Searching for a senior living care option is no easy task. With so many choices available and factors to consider, it can be difficult to determine which one is the right choice. You may not have been aware that some options even exist.
Location and level of care are some of the top criteria when looking for a senior living care facility. Other factors include the lifestyle provided by the facility, such as the style of care they offer, the environment and activities, and additional services they may provide.
Here are the most common senior living care options to consider for your parent.
Before making the leap to assisted care options, consider whether your parent is a candidate for aging-in-place. Aging in place is when a senior is capable of remaining in the home and retaining the comfort and independence they’re used to, while receiving some level of in-home assistance.
Two options can make aging-in-place more viable choices for seniors. First, private duty homecare can provide for a caregiver who periodically visits the home and provide services. These services can range from nursing to non-medical assistance, such as hygiene, meal preparation and light errands.
Secondly, a medical alert system enables seniors living alone to call for help in an emergency. Many systems now include automatic fall detection, signaling for help if the senior isn’t able to do so.
In cases where aging-in-place isn’t an option, you should consider one of the more traditional senior living options.
3 Common Types of Assisted Senior Care
The following are three common types of senior care homes and what you can expect from each one.
- Independent Living
Independent living means constant care isn’t necessary; the individual can thrive through independence and will only require assistance and medical response if necessary. Emergencies are typically dealt with via assistance buttons situated in each suite. Your parent will have access to home-cooked dining, entertainment, social activities, and This is an option for seniors who are in good health, but don’t want the trouble of maintaining a household. It can also help avoid social isolation and improve your parent’s quality of life.
- Assisted Living
For seniors who don’t need continuous monitoring and assistance, but could use a little more daily support, assisted living communities offer that balanced environment. Depending on an individual’s needs, they may receive help with eating, medications, rehabilitation and mobility, and daily grooming.
Care communities are also a form of assisted living – occasionally referred to as board and care facilities, or adult group homes. These communities consist of up to 10 seniors who share a single-family home or residential care facility with private or joint rooms. In this comfortable, small-scale community environment, seniors enjoy meals, activities, medication management, housekeeping services, and transportation to appointments.
- Nursing Home
Nursing homes specialize in continuous care, monitoring, and daily care in a live-in environment. These facilities are subject to licensure and regulations, such as staffing ratios. United States law requires nursing homes to maintain one registered nurse on shift for eight hours each day, in addition to one licensed practical nurse on shift for all 24 hours. This medical supervision structure provides a greater level of accountability and safety for patients who cannot ensure their own
Specialty Assisted Care
Some senior living facilities are tailored to specific health conditions, complete with experts trained in caring for patients with these conditions, which may not be an option in traditional facilities.
- Deaf-Assisted Living
While deaf seniors can be accommodated at most senior living facilities, specialty facilities are better in their offering of deaf living care. At these specialized facilities, sign language fluency may be common among staff. Strobing alarm systems and doorbells are provided for the hearing impaired, as well as special audiovisual equipment and televisions with captions.
- Alzheimer’s and Memory Care
Seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive issues may require continuous monitoring. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia which impedes one’s ability to carry out personal care and daily activities. This incurable disease becomes progressively worse, requiring families to plan for their loved one’s future needs.
Some senior care facilities have exclusive wings for Alzheimer’s patients, which include specialty staff, and are contained in secured or locked areas to promote patient safety. These areas also typically provide activities catering to patients with dementia and memory issues.
Making the Right Decision
Only you know your parent’s specific needs and what option would be best for your circumstances. Although it may be an emotional decision, you can take comfort in selecting an option that best accommodates your parent.
If you have trouble deciding which option is right for your parent, consider using a senior living referral service such as APlaceForMom.com. These agencies have experience in guiding you to the best option for your parent. Be aware, though, these services are paid by the senior care commuities based on referrals. So the providers they present to you will include only those who are enrolled in their program.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to take the time to tour facilities to learn more about them. Having more knowledge of the facility, care, and overall environment, will make deciding on an option – and taking the next big st