SENIOR CARE OPTIONS

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Search the various types of senior living and senior care operations.

Assisted Living Facilities

Senior Living/Assisted Living facilities typically fall in between the two categories of Skilled Nursing and Independent Living. Less the nurses from the Skilled Nursing environment but rendering a more comprehensive level of care than the Independent Care Facilities, residents here can sometimes chose between private and semi-private rooms. Staff can offer assistance with dressing, bathing, medications or other daily needs. Meals will typically be served in the room or in a cafeteria/ large dining setting. Cleaning and laundry will also be provided by the facility.

Congregate Care

A type of supervised housing in which each individual will usually have a private bedroom or living quarters but shares the rest of the home with others. With other residents, a common dining room, recreational room, or other amenities are shared by everyone who resides there. Congregate Senior Living facilities will have 20 or more residents and offers services similar to independent living.These atmospheres will usually offer at least one common meal per day, and some services and activities may be offered to residents. The level of care that these facilities provide will vary from one operation to the next.

Homes for the Aged

Supervised senior living facilities providing room and board, and supervised personal care to 21 or more residents, and you must be 60 years of age or older. These communal locations are only licensed for the aged, not for handicapped, Alzheimer’s or other, higher levels of care. Offering Room and Board as well as 1-3 meals per day, group activities and trips into town for shopping can be a regular occurrence.

Group Homes

Community based Small Group Homes can offer a home-like atmosphere to those needing assistance with disabilities due to physical handicaps or mental impairments such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Skilled nurses are not on duty in the homes. Trained staff such as Medical Assistants or Certified Nursing Assistants are normally on duty. Physicians, nurses, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other care needs are brought directly to the resident’s through a visiting physician’s network and or an appropriate transportation company can be contacted for specialty needs. Many small group homes can provide patient care through Hospice levels if one is diagnosed with a terminal illness that may even have to run its course. Homes here will most likely have private and semi-private rooms to choose from.

Small Group homes never house more than 6 residents at one time and there is always a minimum of one staff member on duty, typically two during the day in many operations. Care can be very personally centered in these facilities and a program can be developed around the patient’s specific wants and needs. Group homes can help restore dignity to the patient through a home-like atmosphere where they can receive as much or as little assistance as required from trained professionals. There are more freedoms and activities to be found in Small Group living. If someone is facing a long recovery or potentially spending the rest of their life in a care facility, group homes can be a good solution.

Medium Group and Large Group Homes are licensed for 7-20 patients. These are larger senior living facilities that are similar to small group homes, yet accommodate more residents and many times can be found in commercial areas. State guidelines have higher requirements for these facilities such as built-in fire sprinkler systems. Although more residents do reside in these atmospheres, they can sometimes offer more from an activities standpoint in these medium sized communities.

Independent/ Senior Living Facilities

Sometimes minimal assistance is required due to the physical limitations of a patient but mentally the person is competent. In this case you might seek a facility that offers more of an independent living environment. Staff is available to assist the resident with tasks such as cleaning, laundry and meal preparation, yet the resident is free to do as they please. It offers the resident the freedom and dignity that they require while offering helping hands if and when needed. Many offer housing similar to studio style as well as 1 or 2 bedroom apartments that may include a small kitchenette.

Skilled Nursing

A skilled nursing facility is a medical institution that provides skilled nurses for the patients. Physical Rehabilitation is one of the main purposes of these facilities and such stays do not typically last more than three months. Skilled Nursing facilities are typically called and better known as “Nursing Homes”. Contrary to popular belief, Nursing Homes are not just for the elderly. Skilled Nursing is required for many people when coming out of the hospital and continuing their recovery as they may still be in a sensitive state of health. As they are mostly large institutions, the rooms will look like hospital rooms and there will be a large staff taking care of the various needs. Meals will be prepared “cafeteria style” and typically be served to the patients in their room.

Home Care

Home Care, or in-home care, is supportive care provided in the home. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical care needs or by professional caregivers who provide daily care to help to ensure the Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) are met. In home medical care is often and more accurately referred to as home health care or formal care. Often, the term home health care is used to distinguish it from non-medical care, custodial care, or private-duty care which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel.

Hospice Care

A skilled nursing facility is a medical institution that provides skilled nurses for the patients. Physical Rehabilitation is one of the main purposes of these facilities and such stays do not typically last more than three months. Skilled Nursing facilities are typically called and better known as “Nursing Homes”. Contrary to popular belief, Nursing Homes are not just for the elderly. Skilled Nursing is required for many people when coming out of the hospital and continuing their recovery as they may still be in a sensitive state of health. As they are mostly large institutions, the rooms will look like hospital rooms and there will be a large staff taking care of the various needs. Meals will be prepared “cafeteria style” and typically be served to the patients in their room.

Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy or physiotherapy (sometimes abbreviated to PT) is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention. There are many physical therapy centers as well as Nursing Homes, which are commonly utilized for their physical therapy and facilities.

Occupational Therapy often called OT, is the use of treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental or developmental condition. Occupational therapy focuses on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the client/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the client.

 

What to look for

  1. What type of care do they provide?  With multiple niche senior living services available today, we need to be sure we are looking at the right atmospheres. Someone that requires ambulatory assistance, but is mentally sharp as a tack, would not enjoy being around a high level Alzheimer’s population. Find out what type/s of care they specialize in or are most experienced with and see if it suits your needs. Many facilities will offer care to multiple populations. Make sure you look at the current resident population they have and be aware of other types of residents they may accept in the future.
  2. What Levels of Care do they accommodate?  Some that seek help do not require a high level of care and would prefer to be around others with needs similar to theirs. On the other hand, if you are in a minimal assistance facility and your level of care increases you may have to look for a new care facility someday. Make sure that you take any potential long term medical needs into consideration when searching for the best solution.
  3. What activities or amenities are offered?  Today’s senior living communities offer multiple activity programs, including arts and crafts, trips to shows and local attractions, physical fitness, and much more. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your community, especially if you are unable to drive, you’ll want to find out what the residents do to keep busy.
  4. Location, location, location.  Consider the travel time for any family and friends that will want to come visit but do not let it take priority over budgets and quality of care. Receiving quality care should always be the number one priority. Where is the nearest hospital or fire department? Care can be more expensive in heavily populated and higher income areas. Moving outside of the main city may offer lower costs. These things as well as personal wants and needs should ultimately be factors in making your decision.
  5. Track Record?  You must ask important questions about the company and their operations. Find out how long the senior living operation has been in business and personally meet with those in charge. Track down any licensing violation history and ask them to explain anything questionable. Ask about their hiring process for new employees, what requirements they have and or training they may be required to complete. Ask for referrals from current or recent clients and review the internet for any other related articles or information.
  6. Cost of Care?  The costs of senior living/assisted living can vary upon type, location, amenities, and most importantly the level of care that is required. Many facilities will base their pricing on a care level rating of 1-4. Be aware that many facilities will bring new residents in under Level 1 Care pricing and will ultimately move you up to levels 2, 3, 4 as the level of care increases. Something you could afford initially suddenly becomes too expensive and you are forced to start your search again.

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