Old age happens to everyone, and there will come a time when a senior would need more than the usual assistance. They may require help doing daily physical activities such as climbing up and down the stairs, eating, sitting or even walking around. Some may even become too emotional and would lash out if provoked differently or become mentally inadequate to take care of themselves everyday.
In such situations, experts would highly recommend considering the older adult for long term senior care, which for the most part may differ in terms of services being offered depending on the facility itself and the person’s actual needs.
Generally, long-term senior establishments cater to the following necessities of an elderly:
A few facilities may be more open than others in terms of the services that they can provide. There can be some that take in requests for special accommodations, activities, or behavior that are most suitable for your loved one. If possible, do adequate and insightful research on as many senior care establishments that fit your criteria in order for you to make an informed decision on which institution is best for your elderly.
Reasons for Long-Term Care Homes
Bringing your parents or grandparents to a senior home and having them admitted there can be a very tough decision especially if you have very close ties with them. However, it is important to know and understand that such places are likely guaranteed to provide your loved one with the actual support they need for them to live the best lives possible during their golden years. To be more specific, here are some of the common reasons why you should consider senior communities and establishments for your loved one:
Most, if not all, elderly facilities would have staff on standby 24/7 in areas where they can easily be found. This means your loved one would have constant support available to them that is vital especially for those with certain medical conditions. Rounds to check on the status of the older adults are also done depending on the kind of institution they have been admitted to, which decreases the risks of unattended accidents.
Homes for the old age are designed to bring little to no stress to seniors and could easily adjust to the needs and moods of the elderly (e.g. reducing noise, removing unusual scents, providing proper ventilation, etc.), which cannot be done as easily in homes or public places. There is also the added mindset of not being a burden to the family. As they are admitted to an elderly home, they can be more relaxed about their demands and not feel guilty about taking up attention and time from the family or friends who help take care of them.
Like Minded Community
Being surrounded by other older adults can do wonders for your loved one since they're likely to find like-minded individuals to talk with and mingle. It can be easier for them to hold conversations and do activities because they'll have similarities in hobbies, beliefs, and such.
Senior establishments make it a point to include entertaining activities in the schedule of the older adults admitted to their institution. It can be a daily event, a monthly gathering, a feast during specific holidays, or a unique celebration altogether!
Safety & Security
Aside from the nurses and staff, senior healthcare homes also have security guards and orderlies to maintain the safety of the location or area and make sure that the families of the elderly can have peace of mind. They are there to prevent random people from wandering in and the elderly with special conditions (e.g. Alzheimer's, dementia, etc.) from wandering out.
Types of Long-Term Care Facilities
Now that you have a good idea on the significance of long-term homes for the older age, it is time for you to get a proper understanding on the different settings available to consider and choose from:
Adult Day Centers
Similar to its more popular namesake, adult day centers take in and care for seniors during the busy hours of the day when most of their family members are preoccupied with work, school, or other important situations. These places can offer meals, therapies, and transportation alongside the general care they give. This kind of setup is appropriate for those who only need one-time or temporary caregiving for their loved one/s. Providing peace of mind while the family is out taking care of their business for the day.
Adult Family Homes
Also known as 'Certified Family Homes' or 'Community Residential Homes', are places that are being run by care providers registered in the state. They are usually short-staffed so they only allow a limited number of elderly to become their residents. They don't differ much from assisted living facilities in terms of the services they offer. This setting is most suitable for seniors wanting a cozy, home-like arrangement.
Assisted Living Facilities
A group living situation where meals, personal care, basic medical care and other necessities are being offered. Advanced medical support isn't as frequently offered by such places. Private apartments or rooms are available for seniors wanting more privacy. Costs depends greatly on the latter, the location of the institution, and the special needs of your loved one if there are any.
Continuous Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
This is an eclectic setup, where more capable older adults get to live in separate houses or apartments, while those needing more assistance are cared for in buildings where they can have an entire room to themselves or share it with a roommate. Admitted residents have the freedom to transfer from one housing to another within the community, as they develop to need more or less attention and care. There's a good chance of being asked quite a hefty fee when your loved one moves in.
Group Homes / Residential Care Facilities
Specifically for the older age who cannot live on their own, but don't need extensive care as those in nursing homes. Group homes are small establishments that can have less than 20 residents at a time. The payment is often charged monthly with the amount based on your income.
Home Health Care
As its name dictates, this setting wouldn't require your loved one to move out of their current living space. It is an in-home service and support where the staff arrives on your doorstep on a daily, scheduled, or as needed basis. They offer reprieve for the usual caregivers and can help with basic and household care. Depending on the facility they're from, they can also be licensed for physical, speech, and other therapies or chaperone the senior to and from the house for medical appointments, recreational activities, and the like.
For those needing utmost care and assistance, particularly for heavily ill seniors who require constant surveillance and care. This setting is more hospital-like with the staff and caregivers mostly being licensed nurses specializing in older adult health.
Subsidized Senior Housing
It is a federal program created for families from low to moderate earners. There is an income limit as part of the qualification, and it varies according to the location or state. Rent is again based on your income, and the services included in the fee is also dependent on the available staff and capabilities of the facility itself.
Costs of Long-Term Care Institutions
Regardless of the type, long-term senior homes will be costly and financially demanding. This is partially because of the specialized environment your loved one will be in and mostly due to the medical provisions and support to be given. Security, meals, accommodations, and recreational events are also factors that add value to the fees that are due.
Medicare is a common means of payment for long-term care facilities. It is a federal insurance program for anyone aged 65 or older. But take note that it cannot settle all expenses as there are limitations and guidelines on its usage and inclusions.
There is also Medicaid, a joint state and federal medical assistance project for those in low-income families. Again, certain rules, regulations, and qualifications take effect and those can all change depending on the state as well as circumstances so it is advisable to do prior extensive research beforehand.
All things considered, long-term care admission is an impactful life event that needs to be planned ahead accordingly and with great attention to detail. Moreso since it will affect the lives of your loved one. If you need professional advice and assistance on learning more about senior home and assisted living facilities, feel free to contact Bridgeway Senior Healthcare at (908) 274-1090.