Choosing a comfortable, caring senior living environment has never been easier. With so many options available, you and your loved one can decide what care facility is the right fit for their needs.
When to Choose a FacilitySometimes it’s easy to recognize when a parent or family member may require elderly care. They may have difficulty making meals or going out to buy groceries. Your loved one may forget little things, such as how or when to take their medicine. It may be as simple as recognizing a bad layout to their current home, such as long flights of stairs, slippery bathtubs or unsafe neighborhoods. As the little things add up, however, they can become increasingly unsafe and can all contribute to a good reason for a senior to seek out a better living environment.
How to Choose FacilityThe first thing to do is talk to your loved one. Find out what they want from a care facility. Would they like to be independent? Do they value their privacy? Are they seeking a more social environment? Give them plenty of options to help them make the right choice. Also keep in mind that in the state of Michigan, not all elderly care homes require licenses to be considered Assisted Living Facilities. This can cause limitations on the amount of care they can provide, from the amount of staff and their level of training, to their ability to offer complete resident assistance and provide three meals a day. Determining whether a facility is licensed is as easy as making a phone call to their office.
Types of Facilities Available
Independent Living FacilitiesBeing in an elderly living facility does not necessarily take away the feeling of home. Independent Living Facilities are complexes where seniors can mingle and enjoy group activities, but also enjoy the comfort of private, independent living. Seniors reside in apartment settings in communities of their peers. Your family member can enjoy social activities in a trusted, safe environment. Living on their own or in your home may not allow them to safely interact with other seniors, and can cause your loved one to become lonely or depressed. Costs for Independent Living Facilities usually run about the same as normal apartments or rental homes, and offer similar benefits such as lawn care, home maintenance and apartment management. Section 8 housing assistance may be available to seniors who qualify.
Assisted Living FacilitiesAssisted Living Facilities blend the active lifestyle of Independent Living Facilities with the availability of 24 hour care. If your elderly family member prefers to live independently, but has some trouble performing activities of daily living such as dietary or medication management and keeping up with regular grooming habits, you may want to consider an Assisted Living Facility. This type of facility offers the benefit of a trained care staff, while still encouraging residents to live as independently as their condition permits. Assisted Living Facilities, such as Ingham Regional Assisted Living, are perfect for seniors who are no longer safe to live at home. Staff can provide assistance with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring and medication management. Activity programs are in place to encourage interaction with others in the senior community and help to enrich the lives of their residents. “Keeping in mind that a move from one’s home is never easy, especially for the elderly, you want to make sure that any facility you choose is able to accommodate your loved one’s needs as they increase,” says Laurie Shepard of Ingham Regional Assisted Living The cost of Assisted Living Facilities depends on the area and the level of care needed. VA Aid and Attendance for wartime veterans and Long Term Care Insurance are two of the most common financial aids available for today’s assisted living residents. Although expensive, the benefits to seniors seeking active lifestyles more than make up for the costs.
Adult Day Programs and Nursing HomesAn Adult Day Program is an affordable way to ensure that your loved one can experience the comfort of home without sacrificing quality health care. During the day, seniors can participate in regulated activities, receiving assistance in controlled environments or even from home. Costs of these programs are generally low, and aid is available for low-income households. Seniors requiring continuous care from licensed professionals should consider searching for a quality nursing home. A nursing home is a great alternative to in-home care because you do not have to hire staff to come to your family member’s house. They receive the best care on a round-the-clock basis, and residents can still visit with family and guests. The most regulated of the care facilities, when your loved one enters a nursing home, you know that they will receive the best care possible. Nursing home costs can vary by location and the needs of the senior, but can typically be lowered through federally funded programs and insurance payments. Making the decision for your loved one’s care facility comes down to understanding options, learning about their needs and giving them choices. With so many comfortable alternatives available, it’s easy to make the right choice.
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.