Your Senior’s Long-Term Care Options: Comparing Elderly Care Services

Posted by Ginny Dutile on Jul 9, 2015 8:47:00 AM

comparing-elderly-care-servicesChoosing the right long-term care option for your senior is a critical component of developing a plan for aging. It is advisable to consider your senior’s financial situation, healthcare needs and desired lifestyle when selecting an elder care option. Every transition is costly emotionally, physically and financially, so choosing a reasonable and sustainable senior care service is important.

Depending on your senior’s needs and desired lifestyle, one of the following housing options may suit your aging loved one best. The elderly care services most often available to aging adults are described in further detail under the subheads below.

Benefits Of At-Home Care

Advanced home care is the best option for seniors who live an independent lifestyle. Choosing a long-term care option that allows your loved one to stay in their own home ensures they are able to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of the surroundings they have grown accustomed to.

Whether this means having dinner at their own dining room table or watering the plants by the window, your senior benefits from a powerful sense of individuality and pride in maintaining their own home.

Independent Senior Living

Communities with residents aged 55 and older offer an array of amenities and services that cater to the active lifestyle of aging adults who do not need the support of routine nursing or caregiver services. However, be aware that changes in your senior’s health status are a risk when choosing independent senior living for your loved one’s long-term care.

These communities are well suited for ease of mobility and offer engaging activities that foster leisure and the development of social support. Talk to your loved one about whether this active lifestyle option is best suited for them.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

A CCRC is a housing community that offers different levels of care within the same community of aging adults. The following types of care are available within a Continuing Care Retirement Community:

  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living Services
  • Adult Day Services And Rehabilitation
  • Skilled Nursing Services

CCRCs usually require a one-time buy-in fee with subsequent mandatory monthly fees. Each candidate is evaluated for admission to their chosen facility arrangement and may transition to other levels of care as their health needs change over time.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)

ALFs often range in size from 49 beds to larger units with 200 or more beds. These facilities are ideal for aging adults who do not require close, 24-hour supervision for safety and who are still able to perform many of their own routines and desired activities without assistance.

Designed for ease of mobility, ALFs offer seniors many activities and social outings while still providing care support. Your loved one benefits from housekeeping services and personal care when living in an ALF.

Board And Care Facilities (B&C)

One of the similarities between ALFs and Board and Care Facilities is that they share the same licensure. However, most B&Cs offer a six-bed home for adults who require greater assistance and monitoring for safety, personal care and mobility.

The client-to-staff ratio is typically one caregiver for every three clients in a B&C. In comparison, an ALF staffing ratio is more often one caregiver for every 15-20 clients. B&Cs are ideal for aging seniors who need a more intimate environment. Seniors who live in Board and Care Facilities benefit from a higher focus on safety, along with a more individualized level of support.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

SNFs offer the highest level of care for aging adults. These facilities employ skilled nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists on-site. Additionally, your loved one’s doctor visits them in the facility on a routine basis to oversee their care.

While Skilled Nursing Facilities are often the most costly senior care option, your loved one’s needs may require this level of care. SNFs are available to be used for either short-term rehabilitation or long-term care.

Helping your aging loved one find the long-term care they need is not only a practical decision, but it is often the most caring way of showing your senior their health and happiness is important to you.

It is beneficial to conduct as much research as possible before deciding on a geriatric care option for your aging loved one. Many people find it helpful to speak with a financial advisor, their senior’s physician and a Geriatric Care Manager to choose the option that best suits their loved one’s lifestyle wishes and care requirements.

If you are in need of guidance about where to begin developing a long-term care plan for the senior in your life, speaking with a GCM knowledgeable about the various options for aging adults provides you with the direction you need to get started.

Ready to find out how to plan for your senior’s long-term care? Discover everything you need to know about senior care services and preparing for the future.

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