What are my choices for long term care?
Choosing the right long term care for your family members is a big decision. Ideally, you want your loved ones to feel comfortable in their surroundings while receiving the best quality care over a long period of time. But with so many care options available, it can be difficult to find the perfect fit.
Your long term care choices will vary, depending on the type of care your loved one needs, the home health care agencies in your area, and your financial situation.
Here are the most common choices for long term care services.
When should I consider long term care?
On average, 70% of older adults living in the U.S. will need future long term care once they reach the age of 65. So it’s something you’ll need to consider, even if your loved one isn’t showing signs of ill health yet.
Deciding when it’s time to bring in long term care support will depend on your individual situation, but there are a few ways to make this decision easier. Evaluating your loved one’s current state of health as well as their lifestyle habits can give you a better idea of when they’ll need assistance.
Long term care vs. short term care
Undergoing surgery? A short term care solution may be all you need until you get back on your feet. Navigating a chronic illness? Having longterm care or around-the-clock care to support an aging parent or family member can lift the burden from you while maintaining a happy and safe environment for your loved one.
The next step is determining whether you’ll be able to provide that assistance by taking on a family caregiver role, or whether you need to look at other long term care options like home health aides, visiting companions, or housing communities.
Those needing long term care often fall into the following categories:
- Ongoing health conditions: Everything from arthritis, diabetes, and heart issues, to memoryrelated conditions like Alzheimer’s can require long term care services for older adults. Some family members may only need light caretaking or personal care assistance, while others may depend on around-the-clock care.
- Serious disabilities: Mobility issues, changes in the nervous system, and cognitive impairment can make movement more difficult for elderly adults. Loss of sight and post-stroke complications can increase the risk of falling and make it unsafe to be at home alone.
- Age related frailty: As we age, it can get more difficult to do everyday activities and basic personal tasks without some kind of assistance. Long term care can ensure older adults are safe as they continue living in the way they always have.
What are my long term care choices?
When it’s time to do long term care planning, it’s important to know your options. Not all health care is created equal and it’s important to choose the care that meets your specific health needs. Whether you’re seeking care after a hospital stay, or simply need a companion to help your loved one with everyday chores, long term care can alleviate stress for both you and your loved one.
It’s worth noting that the long term care provided by each state may vary. But generally, you can expect the following long term care services in your area.
1. In home health care
Long term home healthcare includes personal care, medical care services, transportation services, and other assistance. Designed to keep seniors in the comfort of their homes for as long as possible while living independently, this option suits those who enjoy having autonomy in their life.
Home care services can be short and long term, depending upon the person’s needs.
If you choose to receive skilled care from Nurse Next Door, we go one step further to ensure your loved one gets the full Happier Aging experience. We believe aging is worth celebrating and our caregivers do everything they can to give seniors a chance to rekindle their passions, hobbies, and interests while remaining at home.
The majority of home health agencies deliver medical and non medical long term care services.,
Skilled nursing care services:
A registered nurse can visit your loved one and provide medical care and medical related services including:
- Blood pressure checks
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
Care can be complicated and sometimes, it’s important to ensure your long term care solution matches your aging loved one’s needs. In these instances, Nurse Next Door offers specialized care services like:
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- Post operative care
- Respite care
- Hospice care and end-of-life care
If you’re looking for another kind of specialized home health care, talk to us today about a customized care plan.
Non medical services:
If your loved one is in good health but could use an extra hand around the home, Nurse Next Door offers low cost non medical services and companionship services for daily living. Your caregiver can visit for a few hours each day and provide:
- Meal preparation: providing healthy nutritious food and your loved one’s favorite snacks
- Personal care services: bathing, dressing, and grooming in the mornings and evenings
- Homemaker services: folding laundry, cooking, washing up dishes, and chores around the home
- Transportation services: visits to doctor appointments, group classes, and grocery shopping trips
2. Assisted living facility
Assisted living communities are a good choice for seniors who are unable to live alone, feel isolated, or who require assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL) and personal care services.
This type of long term care facility is designed to be similar to senior’s own homes. Assisted living apartment complexes are fitted with amenities you would expect in your own home like a kitchen or bathroom. Residents have access to staff when they need someone to help them get dressed, manage their medications, or if they require assistance when going to the bathroom. They also receive cooked meals daily.
They include more health assistance than an independent living arrangement and encourage socialization within the assisted living community.
3. Nursing home care
Nursing homes or residential care units are an option for seniors with serious medical conditions who need around-the-clock care.
These establishments provide more complex nursing care to seniors, serving them three meals a day and making sure they have everything they need. On top of nursing care, they can offer physical therapy and other rehabilitation programs. Most nursing home patients stay there for the long term as their care can be covered under Medicaid.
Unlike home health care, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been marked by scandals. Since the arrival of COVID-19, one out of every six pandemic deaths happened in a nursing home. Before making any decisions, it’s a good idea to do research into the current practice of the facility.
Still not sure which option is best for your loved one? There’s also continuing care retirement communities to consider. These arrangements offer independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care in the same place.
4. Community based services
Lastly, when 24/7 nursing home care is out of reach, you still have care options to suit your budget. Choosing to stay in a family member’s home can be a cost effective care option. But caregiver burnout is on the rise and sometimes, your loved one may need more support than you can give.
Luckily there are community options designed to take some of the weight off. Look for community based services in your area and see whether they can accommodate your loved one. These options provide stability for your loved one, foster community, and can be a welcome respite for the caregiver.
Community services can include:
- Adult day care
- Disability resource center
- Senior centers
- Meal programs
However, if finances are an issue, Nurse Next Door can provide in home care visit from as little as one to two hours per week.