We’re privileged to be living in a time when there are more options than ever for the care of our aging family members. But with all of these options come a lot of decisions. Decisions that aren’t always easy to make.
How do you choose between In-Home Care, Assisted Living, or a Nursing Home?
There are many factors that should go into a decision about how to continue care for an elderly loved one.
- What do they want?
- Do they live alone? Or do they live with a spouse or dependent?
- Can the safety of their current living situation be improved?
- Do they know someone that could move in with them?
- Could care or support services be brought in to fill any gaps in care?
- Would they benefit from have meals prepared for them regularly?
- Do they need medical care?
- Are medication reminders necessary?
- Have they visited any communities that they’re considering?
- Do they want more socialization?
Studies have shown that seniors who aren’t getting proper nutrition or experience social isolation often decline cognitively, develop depression, and have more overall health problems. These options will help to minimize that risk.
Nursing Homes, or Skilled Nursing Facilities, provide round-the clock medical attention. Seniors who need a great deal of help with daily tasks, suffer from debilitating medical issues, or have severe cognitive impairments often need this level of care. At a Nursing Home residents will receive help with medication, access to physical therapy, healthy meals, and assistance with daily tasks. Certified Nurses are generally on staff during the day with Nurse Practitioners taking over in the evening. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, most Nursing Homes are registered to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients.
This is an ideal choice for someone that requires high levels of skilled care as it provides both Custodial and Medical care.
Assisted Living Facilities are a fairly new option in care. They began cropping up in the early 90’s as a less institutionalized option for elder care. Most residents in Assisted Living have private apartments that they’re free to decorate and furnish to their liking. Staff usually respects the privacy of residents and encourage more autonomy. Residents do have the option of shared meals, laundry services, and light housekeeping though. And if the residents require it they can receive help dressing, bathing, or other necessary tasks from Aids. Most facilities maintain an Aid/Patient ratio of 1:8 during the day with less coverage in the evening. Facilities can feel like dorms, close-knit neighborhoods, or friendly apartment buildings. Though the monthly cost can appear high at first, keep in mind that meals, care, and other monthly bills are included in this cost.
This is an ideal choice for elders that are just beginning to struggle with a few aspects of daily care but wish to maintain some independence since these usually only provide custodial care with limited Medical care available.
In-Home Care is by far the most popular form of senior housing in the US. Over 7.6 million people are relying on private care givers. Many of these caregivers are family members that wish to remain close to their loved ones for as long as possible. But In-Home care can offer many levels of qualified medical and custodial assistance. Care can range from occasional help with light housekeeping and personal care to overnight and live-in services from Certified Nurses. In-home caregivers can help to get seniors to social activities and medical appointments as well as providing social stimulation just by being present. Best of all, your loved ones will remain in familiar surroundings and won’t feel as though they’re sacrificing their home and autonomy for extra care. The flexibility of this option makes it viable for nearly anyone.
This is an ideal choice for individuals with a wide variety of care needs and people who value relationships with family members over more social environments.
We understand that making choices that are this important can be difficult. Through our Senior Care University we offer a variety of tools, resources, and an education center to help you make the best choice with your loved ones. Whether you choose to provide care yourself or need some assistance we’re here to help you maintain the highest quality of life for the elders you love.