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Senior Care 101: Understanding Options from Home Care to Memory Care

There’s never been a time when older adults have so many choices for senior care. In fact, the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming. It may cause seniors and their families to avoid deciding about senior living until they are in the midst of a crisis.

While it’s understandable, waiting until an older adult’s health and safety are at risk makes the process more stressful. When you are in an emergency, time may be limited. This can impact your ability to make an informed decision.

Exploring local senior care providers when you have time on your side can result in a plan that meets the needs of your loved one and the entire family. From home care to memory support, this quick overview is a great way to get started.

Exploring Senior Care Options for a Loved One

What is Home Care?

Home care, also referred to as in-home care or nonmedical home care, is a service that brings assistance right to the senior’s home. Professional caregivers are trained to help clients with light housekeeping, menu planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, in addition to personal care.

In terms of personal care, caregivers can assist clients with activities of daily living (ADLs), which include tasks like bathing, grooming, and dressing.

What is an Independent Living Community?

Independent living is designed with the more active senior in mind. This type of housing appeals to older adults who are looking for freedom from the burdens of home ownership, such as maintenance tasks, lawn care, and worries about appliance repair.

Most independent living communities also offer a variety of dining options. From a casual sandwich with a neighbor to a more formal dinner, residents are free to choose how and when they prefer to dine.

One of the best parts about moving to an independent living community is the freedom to pursue an active and engaged lifestyle. Many communities offer a rich and varied schedule of activities and events designed to meet most residents’ hobbies or interests. You can reconnect with a favorite pastime or tackle a new one that’s always been of interest.

What is an Assisted Living Community?

An assisted living community blends the independence of having a private apartment or suite with the assistance of professional caregivers always nearby. Unlike a nursing home that focuses on more complex medical needs, an assisted living community supports residents with their activities of daily living so they can be as independent as possible.

In addition to providing support with personal care (bathing, grooming, dressing), care team members assist with laundry, housekeeping, and medication management. Assisted living communities also offer well-balanced meals and snacks, often under the direction of a chef or nutritionist.

Like an independent living community, assisted living has a full calendar of events and activities for residents. They can choose how many and which ones to participate in. While there is never an obligation to join in activities, most residents find the social life is one of the most joyous parts of residing in an assisted living community.

What is Memory Care?

Memory care programs are for people who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Caregivers are trained to support the unique needs of adults living with memory loss. The goal of memory care is to enhance an individual’s abilities instead of focusing on their impairments.

These secure neighborhoods offer a safe and secure environment designed to address and prevent common risks, such as wandering, agitation, and fear. Memory care communities also offer a variety of meaningful life enrichment activities that allow residents with dementia to feel productive and empowered.

What is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes are for seniors and people with disabilities who need a higher level of medical care than they can receive at home or in an assisted living community. These facilities have skilled nurses on-site 24/7 to provide medical care to residents.

They typically have a variety of therapists available to perform physical, occupational, and speech therapy with residents. Some nursing homes also offer respiratory therapy services.

Many nursing homes also have a short-term rehab unit for adults to stay following a hospital stay for an illness, surgery, or injury. The goal of these programs is for the patient to receive rehabilitation and skilled nursing care until they are well enough to return to whatever setting they call home.

Take Our Senior Care Assessment

If you aren’t sure which of these options is appropriate for your aging loved one, we have a senior living assessment that can help. This quick interactive tool can match you with the level of care that is the best fit for your family member’s needs. Call the Clearwater community nearest you for more information.

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