Senior Care Alternatives
Imagine this: You’ve spent weeks identifying your parents senior care needs and warming them up to the idea of a little extra assistance. You’ve built a consensus with your family that mom and dad do need a little care. Then, at the family meeting you’ve called to discuss it, your brother asks, “OK, so what type of senior care do mom and dad need?” And You’re stumped.
There are 8 different types of senior care available and we’ve helped hundreds of families navigate through them. After you’ve read this article, you’ll know which type is right for your loved ones.
Stay At Home Options
If your loved ones want to preserve their independence and live at home, there are four primary options available to them:
- Family and Friends Assistance. Often the first and simplest alternative to senior care is getting assistance from family and friends. You probably already accompany a parent to an occasional doctor’s appointment or prepare them a meal now and again.
- Privately Hired Caregiver. Perhaps there is someone who lives on the block and is looking for extra work that you could hire privately. This typically can save a few dollars per hour over professional caregivers, but also comes along with additional responsibilities for taxes and liabilities. This is a risky option.
- Professional Caregivers. Hiring reliable, professional caregivers is the go-to solution for a lot of families. Professional caregivers are trained, insured, bonded and licensed and (perhaps most importantly) backed by a company that takes care of taxes, insurance, days off, etc. This is the type of care that CareTeam provides.
- Adult Day Care. These senior care centers are designed to provide community and interaction for seniors. They do not provide one on one care, but provide activities and interactions throughout the day. Your parents would live at home, but spend the daytime hours at the center.
- Independent Senior Living. These communities are for independent seniors who are looking for social actives, maintenance free housing and prepared meals. These communities do not provide care, but they often arrange for professional caregivers to assist their residents who need care. Think of independent senior living like an apartment community for seniors.
- Assisted Living. These communities provide activities and meals like independent senior living, but they also provide bathing and dressing assistance and medication management. Because of the care they provide, Assisted Living is typically 2 to 4 times more expensive than independent senior living.
- Residential Care Homes. Residential care homes are middle ground between professional caregivers and assisted living communities. They are small private homes that have between 3-8 residents who socialize and share meals. They also have caregivers who assist with bathing, dressing, and medications. Residential Care Homes are typically more expensive that assisted living communities.
- Nursing Homes. Nursing homes are for seniors who require significant skilled care because of an illness, chronic condition or hospital discharge. Nursing homes have more of a “healthcare” than “residential” feel, but they also provide the highest level of care of all the senior care options. Care in a nursing home is paid for by Medicare for a set period of time (usually 100 days) and is ordered and supervised by a physician.
Not understanding the differences between senior care options could cause your senior care planning process to stall out.