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Family Care – Aging Adults – Types of Elder Care

Emory University offers a comprehensive Elder Care Resource Guide, which includes the following categories of elder care:

Independent Living (Retirement Community) Independent living communities focus on letting the resident enjoy retirement and allow them to worry less about having to take care of the daily responsibilities of home ownership. Residents in these communities are, for the most part, healthy and active.The community typically offers a variety of amenities such as indoor and outdoor walking areas, swimming pools, fitness centers, restaurants, office equipment, libraries and/or video rental, theatres, meeting rooms, etc.

Services are designed to be convenient and often include services such as maintenance, transportation, security, housekeeping, and meal preparation. These services may be included in the cost of a home or apartment or may be an additional expense.

Assisted Living Facilities Assisted Living Facilities are housing options for seniors that are unable to live independently, but do not yet need nursing home care. They are typically congregate housing options that provide services such as meals, housekeeping, laundry and personal care in a home-like setting. The residents have their own suite or studio apartment.Most offer a rental arrangement where residents or their families cover the expense. In some cases, long term care may help with some of the costs. Assisted living facilities provide transportation to medical care for their residents. Some offer it onsite.

Assisted Living Facilities offer a person various levels of care dependent on the amount of help the resident requires. Costs can vary greatly in an Assisted Living Facilities and need to be discussed in depth prior to deciding on one. Cost generally increases as an individual’s level rises in need for care. Levels are assessed on a resident’s activities of daily living. These include: bathing, clothing, grooming, mobility, continence, caregivers, eating, medication, laundry, and dementia.

Nursing & Rehabilitation Center or Nursing Home What is known as a traditional nursing home is a facility that provides 24 hour nursing care and rehabilitative services and assistance to its residents. These are for individuals who are unable to safely reside at home or in one of the other levels of care. Nursing homes provide medically supervised care to residents that typically are either elderly, disabled, or chronically ill.There are times when nursing homes are used only temporarily to help an individual be rehabilitated from a crisis such as a fall or a stroke, until they are able to return to their previous living situation. Other times, residents require long term medical care with this level of support. Nursing care can also be used at times as a short term respite for someone in need of relief from caregiving responsibilities.

There are nursing & rehabilitation centers that specialize in certain types of care, and it is wise to do your research before committing to one. Medicare (short-term only), Medicaid, private payment, and long term care insurance are all methods of payment for nursing home care.

Continuing Care Retirement Community Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer various levels of care that allow an individual to enjoy an active retirement without all the responsibilities of home ownership. These also allow residents to make friends and stay in their community through the years while they age, requiring more supervision and medical attention.These communities generally have different levels of care all within the one campus. In a CCRC, it is not uncommon to find single-family homes, townhouses, apartments all on the same grounds as an ACLF and a nursing home.

Contracts vary in these types of communities, as well as the types of services that could be included in the various levels of care. Continuing Care Retirement Communities can become costly and may include a substantial entrance fee. Each resident is assessed to be sure they are placed properly into the community.

Geriatric Care Managers Care managers are typically registered nurses or licensed social workers with a great deal of knowledge and experience working with elderly patients. They are very familiar with diseases and health issues of the elderly, as well as services available to help them. A quality care manager is able to help assess and make recommendations for a geriatric individual, and do so while minding respect and dignity to that person. They work closely with family members, doctors and community agencies to help coordinate care for their patient.
Home Care Housekeeping – Assistance with shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc.In Home Nurse/Personal Care – Assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, getting up and down, grooming, medication management, and eating.

Respite Care – Provides a caregiver temporary relief from the responsibilities of caring for individuals with chronic physical or mental disabilities.

Ancillary Services – Equipment or services which are necessary for the health and safety of a person.

Adult Day Care Community centers provide respite to caregivers by offering health, therapeutic and social activities to elderly adults that would otherwise require supervision.

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