Many older adults prefer to live in their homes much beyond the time their adult children feel they should – whether it is for physical or mental health. Adult children often want to respect the wishes of their parents, and so they may find themselves in a very difficult situation – wishing to respect them, but also feeling the need to protect them from harm.
One of the best gifts adult children can give their parents is to be prepared for when they do need their help. Here are some tips on the different options available in senior living as well as services that can be hired inside the home.
There are a variety of housing options available, the most common being:
- Assisted Living: This type of residence combines housing, support services, and health care as needed to provide older adults with a comfortable environment in which to live.
- Housing with Services: Similar to independent living, housing with services provides convenience and supportive services (meals, housekeeping, transportation, etc.).
- Continuing Care Retirement Community: A continuing care retirement community is a comprehensive community that offers independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care all in one facility. The range of services and costs associated with CCRCs are generally determined by the level of care older adults require. CCRC’s typically have an entrance fee, depending on the situation.
- Independent Living: Independent living is ideal for older adults who require little or no assistance with activities associated with daily living. They can enjoy senior living community amenities and activities and carefree life away from home maintenance.
- Senior Living Community: These communities provide a wide range of housing and medical care options.
- Transitional Care: This type of care is usually needed after a hospital stay, to continue rehabilitation and therapy. Generally, transitional care is a temporary living option until progress has maintained and an individual is able to return home, or seek a senior living community.
- Long Term Care: Long-term care is for those individuals who need access to healthcare and to nursing care 24 hours a day. Long-term care provides seniors with a safe, comfortable living community where they can continue to live life both happy and healthy.
- Hospice Care: Hospice care offers dedicated care services for individuals approaching the end of life as a result of a serious illness.
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care: Memory care is dedicated assistance for older adults suffering the effects of memory loss as a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Determining the Best Fit
If your family or loved one has given you permission, one of the first things you should do when looking into senior living communities is consult with their physician to determine their physical capabilities and ability to live on their own. Older adults in good physical health who are mobile and capable of performing light household chores may find an independent living apartment or senior living community easier to transition to after living on their own for a lifetime.
Conversely, if an older adult is in need of acute care following a hospital stay and cannot return home, a transitional care residence will help bridge the gap until they can return home safely. Once the individual has fully recovered, you can revisit the concept of moving to any one of the different styles of communities. At all points during the decision-making process, maintain clear and honest communication.
Don’t rush the decision. Your parents will let you know if the transition and processes are moving too fast or just at the right pace – and they will be grateful for your support, respect, and help.