Choosing the right option for senior living for both you and your loved ones can be quite a daunting task, especially with the many options available. How then can you go about choosing the correct one for you and your family? Depending on the intensity of care needed, location, accessibility, social support, caregiver support and your budget, one can choose from any of the following options for senior living:
- Home Care
This involves seniors living in their own homes while receiving in-home assistance depending on the frequency and level of care needed. Some of the services offered include housekeeping, medication, meals, bathing and dressing. Home care can be provided in private homes or independent living communities. Costs are generally charged by the hour.
- Independent Living
Independent living involves seniors living in fully equipped private homes or apartments and is for independent individuals who do not need specialized medical care. In independent living communities, housekeeping on a weekly basis is available, and meals and transport are also available. Healthcare is however not available in independent living communities. Payments made on a monthly basis cover all expenses such as meals, amenities and all utilities (except phone) and entertainment.
- Assisted Living
This is designed for seniors who can no longer do everything on their own, but they do not need the type of intensive medical care offered in nursing homes. Seniors here get assistance with daily living, housekeeping, meals and assistance with medication. The staff is available full-time and licensed nursing services are available. Recreation activities and transportation services are also available. The cost here is determined by the level of care needed.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
These offer multiple housing options in one area. As needs change due to advancement in age, these communities intensify the type of care given to a senior depending on the need. CCRCs offer services ranging from those suitable for independent living to those needed for nursing homes, but within the same facility. Fees and contracts are dependent on the level of care needed and are therefore tailor-made for each individual.
- Alzheimer’s/Memory Care
These offer assisted living for people who have Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of memory loss. Safe and physically secured environments that promote disease coping mechanisms through classes, activities and other programs are offered. Such facilities can be incorporated in CCRCs or may be stand-alone facilities. These facilities provide medical care, basic custodial care and meal services. Cost ranges are similar to those of assisted living communities.
- Respite Care
Respite care provides temporary relief for primary care providers in the short-term. This occurs in either a nursing home or assisted living facility. It can also be used by seniors as a trial stay during which they get acquainted with the care provider. The services provided depend on the level of care needed by the senior. Costs, therefore, vary depending on the degree of care provided and the service provider.
- Nursing Homes
Nursing homes provide skilled nursing or health care for seniors on a 24hour basis in the long-term. It may also be provided for the short term if needed and also for rehabilitation assistance. These services can be provided in either private or shared rooms, around-the-clock. The care provided includes medical care, daily living activities, meals, custodial care and laundry services. Nursing home costs are dependent on the services needed but are higher than those in assisted living and independent living communities.
- Hospice Care
Hospice care is available for terminally ill seniors in the final phase of their illness, with a life expectancy period of 6 months or less. It may be provided in private homes, hospitals, hospice facilities and nursing homes. The care provided covers emotional, spiritual and practical support for these patients. Costs are dependent on the services needed. In-home hospice services are however cheaper than in nursing homes and hospitals.
Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.