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What Are My Elder Care Options?

Serving Clients in the Gilbert, Arizona Area

What Are My Elder Care Options?
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The time to start researching elder care facilities, experts recommend, is before you need one. There are numerous options for elder care, and you don’t want to be caught flat-footed in the event of an unexpected health crisis. Those sudden situations can force you to make a quick decision without the knowledge to make an informed choice.

US News’ recent article entitled “Understanding the Different Elder Care Options,” says that there are several different types of long-term care facilities, including these:

Home-Based Care. Many elders would like to stay in their homes for as long as possible, which is super if they have enough support from adult children or other friends and relatives to help with their needs. If they don’t have this support network, they may need to hire a home care agency or an eldercare aide, which comes at a cost. Some states have a waiting list, and in many instances, the hours approved by Medicaid are insufficient for proper care. Medicare typically doesn’t cover home care at all. Therefore, you must pay out of pocket or with a long-term care insurance policy.

Home Health. This is another type of home-based care that includes skilled nursing care or a type of therapy, like physical or occupational therapy. Medicare Part A covers home health that involves skilled nursing or therapy care as part of a care plan. However, it doesn’t cover assistance with activities of daily living or homemaking services.

Assisted Living Facility. Assisted living facilities offer some assistance to residents in their activities of daily living. These facilities are an option for those who can still take care of themselves most of the time but could use some help with things like:

  • House cleaning and chores
  • Laundry
  • Making meals
  • Bathing
  • Medication management; and
  • Transportation to medical appointments or shopping.

A typical assisted living facility includes some support services in its basic agreements, with the resident given the option to sign up for additional services a la carte at an additional cost. Most facilities offer three meals daily, 24-hour security and recreational events within the facility or outings. An assisted living facility doesn’t offer and can’t provide more intensive medical or daily living care. A skilled nursing facility is a better option for those needing a higher level of care.

Skilled Nursing Facility. Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes, provide state-licensed higher-level care, especially medical care that an assisted living facility cannot deliver. A skilled nursing facility offers the same services for daily living that assisted living can provide, but they also have trained and registered nursing staff for:

  • Nursing care
  • Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Aid getting dressed or in and out of bed; and
  • Frequent or daily medical management for chronic conditions.

Some skilled nursing facilities also have specialized memory care units to house and care for patients who have dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Board and Care Homes. Board and care homes, the National Institute on Aging says, are sometimes known as residential care facilities or group homes. These comprise the largest market share of elderly care facilities and are similar to assisted living facilities. However, they’re smaller residences of 20 or fewer who live in private or shared rooms. They have staff available 24/7 to help with activities of daily living and usually include meals but not skilled nursing or medical care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Sometimes called life care communities, these are “full-service” communities that include most or all of the above elder care options in one location. Thus, seniors can “age in place” as their needs change.

To learn more about estate planning in the East Valley, Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek, schedule your free consultation with Attorney Jake Carlson by using one of the links above.

Reference: US News (January 27, 2023) “Understanding the Different Elder Care Options”