Wide Array of Senior Elder Care Options Available Today
Today, when seniors encounter cognitive and physical health problems and begin having difficulty performing the activities of daily living, they and their families have decisions to make - and a multitude of senior care options to choose from.
Among these senior care choices, in-home senior care has been rising in popularity. Baby boomers in particular want to maintain as much independence as possible, preferably where they are most comfortable: at home.
Deciding which senior care option is most appropriate for any given individual depends upon their family's unique circumstances. Evaluate your circumstances to determine the best approach for you and your family:
- Are you or other members of your family able to devote time to care for a senior loved one? That is, do you live close enough to provide regular care? Would your other responsibilities at work and with your own family limit the time you could realistically commit?
- Does the individual you would be caring for have a chronic health condition, such as Alzheimer's disease, that would compromise his or her safety without regular supervision?
- Does the individual have a condition that would require medical care on an ongoing basis, in addition to regular assistance with the activities of daily living?
- What senior care options are readily available in your loved ones or your community?
Senior care options include:
- Nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities, which offer 24/7 medical care by registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, in addition to nutritional, pharmaceutical and activity services, and help with daily living activities.
- Assisted living facilities, a residential care option that is a step between independent living and skilled nursing. Assisted living is meant for seniors who need help with activities of daily living but not regular health care.
- Adult day care, which provides seniors a safe, social environment during the day while family caregivers are at work.
- Independent living apartments for seniors with a limited need for assistance. These can be part of a continuing care senior community, which provides other levels of senior care, such as assisted living and skilled nursing care.
- In-home senior care, companionship and daily living assistance that can be provided in seniors' homes by family or a professional provider such as Comfort Keepers.
- Home health care, which brings health care services to seniors, and is often provided in conjunction with nonmedical in-home senior care.
For information to help you decide what is best, visit Comfort Keepers' Family Education Center, and to find senior elder care services in your area, visit the Administration on Aging's Eldercare Locator.