When It Comes to Long-Term Care, You’ve Got Options

When you think about “long-term care” what do you think of? For most people, the first thought that comes to mind is a nursing home. We’re not here to tell you you’re wrong – nursing homes are certainly one option. But they’re certainly not the only option and the term is often used to cover several types of care.

November is Long-term Care Awareness Month. This month is a great opportunity to learn more about the several long-term care options available for those of us who are aging or for our loved ones who need care.

We want to dive into options including home care, independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, memory care units, and continuing care retirement communities. Each of these options may be viable depending on the circumstances and need.

Home Care

Home care is a great option for a loved one who may not have extensive needs but still needs some level of assistance and supervision. This can involve a few different scenarios including moving in with a family member or having a family member move in with the loved one in need. It can also involve having a professional who frequently comes by the home to aid in daily and long-term needs. There are also organizations that have professionals who will welcome people in need into their homes for care.

Each of these options fulfills the same goal of providing assistance and access without restricting the lives of people who are aging. Anyone in these settings will generally be free to come and go as they please and live a life as normal as they can in their current state. This can be a much cheaper option than some of the other long-term care options we’re looking at.

Independent Living Facilities

Independent living facilities serve a similar purpose as home care but in a more centralized location. In these facilities, many people will move into the “campus” where all emergency care and resources will be nearby. This care won’t be automatically provided but instead is present in case a resident needs it.

These facilities will be the best option if a loved one either doesn’t have any family around or doesn’t have any family that is capable of taking them in/moving in with them to provide day-to-day care. These facilities still provide freedom to residents while ensuring they have care when needed. The downside here is that this can be expensive and there aren’t many regulations on independent living facilities.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities provide similar freedom to the options above with a caveat: medical care won’t be readily available in the facility. As the name implies, these facilities assist residents with daily activities that they are no longer able to do on their own. This can include cooking, cleaning, going to the bathroom, and bathing.

These options can help loved ones who aren’t necessarily medically challenged but do need help getting through the day. Staff at assisted living facilities aren’t as big as other facilities because medical care won’t be available and will be “outsourced” to nearby healthcare providers.

Memory Care Units

Memory care units are for the times our loved ones start to lose a grasp on their reality. Memory loss is present in about 40% of Americans 65 and older. A common misconception is that people who suffer from memory loss can no longer control their own day-to-day lives. It’s important to understand that many people who suffer from memory loss are actually capable of maintaining healthy habits and taking care of themselves – they just may not exactly know who they are or where they are.

If you have a loved one who has quickly lost their memory but is still healthy enough to mostly take care of themselves then these units are a good option. Staff sizes are much larger than in assisted living facilities and the staff will be there for the moments when their memory battle gets the most of them.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities fulfill the full definition of “long-term care.” These facilities provide an overall wellness benefit through each stage of aging. Some people end up bouncing around from facility to facility during the aging process but this provides them with one stable facility to remain at.

These are notoriously expensive because of the numerous care and activity options that are available. One of the keys to making aging a better experience will be stability which these provide more so than any other long-term care option.

At Elder Advisors Law, we understand the many different types of long-term care options that may be best for your family. We will help your family protect generations and preserve the dignity everyone is owed as a human. Contact our team and let’s make sure your family is in the right hands.

The following two tabs change content below.

Elder Advisors Law

As Leaders in Estate Planning and Elder Law, we are passionate about helping families protect their hard-earned assets from the government, nursing homes, lawsuits or other predators.

Latest posts by Elder Advisors Law (see all)