As the senior population continues to increase, a wide variety of choices for care have come into being. This allows for a wonderful freedom of choice, so long as one understands and is aware of all the different options. To assist in educating about the menagerie of long-term care choices, listed below are many of the options for senior care:
In-home care: Individualized assistance in a home, either the frail person’s or a family member’s home. Home can be wherever and includes assisted living and congregate housing when appropriate. It can be non‑skilled, like companion-housekeeper assistance, or, depending on state licensure, can be a nurse aide or a nurse. It is usually paid out of pocket, through long‑term care insurance, via a veterans’ program or by Medicaid.
Medicare home health: Is generally called “Home Health Care” and is a term used to refer to Medicare‑certified agencies that provide services which are paid for by Medicare. Medicare is not, and was never intended to provide, long‑term in‑home care.
Adult day care: A planned program of activities designed to promote wellbeing though social- and health-related services, including meals and recreation. Some offer health-related services for those with medical problems and some adult day care programs are designed specifically for those with Alzheimer’s.
Assisted living: For those needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but wishing to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.
Retirement home: Retirement center/congregate care facility: large group real estate developments offering variable non‑medical and medically assisted lifestyle packages.
Nursing home: Skilled nursing/rehabilitation/convalescent/specialty care facility: large group medical assistance in a facility.
Personal Care Home: Small group houses offering varying levels of medical and non-medical assistance.