Options For Senior Care, Which Way To Go.
Independent or Dependent?
We want to stay in the homes we know and love. Homes need care and maintenance–hard to keep up with disabilities. Some people stay independent into their 90’s and beyond. We have an elderly, widowed, neighbor lady who just bought herself a new chainsaw. Her sons live next door but she wants to keep her independence. I get a kick out of seeing her on her tractor riding around her property. I glad I won’t be the one telling her she had to leave her home. Staying home isn’t always possible.
The elderly’s needs range from socialization on one end of the spectrum to complete care in a nursing home on the other. What are the levels in between and how do you decide what your parent/elder/spouse needs?
What are the Options?
- Senior Living Communities: Must be mobile, able to care for self (ADL’s, Activities of Daily Living). Emphasis on activities, outings, social environment. Disadvantage, homogenous living with only seniors. A new twist on this is Senior Villages. Urban seniors banding together to contract for services and support, staying in their homes. http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/livable-communities/info-04-2011/villages-real-social-network.html.
- Home Caregiving: Care provided in your own home. The caregiver can drive client to appointments and such but can also help client bath, dress, prepare meals, and do light housekeeping
- Assisted Living Facilities: Seniors have their own living quarters, including kitchens but communal meals served in dining facilities, medication reminders or assistance provided, light housekeeping.
- Skilled Nursing Facility/ Nursing Home: Senior requires complete care.
- Adult Family Homes: Small and licensed for a few clients in a home or home-like setting. An attendant is there 24 hours a day.
- Rehab Center: short stays for intensive therapy after surgery, stroke or event.
- Skilled Home Health: Must qualify for “skilled care” i.e. care by licensed professional, RN, PT, OT, Speech Therapist. bathing and dressing are not considered “skilled care.” Requires doctor’s order. Is covered by Medicare.
- Respite Care: Gives the primary caregiver, spouse or adult child a break from caregiving. ( I used this last Christmas when I went out-of-town for a few days. It was a ton of paperwork for three days and expensive.)
- Memory Care of Alzheimer’s Units: Specialize in memory loss, units are fenced and locked to keep clients from wandering.
- Hospice Care: Patient is terminal, in the last six months of life. Benefit listed in Medicare Handbook but it’s hard to interpret. This is a legal site, maybe more understandable. https://www.elderlawanswers.com/medicares-hospice-benefit-little-known-little-used-3258
Here is a link explaining levels of care and facilities, probably better than mine. I would double-check on costs, though, as they differ a lot regionally. http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/senior-housing-options
Have you had experience using any of these services or facilities? What did you learn?