Types of Senior Care: Choosing the Best Elder Care Option

All of us wish to stay young, active, and independent forever, but there’s no getting away from the natural process of aging. Growing older may take its toll on those who are no longer able to take proper care of themselves, their homes, and their affairs.

Often, it’s the closest family members that provide the needed assistance and do their best to ensure the safety and comfort of their elderly loved ones. However, this is very hard to keep up for a long period as most people have work commitments and families of their own to take care of. As the physical and mental health of seniors declines over time, it may become impossible for these caregivers to provide the appropriate care and in such cases, outside assistance is required.

Fortunately, there’s a range of options available today and in this article, we provide a brief overview of the different types of senior care so you can find the ideal solution for your aging loved one.

Assisted Living

Due to a serious health condition, difficulty living alone, or the sheer desire to live in a calmer environment among other seniors, many elderly people decide to leave their homes and move to an assisted living facility. These types of facilities provide long-term housing and care for seniors who may need extra support with daily activities. 

Those who live in assisted living, get personalized care, healthy and nutritious meals, a wide range of social activities to match their interests, and a sense of community in a safe and residential setting. Since assisted living facilities vary greatly, you should do your research on what a particular location does and does not offer before making the right decision for your needs.

The location is also important because most patients want to remain close to their home and family and see them often. For instance, Colorado is one of the best states in the country in terms of the living conditions it offers for seniors.

If you happen to live there, start by searching for a quality assisted living Colorado-based facility as the most convenient choice for your loved one. Finding a facility that’s in your state will allow you to see them whenever you want without having to travel across the country.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are what you call long-term senior care facilities for elderly people who suffer from health issues that require skilled nursing care 24/7.

At first glance, nursing homes and assisted living facilities look similar but unlike the latter, nursing homes provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting. Today’s nursing homes are sophisticated, and highly regulated, prioritizing care and treatment of those who have physical health concerns or mental disabilities.

There are also other medical professionals like occupational and physical therapists available in nursing homes which allows swift on-site delivery of medical procedures and different therapies that wouldn’t be possible in any other housing.

Aging in Place

Aging in place is when seniors consciously decide to stay in their own homes rather than move to a senior living community. An AART survey showed that 3 out of 4 adults over the age of 50 hope to age in their own place, which shows that this option is most popular with the majority of older Americans.

When choosing this option, you should set a budget, discuss options with close family members, connect with home health services and identify home modification projects that might be necessary to obtain ultimate safety. For example, you might need to install a walk-in tub or stairlift or purchase a safety device like a medical alert system.

Residential Care Homes

Compared to aging in place, residential care homes are considered more practical and safe. They are small private homes designed for elderly people who need assistance with daily activities but wish to remain in a home-like setting.

In these homes, caretakers provide custodial care and residents get more one-on-one attention which reduces chances of a health issue or illness slipping through the cracks.

As there’s a smaller staff size and number of residents, these homes are located in residential neighborhoods with direct access to the home’s managers which leaves families with peace of mind and allows them to remain involved with their loved one’s care.

Final Thoughts

When choosing the best elderly care option, the most important part is determining the level of assistance your senior loved one needs. Think about whether they require around-the-clock care or just daily check-ins, a licensed medical caregiver or minor assistance with daily tasks.

Once you understand the pros and cons of each option, you can determine which type of senior care is best suited for them.  

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