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Senior Housing 101: Helping you Navigate Senior Care Options

Thu, May 18, 2017 at 6:00PM

Senior Housing 101: Helping you Navigate Senior Care Options

 Are you starting to see warning signs that your senior parent should not be living alone? Do you visit their home and things seem a little off? Do you keep mental lists of strange behaviors you notice and start questioning whether your loved one needs more assistance than you can give? You may be hesitant to rush into something your parent may not yet need or want, but you don’t want to risk their safety and well-being. You are overwhelmed by all the options for senior housing, and the flood of information seems to have you barely treading water. Why is there not an instruction book for this? Can’t the senior care fairy godmother just appear and say, “Here are your options and this what will work best for your situation”?

Deep breath in… we are here to help! Here is a breakdown of the different senior housing options.


Adult Day Care
Adult Day Care Centers are designed to provide care and companionship for seniors who need assistance or supervision during the day. The program offers relief to family members or caregivers and allows them the freedom to go to work, handle personal business or just relax while knowing their relative is well cared for and safe. The goals of the programs are to delay or prevent institutionalization by providing alternative care, to enhance self-esteem and to encourage socialization. There are two types of adult day care: adult social day care and adult day health care. Adult social day care provides social activities, meals, recreation and some health-related services. Adult day health care offers more intensive health, therapeutic and social services for individuals with severe medical problems and those at risk of requiring nursing home care.


Independent Living Communities
Seniors who choose 55 and over communities in Volusia county enjoy a rich, secure and senior-oriented lifestyle while still enjoying the independence and freedom of a typical neighborhood. Residents live in private apartments or houses, all fully equipped. Most 55 and over communities provide maintenance and landscaping services, freeing residents from the worry of broken fixtures or tedious lawn care. This can provide peace of mind to seniors and their families alike.


Home Care Services
Home Care Services provide non-medical assistance to seniors while they live at home. Their goal is to provide whatever the senior and their family needs in order for them to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Caregivers can provide a broad range of daily living services including: housekeeping, bill paying, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation services, companionship, and personal care (bathing, dressing, hygiene). Assistance can range from once a week to 24 hours a day. The services are generally paid by long term care insurance, paid privately or sometimes covered under a VA or Medicaid waiver program.


Assisted Living
An Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is designed to provide personal care services in the least restrictive and most home-like environment. These facilities can range in size from one resident to several hundred and may offer a wide variety of personal and nursing services designed specifically to meet an individual's personal needs including assistance with activities of daily living (ADL's) ADL's include bathing, dressing, toileting, oral care, transferring, eating, medical care coordination, housekeeping and meal preparation.


Residential Home Care
Adult Family Care Homes are private residences that are licensed to provide housing, meals and personalized care services to persons who are unable to live independently. Unlike assisted living facilities AFCH's are owned and operated by licensed AFCH providers who live with the residents they serve. In addition, AFCH's are limited to a maximum of five (5) Residents. These homes are intended to be a less costly alternative to more restrictive, institutional settings for individuals who do not need 24 hour nursing care.


Nursing Home
Skilled Nursing Care Facilities, commonly referred to as Nursing Homes, are licensed healthcare facilities that are inspected and regulated by the states Department of Health Services. They offer short or long term care for individuals who need rehabilitation services or who suffer from serious or persistent health issues, such as Alzheimer's Disease, that are too complicated to be tended to at home or at an Assisted Living Facility.


Continuing Care
Continuing Care offers a tiered approach to the aging process, accommodating residents changing needs. Upon entering, healthy adults can reside independently in a single family home, apartment or condominium. When assistance with activities of daily living become necessary, they can move into Assisted Living or Nursing Care facilities located in the same premises. This gives older adults the option to live in one location for the duration of their life, with much of their future care already figured out. This can provide a great level of comfort to both your parents and you, taking much of the stress out of the caregiving relationship.


Memory Care
Memory Care environments are designated for those that need help with ADL's but who still want a level of independence. They provide a safe and secure place with professional staff that are trained to care for those with memory loss. These facilities are usually located as a separate wing of an Assisted Living community called special care units (SCU's). Memory care units have 24 hour support, private and semiprivate rooms, locked and alarmed premises to assure no one wanders off. Facilities will have common areas for meals, activities and socialization. Daily activities are planned that help residents with their memory.




Help with the Next Step
Volusia County offers many resources to help you take the next step. Plan Life Center is a local homecare consulting service that helps families evaluate their senior care options based on budget, care needs, and living preferences. They also help you understand funding options and offer free in-home care assessments. /Plan-Life-Care-Care---3-10-6504.html

 Stayed tuned to the County Health Care Guide Blog to learn more about assisted-living, senior care, senior placement, and important senior news in Volusia County. From Daytona to Port Orange to New Smyrna Beach, the County Health Care Guide is the only resource you need.

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