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Living Options for the Elderly

Updated on December 28, 2010

As you parent or loved one ages, it becomes a question of when to bring in additional help or possibly make the move to a more suited “home.” There are a variety of living options for the elderly. Most depend on the type of care needed.

Senior living centers (Retirement Communities)- are aimed at the fairly healthy senior. They provide socialization while you maintain an independent lifestyle. Although some retirement communities are starting to provide limited healthcare, most are without.

Home Care- home- based care that a Home Care Provider, or a neighbor, friend or relative could do. It is non-medical care. Cares such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, or companionship are a few examples that could be provided.

Home Health Care- home-based care that licensed personnel such as nurses provide the needed care. Such as; medications and wound treatment.

Assisted Living Centers- are beginning to offer nursing care, help with dressing and other activities of daily livings (ADLs), however some are still without. Meaning another type of agency would be needed. The advantages of assisted living over a senior living center is one of watchfulness. The staff is on alert for medical emergencies. Meals are provided in Assisted Living and the staff will provide or set-up transportation to Doctors, groceries or necessities. Furniture is also provided.

Nursing Facility- this is referred as a “home for the elderly.” Offers 24 hour supervision by licensed staff. Patient is not in need of hospitalization but cannot care for themselves at home. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies, medication administration, wound prevention among just a few.

As our elderly population rises, we will no doubtingly have to confront some of these hard choices. I feel that care should be provided at home for as long as possible. However, I know this is unrealistic for some.

Many see our elderly as a burden, another bill to pay. But in reality, our elderly are our role models, our family, our heritage. The elderly have a right to respect, dignity and comfort. Finding that outside their own home is difficult and an emotional transition that is not only scary, but defeating. Whatever decision you make for your loved one, just make the best decision based off of not only their needs, but there wants of life too.

 After all, haven't they earned it?


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