Back to Basics: An Overview of Senior Housing & Care Options

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 27 August 2012

Though there is no simple formula for selecting the best care option for a senior family member, it helps to be well-informed about the possibilities. No two care providers, communities and agencies are alike, of course, but an understanding of the basics is a good place to start:

Home CareHome care can be either medical or non-medical: caregivers can assist with bathing, dressing, household chores, cooking and bill-paying, or they can administer medications or IV therapy, monitor vital signs, and provide wound care, among other tasks.

Alzheimer’s Care — More than ever, special care focused on individuals with Alzheimer’s or other types of memory loss/cognitive impairments is available, either in a stand-alone facility or as part of a continuing care/assisted living community.

Assisted Living – This type of care is essentially an in-between: residents need varying levels of assistance here; most of the care is non-medical in nature.

Independent Living — From senior apartments to retirement complexes to active adult communities, this housing option offers engagement with peers, and independence with the option of turning over household and property maintenance to the community’s staff.

Nursing Homes — Though not as widely used given the other options available today, some seniors may still require the skilled services provided in a nursing home.

Read about other options, like hospice services or adult day centers, here.



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