You’ve no doubt heard about assisted living and nursing home care, but there are many other long-term care options available. An article by U.S. News & World Report provides an introduction to the types of care now available. You can read the full article here.
Adult Day Care
Adult day care offers relief to family caregivers and a safe, social environment for older adults. It is suitable for people with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia; people who could benefit from speech, music, occupational, or physical therapy; and elders who crave activities and interaction with peers. Adult day care centers for people with dementia occasionally offer nighttime hours in recognition of the fact that some seniors are more active at night.
Aging in Place
The concept behind aging in place is to live independently in your own home and community as you grow older. Home modifications such as widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and installing grab bars in bathrooms make aging in place possible. Even people with chronic medical conditions can remain at home longer with the help of home health care aides.
In-Home Health Aide
As the name implies, home health aides provide services in an elder’s own home. For example, certified nursing assistants or patient care assistants under a registered nurse’s direction can provide health-related services such as checking vital signs, changing bandages, and assisting with medications or medical equipment. In addition, home health aides or elder companions can assist with personal chores such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, transportation, and bathing. You can find in-home health aides through a home-care agency.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
Continuing care retirement communities offer a “tiered” or “one-stop” approach to meeting the needs of aging adults by providing a wide range of care options at a single location. The spectrum of care starts with independent living in single-family condominiums or apartments for relatively healthy adults. As a senior’s daily needs change, he or she can transition to on-site assisted living or nursing home facilities. This convenience comes at a price, however. CCRCs are expensive and often include substantial upfront entrance fees and monthly charges. Upon enrolling in a CCRC, residents typically select from extended (all-inclusive), modified, or fee-for-service contracts.
Co-housing is a community-focused arrangement that combines private homes with shared gathering spaces. Co-housing communities for those over 55 years of age may be particularly attractive for seniors who want to live among peers who share common interests and hobbies. As of this writing, co-housing options are rather limited. You can learn more about this option by visiting the Cohousing Association of the United States website.
Next time we’ll look at foster care, post-acute care, assisted living, and nursing home care.