Instead of looking for an independent living facility when a health crisis hits, begin your search early when you have time to consider your options. According to the CDC, there are approximately 16,150 nursing homes in the United States, so researching assisted living facilities is of the utmost importance. When researching facilities, consider the costs and your budget, licensing and accreditation, medical services needed, features needed, and facilities in your area. Even though it can be emotionally stressful to admit a loved one to a nursing home or independent living facility, researching a high-quality facility will ease the anxiety of everyone involved.
When you are researching independent living or nursing home facilities, do they offer quality care?
Make sure every facility you consider for your loved one is state licensed and accredited by outside agencies and found to provide quality and compassionate care to their residents. Also, ask for recommendations of nursing care homes or independent living facilities from friends and neighbors who have been through a similar process with their family members.
Keep in mind your budget as you research long term care facilities
There are many excellent care facilities that offer the type of care you or your loved one need that will fit the budget you have available. If your loved one has money set aside for long term care, you will want to take into consideration how to make the best use of that money in your choice of care facility. Also, financial aid is available for veterans who are in need of services that nursing homes or other care facilities provide. Medicare will cover nursing home costs under certain requirements so include this as part of your financial research.
Three Types of Long-Term Care
- Skilled Nursing Facility or Nursing Homes – provide 24-hour medical care by nurses, doctors, and nursing assistants to those with illnesses or mental conditions. Staff organizes the facility?s ?extracurricular? activities such as art classes, music performances, social interactions, and holiday celebrations. Typically, those seeking the assistance of a nursing home are the elderly, disabled, and terminally ill; however, they are not only for the elderly but anyone that requires 24-hour care.
- Memory Care Communities or Facilities – Specializes in providing care to aging adults with Alzheimer?s, dementia, and other cognitive issues. Approximately 42% of nursing home patients suffer from some form of dementia and Alzheimer?s disease is a common reason patients are admitted into a nursing home. Staff members are trained to help with communication and also help residents manage dementia symptoms like sundown syndrome, wandering, or combativeness. Memory Care Facilities are sometimes housed in larger nursing homes or other facilities.
Residential Care and Assisted Living Communities – offer varying levels of care for seniors who are still living independently, all the way to those who need 24-hour care or supervision. These are more suitable for those who need help with daily tasks like dressing, bathing, and moving around, rather than those with serious illness or medical issues. Offer older adults with limited care needs a simplified lifestyle with amenities like fitness programs, laundry, and housekeeping.
Looking for the perfect place for your loved one when the health need arises is never easy, especially when you are no longer able to provide the care they need. Involve all family members in your research and the final choice of an independent living facility to make the transition an easier one for your loved one.