If your parents or other loved ones are getting more advanced in years, chances are you’ve begun to think about caring for them as they age. Even if you think the decision is several years in the future, it’s a good idea to discuss your options now and start making a financial plan so that your loved ones’ needs can be met. Here are the basic solutions you might consider:
- A Retirement Community
Senior retirement communities are designed for elders who are still in generally good health and want to maintain a sense of independence. Residents live in fully private apartments, but the community often offers entertainment and medical options on site. A typical retirement community offers several eating options, and there are many group social events to keep retired people busy and enjoying this stage of their lives.
- An Assisted Living Home
Assisted living communities provide an elevated level of care for elders without invading their privacy. Services might include administration of medication, meal delivery (or assistance in preparing meals) and regular housekeeping. Since there will be people checking in on residents on a regular basis, such a solution can set your mind at ease if you’re worried your loved one might take a fall or have a similar accident.
- A Nursing Home
A nursing or convalescence home, now more properly called a care home, provides a higher level of assistance for elderly people whose physical condition has deteriorated to the point where they require 24-hour monitoring and more extensive medical care. The costs of such homes vary widely depending on the quality of the facilities, but insurance (including Medicare) will sometimes cover the expense. There are also several specialized kinds of homes, such as ones for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, that offer additional levels of care.
- A Home Nursing Agency
If you have the means, a home nursing agency can provide many of the same medical benefits of a full-time care facility while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfortable environment of a family home. At-home care providers can do everything from helping your loved one take a bath to doing the driving for medical appointments, and can be hired for everything from a few hours per week to round-the-clock care.
Do you have any advice to share on how to choose a nursing home or home nursing agency for elders? Join the discussion in the comments.