Given that nearly half of all seniors need assistance in their day to day activities, there is more help needed than is currently available. Senior care options can be comprehensive or sporadic, depending on the situation of the person in need of help. Here are five of the most common options that seniors utilize as they age.
1. Assisted Living Services
One of the most common types of senior care services that people sign up for is assisted living. In these cases, seniors are grouped together in supportive housing that offers nursing care housekeeping and meal preparation.
Assisted living provides personalized care that becomes more comprehensive as a resident’s care needs increase. For seniors who get around independently, this option provides a supportive environment to help them thrive. For people in need of various care services, assisted living communities offer assistance with aspects of living that get harder you age, like bathing, dressing and meal preparation.
Every facility is different, so shop around to find the one that makes sense for you or your loved one (also take in to account things like activities, opportunities for socialization and religious services, which may be important to your loved one).
Before you choose a community, be sure to review your loved one’s financial situation. Many facilities require some type of financial disclosure in order to determine that an applicant is able to afford their monthly costs.
2. A Memory Care Facility
With the increased understanding of how to manage Alzheimer’s and dementia-related issues, more facilities are offering specialized care. These communities provide round-the-clock care tailored specifically to people who suffer from memory problems.
When memory issues begin to interfere with daily living and socialization, the structure of a memory care facility may help lessen agitation, wandering and aggression.
At these facilities, you’ll find a staff-to-resident ratio that’s often lower than other facilities (because of the specialized care needs of its residents), and there are typically increased security measures, like locked doors or alarm systems to prevent wandering.
Recreational activities are specifically geared toward people with dementia and can help to keep them involved, active and healthy. A memory care facility is typically more expensive than assisted living or aging in place care, but it offers a level of security that is often hard to find elsewhere.
3. At Home Care
Home care and home healthcare are used to describe services that take place under the roof where the aging person lives. Home care differs from home healthcare, but they share some similarities.
In most cases, the need for home care often precedes a need for home healthcare.
Home care is personal care that often provides peace of mind for the client and/or their family members. (Attendant or custodial care are also common terms used to describe this type of care.) Home care delivers a range of services (depending on the needs of the individual) in order to help seniors maintain their independence and ability to reside at home. Home care services typically include things like running errands, assistance bathing, help getting dressed or cooking.
Home healthcare provides skilled care from licensed professionals who know how to offer support in administering healthcare. These services are the result of written orders from a physician and can include things like monitoring respiration, checking vital signs, rehabilitation services and one-on-one nursing measures.
4. Adult Day Care
Seniors being cared for by a loved one who works full-time may benefit from adult day care. These services often provide older people with an opportunity to get out and remain social while also having support and oversight throughout the day.
Adult day centers provide meals, entertainment and often offer physical and occupational therapy (therapy services require a physician prescription). These facilities typically operate throughout the workweek and may help to alleviate safety concerns for aging adults who would otherwise be home alone throughout the day.
5. Palliative and Hospice Care
Palliative care provides compassionate care of individuals with underlying medical conditions. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual needs and is often brought in when someone is dealing with pain in order to prevent further discomfort.
When dealing with serious or life-threatening issues, palliative care improves the quality of life for everyone involved. It focuses on relieving symptoms associated with various medical conditions while the person is receiving active medical treatment.
Hospice, by comparison, is considered end-of-life care. Terminally ill patients in their last few weeks or months of life can receive assistance with things like bathing, dressing, medication administration and pain management. Hospice care is sensitive, considerate and works to ease pain and suffering while also offering psychosocial and spiritual support.
Senior Care Options Aren’t One Size Fits All
When seeking out senior care options, be sure to review the specific needs of your loved one. Some services may not be appropriate or affordable, depending on your loved one’s circumstances.
If you need help navigating the options available or are interested in learning more specifically about in home care, contact us today.