Long-term care often centers around nursing homes. They offer a lot of assistance for an aging loved one, giving the family peace of mind. It's often not realistic to assume that the family can offer this type of intensive care on their own, and the nursing home makes sure that the person is properly watched by professionals who understand elderly needs, degenerative brain diseases, medication distribution tactics and much more.
That said, a nursing home is not right for everyone. It's important to consider other options as well to find the ideal fit. Here are a few such options:
An assisted living facility
An assisted living facility is similar to a nursing home, but it does not offer such extensive care. It's for someone who should not necessarily live alone, but who still has a fairly high functioning level and minimal medical conditions. That person still gets some freedom to feel like they live independently, but they also get medication assistance, laundry and housekeeping services, access to three daily meals, help with showering and personal care, and much more.
With in-home care, the elderly person does get to stay at home, which many tend to prefer. The caregivers come to them. This can be expensive, but it gives them even more freedom and consistency in their living situation. In some cases, caregivers stay in the house 24 hours a day, but it's more common for them to come by for a set amount of hours every day. When an elderly person needs minimal care -- help running errands and cleaning up, for instance -- caregivers may just show up a few times a week. Every case is unique.
A balance between the two is a care home or a boarding home. This is typically far smaller than an assisted living center, with just around 20 elderly people living in the home, rather than more than 100. Residents often have their own private rooms. They get meals and social interaction, and staff members stay in the building 24 hours a day, but they don't offer medical care or direct nursing services. It's just to make daily living easier and safer.
Continuing care retirement communities
A continuing care retirement community, often called a CCRC, is one of the most flexible options. Some residents have independent homes and apartments within the community. Others have rooms that are essentially assisted living centers. Still others have direct medical and nursing care, like a nursing home. The specific plan is tailored for each individual's needs. As these needs change, they can adjust the plan within the same community.
Planning for the future
If you're working to do long-term care planning with an elderly loved one, make sure you carefully consider all of your options in White Plains, New York, and the steps you'll need to take.