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Determining What Type of Facility Your Loved One Needs

Determining What Type of Facility Your Loved One Needs
When most people think of nursing homes, they think of 24-hour care facilities. Many people have very negative associations with this type of nursing home, and this bias makes deciding to commit to a nursing home very difficult. At one time, this was the only model for nursing home care, but today, not only do nursing homes and care facilities provide a range of quality in care, they also provide many models of care that range from independent living to full-time intensive care. Understanding what you or your lived one requires in terms of independence and care is essential in choosing the right nursing home model.

Options for the Mostly Independent Senior

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The first type of nursing home facility is known as “independent living”. Just like it sounds, this type of care is for independent people who can still take complete care of themselves, but just need a watchful eye or someone to check in with them occasionally. Often independent living facilities also provide structured social activities and a range of entertainment options for residents of the apartment units that comprise the community.

A model known as “assisted living” increases the level of care for residents, but still allows a degree of independence. While visits and assistance may be daily, the resident still lives in an apartment unit and is generally capable of caring for himself or herself with regard to most daily activities. These facilities may include housekeeping and delivery of prepared meals. Also in this category is a facility that may be termed “congregate” care, which is just another level of care which bridges the gap between independence and care of a full-time nursing home.

If the senior still lives in the home but requires help from a caregiver, a service known as “adult day care” may be an option. This is daily care, out of the home, which provides meals and assistance if the normal in-home caregiver needs to work.

Options for Seniors Needing More Care

As the individual requires more nursing care, a skilled nursing facility may be the answer. These are what might be termed “traditional” nursing homes with medical assistance and on-site facilities available 24 hours a day. These facilities are licensed by the government and are required to meet a certain standard for continued operation.

After the medical condition of the resident degrades, or if faced with a terminal condition, a hospice care provider may be necessary. Hospice is a facility that blends the comforts of home care with the intensive care of a full-time facility. Hospice provides both the medical care and the emotional and psychological care necessary to cope with death and dying.

Additionally, please visit our nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect pages to learn about these topics and keep your loved one safe. Be sure to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect.

References:
“Medicare.gov – Types of Long-Term Care.” March 25, 2009. http://www.medicare.gov/longtermcare/static/typesoverview.asp (accessed Febuary 13, 2010).

“University of Rochester Medical Center – Levels of Nursing Home Care.” http://www.stronghealth.com/services/seniors/Caring/levelsofcare.cfm (accessed Febuary 12, 2010).

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