Retirement is one of the many transitional phases in life that should be as hassle-free as possible. Unfortunately, determining the kind of retirement living that is most suitable for you or your loved one can be quite confusing. Many people are perplexed about what’s available and who is eligible for the different types of retirement living and services that are currently offered. Here’s a guide to help seniors, caregivers, adults with aging parents, and baby boomers make informed choices about these options.
Retirement communities are housing developments or apartments created specifically for adults 55 years and older. Residents should be healthy and active with a desire to rent or own their home in a safe environment designed to meet their social and recreational needs. Seniors can choose to live in a single home, condominium, town house, or apartment. Amenities vary but can include 24-hour emergency services, maintenance, beauty shops, on-site gyms, swimming pools, library, and social activities.
These residencies are age-restricted and offer housing for self-sufficient older adults who are interested in living with others of their own age. Independent living enables residents to experience “at home” living with the advantage of less household responsibility. Independent living also offers a more secure lifestyle, and greater opportunities for social contact. Most independent living residencies offer restaurant-style dining, transportation, home maintenance, and other amenities, which are usually included in fees. Small pets are also accepted.
Seniors who live in assisted living facilities are usually not ready for a nursing home but require some help with their daily routine. Assisted living facilities provide housing accommodations for older adults who have minor physical or mental challenges. These facilities provide help with everyday activities ranging from housekeeping and light meal preparation to personal care assistance. Transportation, emergency call systems, activity programs, laundry assistance, medication administration, and community stores are just some of the amenities that can be provided.
Nursing facilities provide 24-hour care for persons who do not need hospital care but cannot return home because of on-going health challenges. The quality of care that a resident receives in a nursing home varies and this makes it difficult to determine which one meets your expectations. To find out how a nursing home is performing, you can check with the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). The website is http://www.medicare.gov. The CMS site rates nursing homes according to staffing, quality measures, and health inspection results. Besides around-the-clock nursing care, most of these facilities offer physical, speech/occupational therapy, group activities, podiatry services, nutrition counseling, and emergency services.
Memory Care Facilities
Individuals with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairment illnesses can find help at memory care facilities. The accommodations at these facilities are designed to combine safety with a general sense of well- being which could include features like “strolling gardens”, walking paths, and trails. They also offer programs and group therapy that are specially designed for those with dementia-related illness. In addition, some memory care facilities are research driven designed for Alzheimer’s residents.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
These communities provide care for many levels of retirement living. This enables the elderly to move from one level to another without having to leave the retirement community. If you want a one-stop retirement community environment that offers independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care, the continuing care retirement community would be the perfect choice for you.
Adult Day Care Services
Day care for elderly or disabled adults can be a welcome respite for caregivers as well as a source of variety from routine activities. These centers provide activities and socialization for older or disabled adults. The services include therapeutic recreation, exercises, active games, crafts, art projects, intergenerational visits, health supervision, and lunch.
Home Health Care
Home health agencies offer part time and temporary specialized nursing care for those persons who want to remain at home during an illness. Home health care includes skilled nursing services, physical therapy, speech therapy, assistance with personal care, light housekeeping, companionship, and shopping.
The goal of hospice care is to enhance the quality of life at life’s end. It is for individuals who have been diagnosed with six months or less of remaining life and require comfort and pain relief rather than curative treatments. Patients receive nursing care in hospitals, hospice units, nursing homes, their own home, and inpatient hospice centers. Medical care is the primary consideration, but the physical, practical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of both the patient and family is also included. In addition, some facilities offer respite care and continuous care for emergencies or difficult times when extra medical attention is required. Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance companies offer coverage for hospice. Medical Equipment
Medical supply stores offer a large selection of traditional home equipment that can make life easier for the disabled, seniors, or anyone experiencing health challenges. Medical equipment can be purchased, leased, or rented. The equipment available includes modular ramps, lift chairs, ostomy supplies, bath safety products, hospital beds, wheelchairs, sleep apnea machines, and mobility accessories.