Senior Care Options
Everyone ages. This is a well-known fact and an obvious part of growing up. The part that is sometimes overlooked is that everyone ages differently. Think about your 20s. Nobody is doing the same thing in their 20s. Some are graduating college, some started working right after high school and have already gotten a solid start on their career. Some people are married with children and some are travelling or focusing on their career before focusing on settling down. The scenarios can go on and on, but whatever they’re doing, the point is that there really is no right or wrong way to grow up. Each person does what they believe is the right fit for them and it would be naive to think one mapped out life-plan can work for everyone- right? So why does that change when we think of the elderly population? Why do we hear senior care and jump right to thoughts of a nursing home? Don’t get me wrong. Nursing homes can be great and may be the perfect living solution for some, but it is far from the only option.
The health care industry has changed and adapted for the 65+ generation in their various states of health, mobility, independence, etc. and it’s time that everyone else started thinking that way too. If you or a loved one are realizing that some assistance may be needed but you’re not sure how much/what kind- look no further. We have provided a breakdown of senior living options to give you a better idea.
1. Living at Home
· Home Care- Deals with a wide range of scenarios. In-home caregivers can provide anything from one-hour light housekeeping to full on twenty-four-hour care including assistance with showering, meals, med reminders, dressing, transportation, etc. Schedules are customized individually with each client based on how many hours they need, what time(s) of the day, what services will be provided, and how often.
· Hospice- Typically provided to people who are no longer in a position to improve their health condition. Services provided may consist of nurse visits, bereavement care, and on-call assistance.
· Home Health- Generally medical-related cares such as medication management, therapy services, wound care, and nurse assessments. These visits are usually short-term and meant to help patients recover from an illness or rehabilitate after a hospital stay
*It is not uncommon to use a combination of these services.
2. Independent Living
These facilities are sometimes also referred to as retirement communities. There may be meals provided that can be eaten in a dining hall or delivered to a tenant’s room. Some also may provide housekeeping services on a weekly basis. There are often activities for residents to join in on (Bingo, cards, exercise classes, book clubs, etc.). The events and amenities of an independent living facility vary from location to location so it is best to tour ones you may have an interest in to get an idea of what each one has to offer.
3. Assisted Living
Assisted living facilities provide many of the same entertainment and community features that independent living offers, but they also offer additional assistance. They usually have on-site staff to help with transfers, showers, medication administration, etc. Residents are expected to live a primarily independent lifestyle in exception to the above-listed services provided. If care-needs increase, transfers to a nursing home or to home for more one-on-one care may be recommended.
4. Memory Care
Memory care provides long-term skilled nursing to patients with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Memory care units are often located within assisted living communities, but function as their own unit with separate staff, dining facilities, and activities.
*Some facilities have a combination of assisted living, independent living, and memory care. If you think you or a loved one may qualify for independent living but might want to transition to assisted living down the road, this might be the best option for you. It’s also important to remember that in-home care can also be provided in all three of the above scenarios if more assistance is needed.
5. Nursing Home
Nursing homes are often chosen for elderly who need assistance with personal cares, daily activities and nursing care. The majority of the staff are often Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and help with bathing, transfers, dressing, etc. The services provided in a nursing home are similar to in-home care, but in addition to CNAs nursing homes also have nurses around the clock.
In all honesty, we would love to tell you that in-home care is 100% the best option for you, but the reality is that that’s not always the case. We are more than willing to give an objective summary on all of the possibilities so you can form your own opinion. If after reading this you have more questions, feel free to call us at (605) 275-2344.