According to the Administration on Aging (AOA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. has over 42 million people aged over 65. This number is likely to keep rising and is predicted to hit 72.1 million by 2030. As a result, there is an increase in the number of assisted living facilities than ever before as more senior citizens seek healthy, happy, and more fulfilling environments.
It may be challenging for families looking for care facilities for their elderly loved ones to find the most appropriate living arrangement, given the vast array of senior housing options available. Depending on your loved one’s needs, there are several long-term and short-term solutions available. Here are the most common types of senior and elderly care to help you get the right choice.
1. Independent Living Communities
Also known as retirement communities, independent living (IL) communities are designed to meet the needs of senior citizens who can physically and financially take care of themselves.
IL communities have a tailored approach to senior care, allowing singles and couples to live in a safe, comfortable environment with other seniors. These care facilities create close knight communities that help develop a sense of togetherness.
Residents of independent living communities enjoy an active lifestyle that includes educational, recreational, spiritual, cultural, and other social activities that combat loneliness. These communities emphasize independence and only have a limited number of full-time staff who help plan the various community activities.
Independent living communities have a variety of benefits, including:
- Decreased social isolation.
- Access to amenities and recreational activities.
- Security and safety.
2. Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)
The assisted living are care facilities designed for people who need extra personal and medical care level. They have home-like living spaces with stand-by staff to help with the daily lives of their residents. Assisted living residents live in their own rooms and lead a more independent lifestyle that only needs a small level of care. The assisted living cost depends on the needs of your loved ones.
Although assisted living facilities differ by state, these facilities often come with a variety of services and facilities such as:
- Monitoring of medication.
- 24-hour emergency care.
- Social and recreational activities.
- Around-the-clock supervision and security.
- On-site staff.
- Assistance with personal care when needed.
- Housekeeping and laundry.
- Wellness program.
Your loved one may require care in an assisted living facility (ALF) if they have some of these signs:
- Unsafe driving.
- Declining personal hygiene.
- Inability to manage medication.
- Memory impairments.
- Neglecting finances.
- Declining mobility.
- Not enough food at home.
3. Nursing Homes
Also known as skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes offer a more extensive level of medical care and attention to their residents. These facilities are ideal for seniors who can no longer live independently and would need 24-hour care. They have specially trained nurses and therapists to assist residents with daily activities such as laundry, bathing, eating, and housekeeping.
Some nursing homes can provide short-term rehabilitative accommodation for seniors who are recovering from an illness, surgery, or injury.
For families looking for an arrangement that gives their loved ones with 24-hour custodial care, home care nursing is an excellent solution. Instead of booking your loved ones to a nursing home, you can arrange to have nurses available round the clock at home to help with feeding, bathing, and dressing.
4. Residential Care Homes
These are specially designed private homes for seniors who need minimal assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). They are ideal for people needing help to do various physical activities but don’t have any intensive medical needs.
Some of the services offered in these facilities include:
- Custodial care such as housekeeping and laundry.
- Home-cooked meals.
- Private homes or rooms.
- Assistance with bathing, toileting, and dressing.
- Planning activities.
- Administering medicine.
5. Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRCs)
Also known as hybrid care facilities, CCRCs are multi-purpose facilities that allow residents to access independent living, assisted living, and nursing home services whenever needed.
Residents are usually admitted when they can still live independently and get more specialized services as their needs increase. This solution minimizes disruption by ensuring that residents access various services without moving from one facility to another. This option can be more expensive than other options.
6. Palliative Care and Hospice Facilities
These are long-term care facilities that provide specialized care for seniors living with terminal illnesses. Palliative care centers have trained staff to help with various issues such as pain management, nursing, and everyday ADL assistance.
Hospice facilities are designed to accommodate older people with terminal diseases and are in the last stages of their lives. These facilities provide much-needed comfort and care at the end of someone’s life.
7. Aging in Place
Many seniors prefer to remain in their homes, even in their sunset days. Aging in place provides a solution where the house is modified to address any mobility issues, and care providers brought in to provide assistance and companionship. This option provides older adults with a level of autonomy and independence not available in other care facilities.
Many people prefer this solution as it has various benefits, including:
- Your loved ones maintain their familiar settings and routines.
- People retain more of their independence.
- The surroundings are more comfortable.
- It is usually cheaper.
8. Temporary and Day Care Facilities
Adult daycare facilities are an excellent choice for seniors who need care and supervision during the day. They offer seniors an opportunity to participate in well-structured social, recreational, and educational activities while still receiving the physical and medical care they need.
Adult daycares provide respite to family members who have to work during the day and want to spend their evenings with their loved ones.
Some adult day care centers are specially designed to meet the needs of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This, therefore, ensures that primary caregivers can spend their days off without having to worry about the safety of their loved ones.
Care facilities for seniors are an excellent solution to provide a safe, comfortable, and loving environment for your loved ones. Though the process of finding the best facility to cater to your elderly one’s current needs may be intimidating and overwhelming, understanding the terms as they relate to each type of care and researching the various options available is a smart and necessary first step.