One of the toughest conversations or decisions you may have is discussing with aging parents whether they are safe to stay at home due to illness, functional disability or a decline in cognitive status. If that time comes and you have to choose if they should stay at home or live in a senior living facility. Then you want to be prepared and know all of your options. Below I break down the differences between the types of senior care living facilities available to the elderly.
Senior living facilities offer many options ranging from active independent living to around-the-clock nursing care. Evaluating your loved one’s physical and emotional state is key to finding the right home.
Consider these scenarios:
- Are showering and dressing too cumbersome?
- Does your loved remember to take her medication?
- Are household duties going by the wayside?
- Is meal preparation too difficult?
- Is the family home too large to manage alone?
- Are bills going unpaid?
- Is he or she afraid to continue living alone?
If you can answer yes to any of these scenarios, it may be time to consider an elder care facility. Each type of unit offers its own degree of care. Some communities overlap and provide various levels, which are more common in long-term care communities where residents can move from one stage of care to another, such as assisted living to skilled nursing, if needed.
Many seniors remain on-the-go and alert well on into their golden years. For them, independent living communities are the perfect fit. They offer a large variety of individualized activities from walking clubs and swimming pools to bus tours and bingo nights. Size and style of communities differ, but residents can live in apartments, condos, and even single-family homes. Most do not offer on-site medical staff, but if it is needed, third-party, in-home care is possible.
For those seniors who need some help with simple daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, making meals or taking medication, an assisted living community is the best option. Residents receive 24/7 supervision and assistance, but in general, the seniors are free to live independently.
Also called convalescent homes, this type of senior facilities offers 24/7 medical care for those with short- and long-term physical and emotional ailments. Assistance is given with all daily living activities as well as any chronic medical conditions such as dementia, cancer, diabetes, and other severe afflictions. Various types of rehabilitation services are available for those who are ill, just out of the hospital or recovering from surgery.
So that is a basic breakdown of the types of senior living facilities available to the elderly based on their functional level, daily needs, and mental status.
Tip: If the time comes that you would need to place an aging parent in one of these facilities. Be sure to visit the facility and assess the quality of the location, building, and staff so that your parent will have an easy transition.
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