.

  16. 18

    You should pay attention with what the institution offers you for your elders care. Nobody wants their elders to be not treated right.

  17. 20

    Right care means choosing carefully for the right one for your folks. You don’t want to end up regretting the bad things that could happen to your parents.

  18. 21

    Personalised care You or your loved one will receive a personalised care plan that is tailored to your needs as well as how you live your everyday life, so you can continue to live as you normally would but with that extra support when needed.

  19. 22

    It’s sad when facilities that are supposed to care for your relatives are in fact doing the opposite. Making sure to thoroughly research caregivers and assisted living facilities is important for keeping your relative out of harm’s reach. Great guide!

  20. 24

    Even though my elders doesn’t need that much of care, I will still give my full force with that. I love my parents. Don’t you!?

  21. 25

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    • 26

      Every senior is waiting for the time that they retire and have the great remaining years of their lives… It is important that they plan ahead of time before they retire. This article will help. :D

  22. 27

    As much as possible, I don’t want to put my parents on a Home Care service. I want to take care of them by myself. I will give them all the best they can get for the rest of their lives. That’s how I want it to be.

  23. 28

    Thanks Jenia for your valuable info.Your tips are really helpful to understand the importance of an elderly parents health care strategy.A proper home health care planning needs to require some serious brainstorming to determine the best outcome. I found your article more interesting and useful as a tool which could help me explore my aging parents helping strategy.

  24. 29

    For me? There’s no level level. All out care should be given to them!

  25. 30

    You better be. It’s your parent’s life at stake.

  26. 31

    The right level of care depends on the right home care that you are choosing. That’s why it’s very important to check their reviews from their customers.

  27. 32

    For Christ sake! Please give your elders the care that they deserve and what they need. It’s time for paying back the sacrifices they made for us.

  28. 33

    Great article! Respect your elders. Thanks for sharing!

  29. 34

    Choose the higher level. But higher level comes with a price. You know what high level of care that you can give to your elders that costs less? It’s your care.

  30. 35

    It’s not that easy to choose specialy it depends on the status of your elders. Now this guide is very helpful in this situations.

  31. 36

    We Don’t need to choose. We just do it. It’s our time to give back love to them.

  32. 37

    If you still don’t know the right care for your parents, You should read this.

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