Most seniors want to stay at home
and be as independent as possible for as long as possible.
These are the options most discussed as people age and need various degrees of help. Parents need to visit several facilities before they are convinced that "home is the only place to be". If they "age at home" a care plan will help decide how much help is needed and how it can be provided.
Most parents' choice is usually to stay home. A Geriatric Care Manager can coordinate it all. If you do it yourself consider: all private and public help available including meals on wheels; transportation help; adult day care; senior centers, hospice help (to get a day off); contractors who can make the home more senior friendly; and lots of gizmos (low tech, and high tech) to help. Learn the difference between home health care offering medical help and non medical home help care. See which companies are accredited for potential medicare reimbursement and whether there are licensing requirements in your state. If your own home will be their "stay at home" learn how to establish some rules for your family's sanity. Consider the degree of help needed for ADL's and IADL's and make a resource assessment list to help decide costs and who will help in each area.
Other Alternatives that Need to Be Explored:
Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCS)
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
“Nursing homes light”. No $$ help from Medicare. You are on your own unless you have long term care insurance. Most facilities require that you can physically move about on your own (get in and out of bed on your own). Know what they consider their “cut-off” point in terms of disability. If the level of care needed exceeds what can be provided in the selected assisted living facility, you have to move to a facility offering a higher level of care like a nursing home. Many different levels of services and contracts: A la Carte to full service. In California Community Care Licensing (CCL).
Most Nursing homes offer short-term rehabilitation programs and long-stay units. Nursing homes, unlike assisted living or other community settings, offer skilled care. Medicare pays for the initial episode of nursing-home rehabilitation services if the person has been discharged after a minimum three-day hospital admission. Compare nursing homes at the government site and check ratings but nothing compares with an actual visit. In California regulated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
Hospice can be a meaningful care option for individuals with chronic illnesses and for end-of-life care. Hospice care can be rendered in a care center or at home. Services can include nursing care, home health aides, spiritual support and pain management.
Products that support independence. High-tech devices as well as low tech. Can be helpful and also expensive. Can help coordinate care and promote home safety. Online health management and telemedicine. Home monitors and sensor systems home safety and day to day support. and on demand transportation and online restaurant delivery,
A Few Useful Sites
Sourcewise: locator for Santa Clara County CA.
California Department of Public Health
Regulates Nursing Homes
California Department of Social Services
Check up on Assisted Living violations
Family Care Giver Alliance State by state navigator for caregiver resources.
Meals on Wheels Find a local program by zip
Genworth AARP Ideas for family meetings and more.
AgingCare Caregiver forums and more
Eldercare.gov Assistance by zipcode
Caregiver Action Family caregiver toolbox.
Inside Elder Care Listings by subject and zip.
Caregiver List State Listing of Senior Services and Resources
Care.com Find companion care for non medical help
Adult Day Services National Adult Day Services Association
Village to Village Network Finding a Village Network like Avenidas
Assisted Living Locator Free locator
Assisted Living Federation Excellent locator based on zip
Nursing Home Compare from Medicare Excellent from the gov
Senior Advisor Excellent search by price
Senior Living Map Assisted living by zip
National Hospice Locator Every hospice in US
Find an Ombudsman
National Center for Assisted Living Assisted living regulations state by state
Next Step Help Guides and checklists
New Life Styles Extensive searches by zip
Age in Place
Cal Quality Care Best California sources
Seniorly Locator with maps and prices
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