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HomeHealthHow to Select the Right Senior Care Option for Your Loved One

How to Select the Right Senior Care Option for Your Loved One

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Choosing the right long-term care options for your loved one requires careful planning. It’s important to seek recommendations from family, friends, and other sources. Look for a provider who puts your loved one’s comfort and needs first. Watch out for red flags like bruising, unexplained weight loss and other physical signs of neglect.

Community-Based Care

An active community might be the right fit if you have a senior loved one who needs help with tasks but not round-the-clock medical care. They usually offer homes such as townhomes or condos, including services and recreational activities that can relieve some of the stress of family caregivers. When considering this option, it’s important to look at the ratio of staff to residents. You want to ensure your loved one will get a high level of personalized care and attention. Visiting senior care options in Florida and talking with current residents is also a good idea. Ask how they like living there and if the staff have any tips to help with adjustment. You may also want to ask if the community offers respite care services, which can be helpful when you need short-term help.

In-Home Care

There are various home care options for seniors, depending on their needs and required help. For example, suppose your loved one has Alzheimer’s or other memory-related disease and requires more than simple companionship and assistance with activities of daily living. In that case, you may seek a skilled home health aide. In addition to providing daily tasks, home healthcare aides can assist with medical needs such as administering medication and monitoring vital signs. Depending on your state’s regulations, home health aids are often licensed or certified by hospitals or nursing agencies. Sometimes, Medicare Advantage (MA) insurance policies cover home health aide services, so check with your insurer. Home care agencies typically hire attendants from a pool of nurses, therapists, and other healthcare workers to ensure an appropriate person is always available to meet your loved one’s needs. They also conduct thorough background checks and reference verification.

Assisted Living

In assisted living, a senior lives in a small community or residential home that offers personalized care with meals, housekeeping, and activities. It’s a great option for someone who needs more support with their daily activities than an in-home caregiver can provide but doesn’t need around-the-clock medical care like a nursing home. Assisted living can also be a good choice when a family notices that their loved one is having trouble taking care of themselves, for example, when bills go unpaid, or hygiene issues emerge. It can also be a good choice for seniors who have started to experience memory impairment and need a safe environment where their behavior can be monitored by trained staff. Consider a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) as an alternate option. These communities allow residents to move between different levels of care within the same residence as their needs change. They are typically the most expensive of all long-term care options and may require a significant entrance fee in addition to the monthly cost.

Residential Care Facility

Many seniors wish to age in place, but that may not be possible or safe. In these cases, a residential care facility may be an appropriate option. Also known as an RCFE (residential care facility for older people), adult family home, or board-and-care, these homes are designed to look and feel like a home, which can be comforting for older adults who may fear living in an institutional setting. Generally, these homes offer less nursing services than assisted living communities but more personal care. Often, they are smaller, which can benefit seniors who are shy or prefer to spend time in small groups. It’s crucial to discuss your loved one’s preferences and wants with them before deciding on a senior care option. Doing so will help them to be more comfortable when making a move. It’ll also make it easier to discuss their care plan and decide what care they need.

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