Introduction to Types of Senior Care: How to Pick the Right Care for Your Loved One
We all desire optimal independence in the lives of our elderly. However, old age brings with it certain physical limitations that make self-care very difficult. There will be a point when you or your aging loved one would need assistance in managing themselves, their homes, and their affairs.
Family members take charge of ensuring the comfort and safety of seniors. But doing this for a long time becomes a challenge due to their own families, jobs, and other commitments that demand their attention; this is when external help becomes mandatory.
Fortunately, there are various types of senior care available. Some examples include home care, specialized facility, and 24/7 health care. In this blog post, we explain the different types and choose the best care among them.
Custodial Care vs. Skilled Care
Custodial care and skilled care for seniors can manage custodial care and professional care for seniors at a specialized facility (adult day care center, assisted living community, residential care home, nursing home, etc.) home.
However, the difference is, licensed medical professionals can only provide skilled care. Examples of skilled care include physical therapy and nursing care. On the other hand, custodial care helps with everyday activities such as bathing and dressing.
Assisted Living Communities
This care option is excellent if the seniors don’t need round-the-clock care and cannot live independently. In assisted living communities, seniors live in private apartments to enjoy recreational activities and socialize together.
Staff is appointed for housekeeping, medication management, meal preparation, and other daily activities. The elderly are also assisted with personal care, scheduled transportation, and licensed nursing services if needed.
Many assisted living facilities to have a central dining area where seniors get plenty of opportunities to mingle. They also offer specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, including carefully selected activities and tight security to avoid compromising with their wellbeing.
Residential Care Homes
These are specially designed, private homes for seniors where they can watch television, eat meals in the kitchen, and enjoy other activities just like in a regular house.
A caretaker is assigned for such a residential care home to help the senior with dressing, bathing, light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and other essential activities. Such type of senior care is suitable for people who wish to live in a home-like setting but need assistance with everyday living.
Also known as skilled nursing facilities, they are designed for the long-term care of seniors. If your health condition necessitates 24*7 care, opting for a nursing home could be a viable option.
Licensed nurses offer round-the-clock professional assistance, rehabilitation, and qualified medical care. Besides, seniors are also assisted with a team of therapists in nursing homes.
There is a central dining area, and the residents usually share rooms in this type of senior care.
Independent Living Communities
If you can manage activities of daily living but wish to live within a community of peers to enjoy an active lifestyle, independent living communities could be your answer. Private apartments vary from two-bedroom units to studios depending on the needs of the senior.
Upon request, different services like dining, transportation, and housekeeping are available in independent living communities.
How to Choose the Best Senior Care
Choosing the best option among the abovementioned types of senior care requires a careful analysis of personal preferences, specific needs, and health conditions.
Ask questions like:
Do they need daily check-ins or round-the-clock care?
Do they need help with everyday activities?
Would custodial care suffice? Is a licensed medical caregiver necessary?
The answers to the aforementioned questions would help you determine the right kind of senior care for yourself, or your aging loved one. Irrespective of the type of senior care you choose, the aim should be to ensure maximum comfort.
Moreover, the caregiver should be compassionate, knowledgeable, trustworthy, experienced, and highly trained. Try to gather as much information as possible, use a good screening process to find the right caregiver for your loved one.
Make sure that the elderly can maintain a good quality of life with the type of care chosen.
Understanding 3 Types of In-Home Care for the Elderly
We all like to stay independent and active for much of our lives. But there comes a time later in life when we need help managing ourselves, our homes, finances, daily activities, and other affairs.
That’s when families step up and ensure the comfort and safety of aging loved ones. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to continue doing so because they have their own families and jobs that need their commitment as well.
Such a dilemma leads to a sense of guilt that’s difficult to manage. On top of that, when seniors’ physical and/or mental condition continues to deteriorate, it becomes nearly impossible to do this without external help.
Fortunately, there are various types of in-home care for the elderly with many advantages over a specialized facility. Some of the benefits are personalized care, affordability, a familiar environment, family involvement, and much more.
This blog post focuses on three types of home-based care that you can consider for your loved one:
Types of Home Care
Knowing the different forms of in-home care is essential to select the right provider. It’s because not all providers offer all three kinds of home care services for the elderly.
Home care can include:
- Rehabilitative services and therapy
- Long-term and short-term nursing care for disability, disease, or illness
- Management of tasks around the house
- Personal care assistance, including bathing and dressing
This short guide serves as an overview for patients and their families.
