Some people might find that they inevitably require residency in a skilled nursing facility
While not all forms of eldercare are long-term care, frequently enough, the two categories coincide. Some forms of long-term care and like services are profoundly community-oriented, often being staffed by volunteers and/or funded with public monies to offer basic amenities to the elderly. Plus, of course, they are less pricey and do not involve a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a week commitment, as opposed to a nursing home. One community service that caretakers of dependent older adults may seek out is adult day care.
Day care programs for seniors are structurally similar to those designed for young children, in that they provide participants with a constructive, safe, socially-stimulating environment, and they provide their guardians (e.g. children, grandchildren, family friend) with the opportunity to work a normal nine-to-five job. Senior centers, meanwhile, are operated for the benefit of more independent/interdependent older adults, and are more likely to be funded by town and county contributions than by health insuranceMeals on Wheels
Home Health Care
Programs like the aforementioned Meals on Wheels, as noted, engage seniors in their homes, but home health care services take in-home long-term care to another level. Specifically, home health care, as one would expect, takes care of both the day-to-day and unique medical needs of the elderly when they cannot achieve total self-sufficiency. One of the most salient examples of home health care are home health aides/homemakers.
While the parallel is not an exact one, for the sake of an analogy, home aides are like nursing aides in a nursing home. They are more or less under the supervision of nursing professionals in both cases, and handle many of the same tasks, such as assisting the residents’ movements, cleaning, preparing food, and shopping for them. government benefits Guest Accommodations
Some forms of long-term care for seniors—or at least long-term residence—would not have them committed to a skilled nursing facility, but all the same, would not have them too far from “home either.” One solution to the housing situation of an older family member or paying elderly non-relative is a guest apartment or guest house. Whether guest apartment or guest house, the fundamental concept is the same: the senior citizen would be provided a separate unit on the same property as the main dwelling, with space for a bathroom, kitchen/dining room, and sleeping.
The primary difference is where the structure will be located in relation to the primary residence. Usually, a “guest apartment” will sit above or below the first floor of the principal home or will adjoin a detached garage, while a “guest house” will be somewhere more distant in relation to the house, yet still on the same lot.
Before having any form of “guest accommodation” tacked on to a home, serious weight must first be given to this decision. Certainly, the money factor will be an issue, as it clearly would be an imprudent move to make an addition without possessing the capital or being on an income trajectory to afford such an expense.
Aside from that, this new structure or any existing guest units may also need to include the types of modifications characteristic of home health care services as discussed above, which will only add to the overall price. Additionally, prospective recipients of a renovation must make sure they have the lawful authority to carry it out. No matter who the addition may be for, if housing regulations are not adhered to, families may be censured for an illegal home improvement.
Subsidized Housing for Seniors
Sometimes it is not how seniors can live, but rather where they can call home. Especially when a larger residence used by a whole family or even a couple is no longer needed after inhabitants move out or pass away, older family members may need a new, simpler place to live. However, a good house or apartment may be hard to find.
That is, a suitable yet affordable dwelling may be difficult to secure considering many aged Americans are retired or otherwise out of work. As a result, the state and federal governments offer subsidized housing benefits to elders in this country and their families when they do not make enough money to meet their financial obligations elsewhere. By this token, subsidized housing for seniors is state-sponsored low-income housing.
Depending on the conditions of the environment they and their families choose, subsidized housing and apartments for the elderly may not be deserving of the cynicism that can accompany the term “subsidized housing,” although, in fairness, these facilities have the potential to be of fairly modest size considering. Nonetheless, despite the limited floor space and the idea that residents may not be getting a full discount, subsidized housing still makes home ownership significantly cheaper and more feasible for older adults.
Plus, as the subsidies that assist families in paying the rent are government-issued, official government sources like the Department of Housing and Urban Development can serve to point out qualifying facilities across the country to those that may require them.
Group homes are a departure from the “seniors living alone” motif of previously discussed long-term setups. They also are a departure from other group-based forms of long-term elder care. Group homes are distinguished from similar alternatives by a few noticeable features. For one, they are designed for groups of strangers, and thus are not united by bonds of kinship, but by a shared trait or quality.
With the aging population, inclusion in group homes has a lot to do with them all being advanced in years and also unable to care for themselves in terms of some everyday activities. To boot, group homes separate themselves by providing this care in a house as opposed to a more clinical-feeling building, and do not offer the same range of health services (and concordantly, the same accountability) as skilled nursing facilities.
Thus, in terms of the benefits of group homes as opposed to other alternatives, this option definitely appeals to the elder adults who neither have a family to go home to nor have a pressing need to be committed to a nursing home.
Moreover, the specialization of interests that usually accompanies group homes tends to grease the wheels, so to speak, of feelings of family and togetherness within; group homes are apt to be a very empathic, understanding place for their inhabitants. On the other hand, these positives of group homes come at a price, and usually a steep one at that, especially since Medicare and Medicaid’s influence in payment situations will be limited.
Assisted living, used by nearly a million elderly Americans a year, is a bit more narrowly oriented than the vagueness of the term might suggest. As with residence in a group home, assisted living involves residence in a complex along with other peers. Each resident will essentially pay basic rent for the room and board they receive, and will simply have fees tacked on for any additional services they make use of while staying at an assisted living facility. Where assisted living homes differ from group homes, meanwhile, is in the variety of services they provide, notably in the arena of recreation and socialization, as well as the medical resources they may feature (i.e. on-site health services).
Effectively, assisted living is a sort of bridge between life alone and permanent residence in a skilled nursing facility. Many times, being in an assisted living complex is superior to living alone or a nursing home, because it encourages a sense of community among the individuals living there while affording them more privacy and individuality than they would likely receive in a nursing home hosting some fully-dependent adults with little ability to exercise self-restraint. Just as well, some people in assisted living homes may not be far off from nursing homes, and thus, will require regular reevaluations during their stays.
Retirement communities, meanwhile, separate themselves from the proverbial pack by being a whole community as opposed to a single facility. As a matter of fact, some retirement communities actually encapsulate other forms of long-term care that may otherwise exist as isolated entities, notably assisted living arrangements and nursing homes.
In this event, they are commonly known as continuing care retirement communities. Then again, many retirement communities are patently residential setups, leaving all health care providers outside the walls/gates of the community. These schemes are referred to by some as independent living communities.
Of all the options in long-term care discussed heretofore, retirement community living certainly affords the people who call it home the most possibilities. Retirement communities typically feature an assortment or resort-like activities that residents can use to occupy their time following their working days, especially those that are sports- and physical activities-related. That said, for all the choices prospective community members are afforded, point blank, they have to be able to afford the rent.
As with assisted living, life in a retirement community may be under $1,000 a month, but with each added amenity and proximity to a valuable location, costs per 30-day period may approach $3,000. In numerous cases, “quality” retirement communities will only be within the means of a select class of Americans.