Where to begin?

son helping mom

You think it’s time, but you’re not sure… Mom fell last week in the bathroom and has been having more and more trouble getting around the house by herself.

You’ve had some conversations with her about that, and tried to make it easier for her to store and take her meds, find her glasses, remember her appointments & such.  Still you’re convinced it’s time for a change – perhaps we need to look for home health aide, or move her to a nursing home??   You agonize with the possibility of this because, although you want to, it’s not possible for you to be at her house every day to check up on her and keep her home easy for her to get around.

You’re a bit confused when it comes to knowing where to start the conversation with your parents about senior or elder living arrangements. Of if you even should…

Sound familiar?

Many of us had, or will have thoughts like that concerning a loved one.  All the data surrounding Elder Care & choosing the right senior community, nursing home, assisted living, or retirement community can be confusing and overwhelming.

We’re going to help sort it out over our next few posts.

1:  Let’s review a list of the Types of Communites.

The list below, taken from the National Association for Continence site,  gives a good overview of Community types and in general what they offer.  Note:  In various parts of the country, the “name” of the type may vary slightly.

TYPES OF FACILITIES (or Care Communities)

Congregate Living Facilities. Congregate living facilities provide older adults with needed services without sacrificing privacy or independence. Congregate living usually offers less supervision, a wider range of resident services, and greater independence and may include:

  • Private Apartments
  • Semi-private Apartment
  • Kitchens (in apartments)
  • Transportation
  • Activities
  • Central Dining

Retirement Inns. A retirement inn is usually large in that they can serve anywhere from 50 to 300+ senior citizens. These types of retirement inns are for persons who are alert, ambulatory, and independent and may include:

  • Private Apartments
  • Semi-private Apartments
  • Central Dining
  • Housekeeping Service
  • Activities
  • Transportation

Retirement Inns with Assisted Living. Retirement inns with assisted living are usually large in that they can serve anywhere from 50 to 300+ senior citizens. These types of retirement inns are for persons who require some assistance with their activities of daily living (ADL’s). For example, assistance with dressing, bathing, or medications. Retirement inss with assisted living may include:

  • Private Apartments
  • Semi-private Apartments
  • Central Dining
  • Housekeeping Service
  • Wellness Programs
  • Activities
  • Transportation
  • Assistance with ADL’s

Residential Care Homes for the Elderly. (RCFE, Board & Care) Board and care homes can be represented in different sizes. Smaller facilities (4 to 6 beds) are typically private homes that have been converted into a care facility. Larger homes are typically set up similar to retirement inns with assisted living and can be as large as 100+ beds.

  • 24-Hour Care and Supervision
  • 3 Nutritious Meals Daily
  • Transportation to Doctors
  • Activities
  • Monitoring and Dispensing of Medications
  • Assisted Bathing and Dressing
  • Management of Bowel and Bladder Incontinence

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Facilities. Alzheimer’s and dementia care facilities can be either small (4 to 6 beds) or large (100+ beds) facilities specifically designed to meet the challenges that arise in caring for a loved one affected with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Some of these facilities can also offer secured perimeters for those patients who tend to wander.

  • 24-Hour Care and Supervision
  • 3 Nutritious Meals Daily
  • Transportation to Doctors
  • Activities designed for people with memory impairment
  • Monitoring Dispensing of Medications
  • Assisted Bathing Dressing
  • Management of Bowel Bladder Incontinence

Intermediate Care Facility (ICF.) Intermediate care facilities provide care for patients who are not in need of skilled nursing care but need some personal nursing attention, medical aid, and a protective environment. They are required to have a nurse on staff 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

  • 24-Hour Care and Supervision
  • Nutritious Meals Daily (special diets available)
  • Transportation to Doctors
  • Activities
  • Monitoring and Dispensing of Medications
  • Assisted Bathing and Dressing
  • Management of Bowel & Bladder Incontinence
  • Nurse on Staff 24 hours per day

Skilled Nursing Facility. (SNF) Skilled nursing facilities are licensed by the Department of Health Services, and many are certified for Medicare and/or Medi-Cal reimbursement. Residents are usually convalescing from a serious illness or surgery and require continuous observation and/or rehabilitation. Skilled nursing facilities are required to have a nurse on staff 24 hours per day.

  • Rehabilitation Programs (e.g., speech, occupational and physical therapies)
  • Activities
  • Nursing Care
  • Wound Care
  • Hospice Care
  • Nutritional Meals Daily
  • Assisted Bathing and Dressing
  • Management of Bowel and Bladder Incontinence

 

In future posts we’ll talk about “what questions to ask” (both your family member and the care community) to help discover if a move from home to a community (or facility) is the correct move for you and your loved one.

Thanks for taking the time,

~R

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