1. Personal Care and Companionship
This type of in-home care services for seniors is also known as companion care, assistive care, homemaker care, senior care, home health aide services, or non-medical care.
In this, you get help with daily activities such as:
- Household chores
- Meal preparation
- Bathing and dressing
It’s an excellent option for bed-ridden elderly who may injure themselves if they try to perform the tasks mentioned above on their own. The healthcare provider ensures that seniors can still maintain a reasonable level of independence while being assisted with these tasks.
Other services in this type of home health care may include:
- Supervising Alzheimer’s or dementia patients
- Engaging in hobbies (companionship)
- Escorting to appointments
- Medical reminders, errands
- Fall prevention and safety
- Assisting with ambulation
This type of in-home care for the elderly need not be doctor prescribed.
2. Home-Based Nursing Care
It is also known as shift nursing, ventilator care, hourly nursing, or long-term nursing care. It is best for patients with disability, injury, or chronic illness. Moreover, it needs to be recommended by a doctor.
The services under home-based nursing care may include:
- Catheter care
- Feeding tube care
- Gastrostomy/ostomy care
- Administering medications
- Monitoring vital signs
- Tracheostomy care
- Care of conditions and diseases such as ALS, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury
3. Home Health Care
It’s also known as visiting nurse services, intermittent skilled care, or Medicare-certified home health care. It’s physician-directed care designed for short-term recovery from an injury, illness, or after a hospital stay.
The services under home health care may include:
- Medical social work
- Speech language pathology
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Short-term nursing services
- Home health aide services
How to Choose the Right Care?
To determine which kind of home-based care is appropriate for you or your aging loved one, it’s best to contact the provider and talk about your needs. Apart from that, you also need to evaluate the level of family involvement before choosing the right service.
Make sure that the professional caregiver is compassionate, trustworthy, highly trained, knowledgeable, and properly licensed or certified to avoid any pitfalls later on. They should be capable of dealing with their emotions and sometimes erratic behavior of seniors.
Irrespective of which of the three types of in-home care for the elderly you choose, they share the same goals:
- Providing peace of mind to families
- Facilitating more independent and happier living for seniors
The key to enabling a reasonable quality of life for seniors is utilizing home care services. It ensures increased independence, security, and safety of the elderly. Apart from that, you can avoid unnecessary hospital stays, thanks to easier management of the chronic condition.
7 Reasons to Choose In-Home Care Services for Seniors
Family members may not have the flexibility to be physically present 24*7 with their terminally ill loved ones. If they work full-time or live far away, choosing in-home care for seniors is the way to go.
Most seniors prefer their homes to nursing institutions. In order to retain their independence and make them feel safe, exploring the many benefits of in-home care is essential.
Here are seven reasons why you should choose in-home care services for seniors:
1. Personalized Care
Personalized care is unlikely in a care facility where a specific group of patients receives a similar treatment. It may be challenging to keep track of individual wants and needs. Such is not the case with in-home care, where caregivers take everything into account.
Therefore, seniors tend to stay positive and recover quickly, thanks to personalized care.
2. Familiar Surroundings
Like every other person, seniors like to relax at their favorite spots in the city. Transferring them to a nursing institution may affect them negatively. Not only would they feel homesick but also miserable.
Needless to say, there are infinite memories attached to their home. Hence, in-home care for seniors allows them to receive treatment while staying connected with the familiar surroundings.
Compared to nursing facilities, in-home care services for seniors are a lot more affordable. It roughly costs twice to keep the elderly in a care setting than at home. If your financial situation is unfavorable, then it could cost you a fortune.
4. Peace of Mind and Companionship
Knowing that the elderly care is in good hands, family members can be at peace. The professional caregivers would be at the beck and call of seniors if and when needed. Round-the-clock in-home care is especially crucial for seniors with cognitive and/or physical impairment.
Living on their own, without assistance, could be potentially dangerous for such people. Besides, living alone could lead to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. For this reason, a little companionship in the form of in-home care for seniors is necessary.
5. Smooth Transition
Moving to a nursing facility is a significant change for seniors. In comparison, transitioning to a home-care setting is a lot smoother. This way, seniors don’t feel overwhelmed with sudden changes. On the other hand, if you decide to admit them to a facility, they may feel ignored, rejected and develop anxiety or depression.
