Long Term Care Options for Seniors
As adults age, it becomes increasingly harder to live independently. Lots of seniors experience mobility issues, illnesses and challenges with activities of daily living (such as bathing, grooming and dressing). To help perform day-to-day tasks, many older adults turn to long-term care services. What is the main reason why long term care options for seniors is needed? The purpose of these services is to help seniors age safely and gracefully. In this article, we’ll review the different care types available and help you determine the best option for your aging loved one.
What Is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care services are for people who can’t manage their own needs for extended periods of time. Generally speaking there are two categories when discussing long term care services.
Skilled care, also known as medical care, is for seniors experiencing health issues. It may include the following:
- Wound care
- Medication monitoring
- IV treatments
- Mobility assistance
- Disease management
- Physical, speech or occupational therapy
This type of care is usually provided by licensed health professionals (such as nurses).
Personal care, also called custodial care, is for seniors who need nonmedical assistance. It may include the following:
- Dressing, bathing and grooming assistance
- Hair care and shaving
- Housekeeping, laundry and cooking
- Meal management
- Transportation services
Depending on the senior’s needs, this type of care may be performed by friends or family members. It’s also usually included in skilled nursing care services.
Where Can I Find Long Term Care Options for Seniors?
There are plenty of choices when it comes to long-term care. The best option depends on the senior’s needs. An older adult who requires occasional grooming assistance can probably live independently and have a family member or health aide check in regularly. Conversely, a senior who needs frequent medical services might want to move into a professional facility.
Generally, most elderly individuals benefit from a combination of medical care and personal care. Below is a list of options for receiving long-term care.
Nursing Homes & Skilled Nursing Facilities
A nursing home is a facility for older adults who require 24/7 assistance while a skilled nursing facility typically is designed for patients in need of recovery or rehabilitation. The residents usually can’t be cared for at home due to mobility issues or chronic illness. However, their medical needs are not great enough to require hospitalization. Most nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities provide both personal and nursing care.
Home Care Services
For seniors with minimal health issues, home care services may be an option. In this setup, an aide will come in regularly to assist with activities of daily living and minor medical needs (like medication management). Sometimes these duties can be performed by a family member — in more severe cases, the senior may need a live-in aide and medical equipment (such as stair lifts or electrocardiogram monitors).
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
A continuing care retirement community, or CCRC for short, is a facility that offers independent living, along with health services as needed. This results in a community of seniors who receive different services — some residents may enjoy help with personal care tasks, while others might get high levels of skilled nursing. These communities usually also offer activities and on-site amenities, such as gyms, restaurants and classes. CCRCs allow for a smooth transition into other levels of care such as assisted living or memory care.
Disability Resource Centers
A disability resource center supports people with disabilities, regardless of age. Residents include those with physical, learning, sensory and neurological disabilities. Services range from center to center — some may provide accommodations and a sense of community, while others focus on life skills training and activities.
Adult Day Care Center
Adult daycare centers provide companionship and care to seniors who need supervision during the day. Attendees are typically older adults who rely on the help of family members or caregivers. Some seniors go to daycare regularly because their caregiver is only available in the evenings, while others attend only on days when their caregiver is unavailable. These centers offer activities and outings, as well as medical professionals who can help with emerging health needs.
Assisted Living Communities
An assisted living facility is a community for seniors who can’t live independently but also don’t need intense medical care. These communities usually employ caregivers who provide custodial care and some medical assistance. Many also facilitate access to doctors, hospitals and physical or occupational therapists. In addition to catering to health requirements, assisted living facilities meet social needs by providing activities.
Memory Care Communities
Lots of older adults struggle with memory problems as they age. For these seniors, a memory care community is usually the best option. This type of community is essentially an assisted living facility that provides memory care services. Seniors receive all the benefits of assisted living (such as personal care help, activities and a community feel), along with memory help and cognitive exercises. As an added perk, memory care facilities are secured (which helps prevent seniors from wandering and getting lost).
Which Long-Term Care Option Is Right for Me?
When selecting a long term care option for seniors, it’s important to consider your loved one’s unique needs. Seniors who are recovering from illness or need constant medical supervision may benefit from a more skilled setting, such as a skilled nursing facility. Meanwhile, seniors with memory decline or dementia might thrive in a memory care home, such as Cedar Creek Memory Care. Our homes offer comfortable settings where older adults can meet new people, receive health services and enjoy their golden years with the peace and dignity they deserve. Contact us today to learn more and discover whether our home is the right fit.