Adult foster care facilities provide around-the-clock living and care to adults over the age of 18 that cannot independently. This encompasses an extensive range of people, from the elderly to people with limited physical or mental disabilities.
Aging populations are usually the most common type of residents. It is estimated that 2.5 million older people live in some kind of long-term care facility in America today.
Although the definition is broad, adult foster care refers to care that is non-medical, assists with day-to-day activities, and provides supervision at all times. Adult foster care homes are also referred to as adult family homes, supportive care homes, and family care homes. They provide the necessary support to residents while still allowing them to have the freedoms they can maintain.
We have put together a list of the pros and cons of adult foster care so you can best decide if it is the right fit for you or your loved one. Doing your research and starting a conversation with your family regarding adult foster care will help make the transition more manageable if you choose to go forward with it.
Pros of Adult Foster Care
When you or your family members are no longer able to take care of themselves independently, turning to help is not always easy. However, there are numerous benefits to relocating into an adult foster care home. Here are five of the top reasons you should consider an adult foster care center for you or a loved one.
Pro #1 – 24/7 Care
Perhaps the best reason for adult foster care is that you or your loved one will have someone available to help them at any time of the day or night. 24/7 care is especially important for the elderly and people with debilitating conditions.
Foster care provides you with the help and attention you need and gives your family peace of mind knowing their loved ones are safe. Since each facility is different, meet with a representative of the care facility beforehand and discuss what care they offer at the facility and what is available. Finding a facility that meets your level of needs is critical when choosing an adult foster care home.
Pro #2 – Opportunities to Socialize
Being lonely and bored each day is a common occurrence in individuals who cannot leave their homes or travel to see people. In most adult foster care facilities, you are allowed to socialize with other residents. Many places conduct group activities and gatherings that you can join. These are fun and help to break up the days.
Many disabled and older people are alone for most of their lives when they are living at home. At an adult foster facility, you have people around you constantly to keep you entertained and prevent boredom. Additionally, residents often form connections with the staff and other residents at foster care centers, resulting in life-long and meaningful friendships.
Pro #3 – Prepared Meals
Cooking meals for yourself is extremely difficult as you get older or if you have a debilitating condition. At adult foster facilities, they will prepare your meals, keep you on a healthy diet, and assist you with eating if need be.
Having freshly prepared, balanced, healthy meals makes an incredible difference in people’s lives and health. While living in a foster facility your diet is prepared for you and monitored, so overeating and under-eating are much less likely than with other care options or living alone.
Pro #4 – Relieves The Stress And Worry of Family Members
When you are in a foster facility, you are taken care of. Knowing that there is someone always available if anything were to happen is a massive relief to friends and family members of the disabled. The residents can comfortably live their lives while their family can live their lives worry-free, knowing that there is help.
Many people would prefer to be the primary caretaker of a disabled family member, but that is often impossible with work and other obligations. Foster homes allow people the flexibility, comfort of around-the-clock care, and immediate attention should the need arise.
Pro #5 – Help With Daily Tasks
Foster care providers can help you with your daily tasks to help you be comfortable, safe, and happy. Some of these include:
- Medication Management – Many residents at long-term care facilities are on medications. It is often hard to separate, manage, and remember to take your pills day after day. Medication management is another worry that is taken care of for you at an adult foster care facility.
- Transportation to And From Appointments – Being unable to drive and relying on other people to schedule your doctor’s appointments and take you to them is challenging. For some people, it is impossible. Adult foster care facilities see that you make it to and from your doctor’s appointments.
- Cleaning – Daily upkeep of your living quarters will no longer be your duty. Cleaning will be taken care of by the workers or the cleaning crew at the foster care facility.
- Laundry – Doing laundry is extremely difficult for people such as the elderly. Laundry is no longer a hassle that you have to deal with either. All clothes, sheets, towels, and more are cleaned and folded for you.
- Dressing – Each morning and evening, a care team member can help you get dressed and undressed.
- Walking and Climbing Stairs – At adult foster care centers, you can get assistance walking and move around the building. People are around you to help you if you are struggling or if you get stuck or fall.
- Running Errands – All of your routine errands and your shopping needs will be taken care of for you by the staff at the foster care center.
- Daily Hygiene – Things like bathing, bruising your teeth, combing your hair, and more can be tricky, but team members can either assist you with the process or perform hygiene tasks for you, making it a lot easier to stay clean and feel good!
Cons of Adult Foster Care
Although there are many benefits to adult foster care centers, there are a few drawbacks as well. Below are the top two reasons why you might not want to consider a foster home for yourself or a loved one.
Con #1 – Limited Availability
Getting accepted into an adult foster care facility can be difficult since they typically are not as big as other nursing homes and assisted living facilities. You often have to apply for a spot and sign a lease, like renting out an apartment or condo.
Finding the perfect care facility for you and securing a spot on time might be difficult. It is best to start looking as early as possible since many places have waitlists and specific requirements that you must meet before getting accepted.
Con #2 – Smaller Space Than Larger Nursing Homes
Unlike large nursing homes, adult foster care homes are usually smaller and have fewer residents. Since the residents are usually more capable and require less than those in a nursing home, they typically have a smaller staff and fewer resources.
Although this may be limiting, it is not always a bad thing. At foster care centers, you get more specific and personalized care since the facility is smaller and easier to manage.
Hopefully gaining an understanding of the the benefits and drawbacks of adult foster care has helped you gain an understanding of the benefits of using an adult foster care facility. Foster care is a great alternative living situation for people over the age of 18 that are no longer able to care for themselves. They allow people the freedom they require along with the necessary care and assistance needed to keep them happy, healthy, and comfortable.
If you or a loved one are struggling to take care of themselves or live independently, considering an adult foster care facility might be the solution you need. For more information or to check availability, contact Golden Life AFC today.