It could also lead to fighting with family members. Moreover, the environment of a care setting may or may not be a good match for them. Adhering to strict regulations from the freedom of their home is not easy. In every decision, you should ask the elderly for their opinion as well.
6. Close Family Involvement
Without conforming to any kind of restrictions, family members can visit their aging loved ones in home-based care. Apart from that, the professional caregiver who is in charge of care can contact the family when needed.
The in-home care for seniors also promotes close involvement of the patient’s family. Since family members can always live with the patient, they can offer companionship. On the other hand, they cannot do so in a care facility which is why most patients end up feeling neglected and abandoned.
Not all seniors living with chronic illnesses need help in every aspect of life. Some may require assistance only in small day-to-day tasks. In such a case, moving them to a care facility would not bode well for their independence.
They can instead enjoy their level of independence while being assisted at home, thanks to in-home care for seniors. All that while maintaining social ties, exercising regularly, and eating nutritious food.
Being able to participate in activities is good for seniors’ mental health.
Caring for an aging loved one is very demanding. Irrespective of the choice you make, it’s bound to have consequences. However, choosing in-home care services for seniors is not likely to cause any regret later on.
5 Signs That an Elderly Needs Home Care
We love to see our aging spouse, parent, or relative living independently and happily in their homes. However, there will be a time when home care for the elderly would become indispensable. Managing daily chores would then become a challenge on their own.
At that time, they will require medical and/or non-medical support so that they can continue to live a healthier and safer life. If you are apprehensive about whether your elderly loved one needs home care, this blog will remove all your doubts. Continue reading “5 Signs That an Elderly Needs Home Care” »
The Impact of Frequent Hospitalizations on Seniors
When a loved one is discharged after a hospital stay, it’s always a cause for celebration. They are surrounded by familiar places, faces and feel relieved to have gotten back to their routine. Familiarity and love are the two reasons why most seniors prefer in-home care rather than hospitalization.
However, living with a chronic disease means that the latter is very much a part of their reality. We can try to minimize such instances of frequent hospitalizations. The transitional care services were designed for this very reason. Continue reading “The Impact of Frequent Hospitalizations on Seniors” »
Can Transitional Care Management Help Reduce Hospital Costs?
The aging population in America presents a serious challenge and demands realigning the current healthcare system and care management to treat older adults with critical medical conditions. This group of patients generally have multiple health problems and mobility issues, plus they are at a higher risk of poor health outcomes once they get discharged from hospitals and moved into their place of residence. For this reason, they generally need frequent admissions to hospitals. However, hospital readmissions among older adults with critical care needs can be addressed with transitional care. Continue reading “Can Transitional Care Management Help Reduce Hospital Costs?” »
Ways To Help A Senior Loved One Recover From A Stroke
If a senior loved one was admitted to a hospital after suffering from a stroke, it’s crucial for them to follow a multi-step recovery and rehabilitation plan after returning home. In the absence of a solid, comprehensive plan, they may suffer from numerous complications in the long run. These can be prevented if they receive the right care and make a few changes to their lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions for the same: Continue reading “Ways To Help A Senior Loved One Recover From A Stroke” »
Hospice Care To Help Terminally-Ill Individuals Live As Fully and Comfortably As Possible
Hospice care, or sometimes referred to as palliative care, aims to improve the quality of life of people with an advanced, life-ending disease. It offers compassionate care to people who are in the last stages of life so that they can live comfortably and as fully as possible. Many people think that it is only recommended for seniors; however, anyone with a terminal illness can get hospice care when they are in the final phases of the illness.
Tips To Choose A Professional Home Caregiver For A Loved One
Choosing a professional home caregiver for a loved one may seem like a challenging task to many. After all, there is a lot to think about. Like trust, competency, invasion of people into your personal space. The list is long. Keeping everything aside, when a loved one is diagnosed with a condition that requires medical attention, an on-demand healthcare professional is the first thing that comes to mind. Continue reading “Tips To Choose A Professional Home Caregiver For A Loved One” »
Caring For A Senior: Tips For Safe Hospital-To-Home Transitions
A stay at the hospital can be a harrowing and stressful time for patients as well as their loved ones. For senior patients, hospital admissions can be particularly disorienting and physically exhausting due to which they often require additional care and assistance, extending well into the recovery period at home. Continue reading “Caring For A Senior: Tips For Safe Hospital-To-Home Transitions” »