If your senior loved one needs practical support or medical care, you may wonder whether a nursing home is the best choice for your family member. However, you should also be aware of other options that allow aging adults to maintain independence while receiving the services they need.
These are the common care options available in the U.S. for individuals who need long-term care.
Paid home care
This option allows seniors to “age in place” while remaining in their own homes. The family can hire a home health aid to help a client with mobility issues, administer medications, change wound dressings and perform other simple care procedures. You may also consider a personal care aide to help with activities of daily living, such as grooming, dressing, bathing, paying bills, shopping for groceries, cleaning and preparing meals. If your loved one is adamant about living independently, paid home care providers can help make it safe for him or her to do so.
Adult day care
An adult day care facility is quite similar to a day care center for children. If you work full time and cannot care for your family member during the day, the staff at an adult day care facility can step in to fill the gaps. These programs often provide activities for the residents, as well as health care, therapy and meals. Medicaid may cover the cost of adult day care services for seniors who would otherwise require full-time home or nursing home care.
Adult foster care
This small-group assisted living arrangement provides a space for your family member in a foster care home for adults. These facilities typically have fewer than five residents along with paid live-in staff members who prepare meals, provide transportation, dispense medication and fulfill personal care needs.
When exploring care options for an aging loved one, careful planning can help ease the financial burden of these services. As Americans live longer than ever before, many families move beyond the nursing home model to find new solutions for their loved ones.