It can be difficult choosing between personal and professional care. Providing care to an elder dependent can feel like a full-time job, but professional care can feel impersonal and be costly. Before you decide, it’s helpful to consider what type is suitable for your financial and medical situation and to know the difference between all your options for professional care.
- Assisted Living Facility – An alternative form of residence that provides assistance for six basic activities of daily living, along with health care, transportation, housekeeping, laundry and sometimes recreational activities. Licensing requirements for assisted living facilities vary by state.
- Nursing Home – The most extensive elder care received outside of a hospital. Nursing homes are best suited to those who require daily medical care. This type of care includes skilled medical services from a registered nurse, licensed nurses and nursing assistants.
- Home Health Aid – Elder care received in your own residence from a trained and certified health care worker who provides assistance with personal care and custodial duties and monitors your health.
- Adult Day Health Care – A nonresidential daytime facility that supports activities of daily living and provides recreational activities and social interaction, as well as health services from a medical assistant or nurse when needed.
Many seniors prefer to stay in their own homes as they age. One way to more easily maintain independence in the comfort of your own home is to complete a home renovation that accommodates the physical challenges that can make it difficult to get around the house.
A typical remodel for senior living includes:
- Widening doorways – Doorways less than 32 inches wide will be too narrow to fit most wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
- Installing lever door handles – Levers are easier to grip and unlike doorknobs don’t require twisting to open the door, which is helpful for those who have a medical condition that limits range of motion.
- Adding grab bars to bathrooms – These heavy-duty handle bars can be affixed to walls, giving a person something to grab onto while stepping into or standing in showers and tubs.
- Replace flooring – Reduce the likelihood for trips and slips by replacing tile and hard stone floors with materials that are softer and slip-resistant, such as carpeting, vinyl or linoleum.
Elder Care Resources
The following national organizations and government agencies provide more information and resources that can help you determine which elder care options are available in your state and best suit your needs and finances.
Administration on Aging
National Care Planning Council
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
State Agencies for the Aging
American Association of Retired Persons
Aging Life Care Association
The National Alliance for Caregiving
Caregiver Action Network
Supplemental Security Income
Area Agencies on Aging
The Department of Veterans Affairs
FDA Tips for Seniors