I’ve written about this topic before, but since I’ve recently received an influx of questions about the care options that are available for our elders and disabled, I am presenting it again. There are many misconceptions and, as such, families and those in charge of the care of loved ones are consistently confused and frustrated.
I recently connected with Ann Quinn, the head of Community Outreach for the Assisted Living Research Institute, www.assistedliving.org. She concurred that the aging adult population is rapidly growing in the U.S., and so is the need for appropriate housing. Assisted living communities are well equipped to help residents manage daily living activities, and they empower seniors to thrive, boosting their physical, mental, and social well-being.
Choosing the best facility, however, can be time-consuming and overwhelming for seniors and their loved ones. Their resources help aging adults and their families explore available communities, costs, and payment options.
You can view their resources here:
Aging In Place and In-Home Care
Most of our aging and disabled populations want to stay in the comfort of their own homes as long as possible. It can be terribly upsetting to have to move into a retirement or long-term care facility. The professionals at the Assisted Living Research Institute are experts in these matters. I encourage you to visit their website www.assistedliving.org to get your questions answered.
In addition to assisted living communities, following is a list of the types of facilities available depending on the person’s needs:
- Independent Living Communities
- Continuing-Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
- Care Homes
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Memory Care Facilities (Alzheimer’s Care Facilities)
Aging in place is the option most people prefer if they only need minor assistance with their daily activities, are able to enjoy a close network of family and friends nearby, and can utilize the right home care services to cover their needs.
By exploring the range of services available, they can decide if aging in place is the best way for them to maintain their independence and make the most of their golden years. Staying home is what I would want for my own care should the situation arise. It’s where I feel most comfortable and independent. One of the biggest arguments older adults have when they’re considering care is that they’ll lose control over their lives if they don’t stay home. It’s a legitimate argument and a real concern, although hard to accept.
How Home Care Services Can Help You Age in Place
While it may be hard to accept, most of us will require some type of care assistance after the age of 65. You may be used to handling everything yourself, dividing up duties with your spouse, or relying on family members for minor help around the home. But as you get older and your circumstances change, getting around and taking care of yourself can become more and more difficult. If the idea of moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility, or nursing home doesn’t appeal, home care services may be able to help keep you living in your own home for longer.
Home care services include:
Household maintenance. Keeping a household running smoothly takes a lot of work. If you’re finding it hard to keep up, you can look into laundry, shopping, gardening, housekeeping, and handyman services. If you’re having trouble staying on top of bills and appointments, financial and healthcare management may also be helpful.
Transportation. Transportation is a key issue for older adults. Maybe you’re finding it hard to drive, or don’t like to drive at night. Having access to trains, buses, rideshare apps, reduced fare taxis, and senior transportation services can help prolong your independence and maintain your social network.
Home modifications. If your mobility is becoming limited, home modifications can go a long way towards keeping your existing residence comfortable and accessible. Modifications can include things such as grab bars in the shower, ramps to avoid or minimize the use of stairs, or even installing a new bathroom on the ground floor.
Personal care. Help with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, or meal preparation, is called personal or custodial care. Home health aides can provide personal care services that range from a few hours a day to around-the-clock live-in care. They may also provide limited assistance with things such as taking blood pressure or offering medication reminders. Costs vary, but average between $28 and $35 per hour.
Health care. Some healthcare services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers, or home health nurses. Check with your insurance or health service to see what kind of coverage is available, although you may have to cover some cost out of pocket. Hospice Care can also be provided at home. (See prior newsletter about Hospice Care).
Medicare Part A covers hospice care and some home health care. Part B also covers some medically necessary home health benefits such as physical therapy, part time or intermittent skilled nursing care, occupational therapy and more. I’m happy to get answers to your questions. What it doesn’t cover is ongoing home care as defined earlier. A terrific reference guide to help you learn more is called “Medicare and You.” The 2021 issue is available online for download. It comes out every year with updated information and is my personal Medicare bible.
The Council on Aging, Southern California, is another organization whose information I couldn’t live without. If you want to know where you can get non-medical homecare, legal and financial advice, adult daycare, transportation services, counseling and support services, contact the Council on Aging, Southern California. They have the answers. You can reach them at 714-479-0107 or visit their website at www.coasc.org. You can find their “ANSWERS” guide printed annually online, in libraries, senior centers and other locations throughout Orange County.
Other organizations dedicated to help us age well are the National Aging in Place Council, NAIPC@ageinplace.org; the National Council on Aging, (https://www.ncoa.org/professionals/health/aging-mastery); AARP.org; and The Assisted Living Research Institute, www.assistedliving.org. You’ll find links to the latter’s services at the beginning of this newsletter. Call them at 1(855) 221-9611.
I hope you found Part 2 of Care Options for Our Loved Ones helpful. By the way, if you have a topic that interests you and you want me to research it and write about it, let me know. In the meantime, you can see all the past newsletters/blogs on my website at www.martelinsurance.com. See you next month.
This month’s quote: “Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters.” ~ Amy Leigh Mercree
In support of you,
To learn more about all things Medicare, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-677-7631.