There are so many options for long-term care that it's overwhelming to even begin examining them – whether you're planning for yourself or for a loved one in your care. Each type of long-term care offers a different level of service, with varying amenities. Some levels of service overlap from one type of care to the next, making it more difficult to delineate. Some facilities offer graduated levels of service. For example, residents in some communities start out in independent senior living, transfer to assisted living when they need more help, and finally live in a skilled nursing facility that is part of the same organization.
Understanding different levels of care – whether in the home or in a facility - and of course, the cost of each will help you prepare for the future.
To help clarify the various levels of long term care, the following summary of long term care options outlines each type of care, what services it offers, and the cost. Cost information is based on the 2017 Genworth Survey, which has been considered the foundation of long-term care cost information since 2004.
Home Health Care - Home health care allows older people to remain independent in their own homes while receiving the assistance they need with activities of daily living. Typically, home care caregivers help with bathing, dressing and meal preparation. They may also help with activities such as transportation, paying bills, making appointments and simply being there to provide companionship and emotional support. Monthly cost in 2017 was $4200.
Adult Day Health Care – Also called Adult Day Care, provides care, meals, activities, a social outlet and some transportation, so that family caregivers can leave the home without the worry of leaving the older person alone. While Adult Day Care is a useful service for informal caregivers and less costly than other options, it is not as popular as assisted living or home health care. Monthly cost was $1350.
Assisted Living Facility - Assisted living communities provide housing and care to seniors who may need some assistance with daily tasks but who do not require the skilled care provided at a nursing home. Assistance with medications, activities of daily living, meals and housekeeping are routinely provided. Residents live in private apartments that frequently feature kitchenettes. Staff is available 24 hours per day, activities and entertainment opportunities are plentiful and transportation to appointments is available. A special area for memory care is available in some, but not all communities. Monthly cost in 2017 was $3500.
Nursing Home Care – Nursing homes provide not 24-hour assistance with activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, cooking and housekeeping, but also intensive, long-term medical care to seniors with serious health conditions in a fully staffed and monitored facility. Other names for nursing homes are "skilled nursing facilities" and "convalescent homes". The typical monthly cost for a nursing home in 2017 was $10,000.
While circumstances ofter require seniors to leave their home and live in an assisted living facility or nursing home, there are many benefits to staying in the home as long as possible – important elements which impact physical and mental health, including familiarity with surroundings, comfort, independence and happiness.
Sources: https://www.genworth.com/about-us/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html; http://www.advocatesathome.com/advantages-of-aging-in-place/
About Home Instead Senior Care
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