Your loved one may prefer to move into a community specifically designed around the needs of elderly people. These facilities provide different levels of assisted living, for elders who have difficulty with any of the activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, eating or using the bathroom.
Congregate and Board and Care Housing
Congregate housing complexes provide a private apartment, meals served in a group setting, and housekeeping services. These units also have social and educational activities and offer security and staff to keep an eye on your loved one. A board and care home is similar to congregate housing, except that the staff in the board and care facility pays closer attention to the residents (private rooms are not always available). Costs are typically higher in a board and care facility than a congregate housing facility.
Check to see what services are offered as well as the visitation policies. You will probably want to pick a location that is close enough for friends and family to visit.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) includes a town house or apartment, social and recreational facilities and most of the services the resident will need, including an on-site or nearby nursing home. Your loved one can move between independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care based on changing needs at each point in time.
The cost of living in a continuing care retirement community includes almost all living expenses including custodial care. These services are guaranteed for as long as the resident lives there (presumably for the rest of his or her life). These complexes are also called Life Care Communities.
The cost for a CCRC can be very high. The actual cost of a facility varies based on features and services offered and whether your loved one is single or moving in with a spouse or other partner. (A couple costs more, since it is conceivable that one spouse could be in the nursing home facility while the other is still in the apartment.)
The last resort in the care for a loved one is usually a nursing home when he or she has reached the point of needing around-the-clock skilled nursing care.
States certify nursing homes. There are rules in many states that prohibit people and companies from operating a nursing home if they have prior convictions for abuse. States also judge facilities on the level of training, health code compliance and general safety. Do not admit your loved one to a nursing home that is not certified by the state. Not only will it be potentially dangerous, but also most insurance companies (including Medicaid) will not pay for it. State regulations define the services that nursing homes can provide.
You should always visit a home before admitting a loved one.
Questions to Ask and Things to Look for in Selecting a Nursing Home *
* Compiled in part from information from Friends and Relatives of Institutionalized Aged, Inc. and the Consumer Reports Nursing Home Guide.
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