Understanding Senior Living Options
What is a Residential Care Home?
Residential care homes (also called board and care homes) are traditional looking homes, typically nestled in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Seniors in a care home obtain services for all activities of daily living that they need including, bathing, dressing, incontinent care, transferring, feeding assistance, etc. Activities are catered to best fit the residents at the home. Most residential care homes have between 3 and 8 elders per home. Rooms may be private or shared.
Residential care refers to long-term care given to adults or children in a residential setting rather than the patient's home. People with disabilities, mental health problems, or learning difficulties are often cared for at home by paid or voluntary caregivers, such as family and friends, with additional support from home care agencies. However, if home-based care is not available or not appropriate for the individual, residential care may be required.
What is an Assisted Living Center?
An assisted living facility offers special housing for elders, as well as support services. These services usually include assistance with day-to-day activities, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and the like. Meals are often provided in a cafeteria-style atmosphere, and regular activities are scheduled for those residents who might like to attend. Very basic health care, such as reminders to take medication, might be offered. Most assisted living centers will have anywhere from 30 to 100+ residents.
Assisted living residences or assisted living facilities are housing facilities for people with disabilities. These facilities provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living; coordination of services by outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Assistance may include the administration or supervision of medication or personal care services provided by a trained staff person.
What is a Nursing Home?
A nursing home is also known as a skilled nursing facility, long-term care facilities, old people's homes, care homes, rest homes, convalescent homes, or convalescent care. Seniors in nursing homes receive assistance related to day-to-day activities, but they are also monitored by round-the-clock nursing staff. Patients in nursing homes often have chronic, medical conditions and require daily medical services, but not the acute care offered by a hospital.
What other terms should I be familiar with?
Senior care also known as elderly care or eldercare is the fulfillment of the special needs and requirements that are unique to senior citizens. This broad term encompasses such services as assisted living, adult daycare, long-term care, nursing homes, hospice care, and home care.
Activities of daily living (ADLs) refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both. Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person particularly in regards to people with disabilities and the elderly. The seven ADLs include bathing and grooming, dressing and undressing, meal preparation and feeding, functional transfers, safe restroom use, and maintaining continence, ambulation, and memory care and stimulation.
Home health is (also known as home care, domiciliary care, or social care) health care or supportive care provided in the patient's home by licensed healthcare professionals. It is often referred to as home health care or formal care. Often, the term home health care is used to distinguish it from non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel.
Hospice is a nursing home for the care of the dying or the incurably ill. It offers a type of care and a philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, or psychosocial in nature. Hospice care focuses on bringing comfort, self-respect, and tranquility to people in the final years of life.
Medical Power of Attorney also known as a healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to empower another person to make decisions about his or her medical care.
Residential care homes tend to cater to those with slight to moderate memory issues or those that require assistance with most of their activities of daily living. Because of the smaller number of seniors living together, the staff is able to develop and carry out a customized care plan for each resident.
If your loved one is determined to maintain their independence, and they have only minor issues of aging to contend with, an assisted living facility might be your best option.
If your elderly loved one has significant medical problems that require regular monitoring, or mental or emotional issues that need constant attention, a skilled nursing facility could be a good fit.