There are so many options for housing alternatives. Our goal is to have our clients age in place with the proper support to maintain independence. At times, these options are not ideal and other decisions needs to be made. There are so many options to choose from, such as, Short Term Rehabilitation, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Long-Term Nursing Facility care. We can assist in identifying communities, making referrals as well as coordinating with move managers to facilitate a move from downsizing, packing, moving and personalized set up in a new environment.
Proper assessment from a Care Manager allows the client/family to make a more appropriate decision based upon the outcomes of the assessment. Many factors are addressed during the assessment. Some include, but are not limited to: care needs, safety, finances and location.
Aging in Place means that the older adult will remain in their home. They can modify the home to promote safety for any physical challenges that may arise. People who can handle most tasks on their own, although if necessary, with the help of a caregiver, most often, individuals are able age in place, even after their health declines.
Assisted Living Communities are an option that provides support with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, toileting, meals, grooming and medication management. Payment for these communities are private pay, long term care insurance and Medicaid if the client is approved and the community accepts Medicaid.
Assisted living facilities typically provide 3 meals per day: housekeeping, laundry, weekly recreational and exercise activities, and transportation to doctor’s appointments. Some might have a limited nursing staff for medical assistance. They could also have onsite beauty shops and entertainment venues. Some communities are all inclusive in their rates, others have level of care based upon care needs. It is important to inquire about add-on costs.
Assisted living communities typically charge a non-refundable move in fee. There are annual increases which are important to inquire about. Asking about cable, internet, phone, linens, towels, toilet paper and fall alert devices are important questions to ask. There may be additional charges in larger communities for escorting to entertainment and dining. There may also be additional charges to have meals delivered to the room.
Some communities will have a wellness center where residents can see the physician or nurses.
Nursing homes are facilities that offer a high level of medical care. There are 24- hour nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. There are dieticians, wound care programs and social workers to assist with adjustment and discharge planning. Some are short term stays for rehabilitation and some are longer term stays when other options are not appropriate for care needs.
Payment for nursing homes are made by Medicare, Advantage Plans like HMO’s, private insurance, private pay and Medicaid. Each circumstance is different.
Memory care communities are usually part of an Assisted Living Community or Skilled Nursing Facility and are specifically for people suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. These facilities typically have a higher number of staff who offer more supervision and they include security features to prevent residents from exit seeking. Staff are trained to provide care and support specializing in the needs of individuals with cognitive impairment.
Continuing-care retirement communities include several types of housing options for older adults on one property. CCRC’s vary, but one might have independent apartments, assisted living communities and nursing homes all on the same property. Residents are able to transition from one community to another as their needs change. There are often lump sum payments necessary to move in. Care across the continuum is guaranteed. It is important to inquire about refund policies.
Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient’s pain and symptoms and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering.
Hospice care can be provided in a community, nursing home or at home. There are inpatient units and free-standing hospices that are available based upon the individual needs of the person. Hospice is often misinterpreted that your death has to be imminent. This is not the case. It is important to have your loved one evaluated for comfort/palliative care to determine appropriateness for enrollment in a hospice program in your area.