Data reveals that approximately 70% of all adults in the United States who will live to the age of 65 will require long-term care. Because many of these older adults do not require the full degree of care provided by nursing homes or have limited finances, it is important to realize that alternatives to nursing homes exist.
# 1 – Assisted Living
Assisted living facilities are often an excellent solution for elder individuals who want a mixture of both privacy as well as community interaction.
At these facilities, residents live in private apartments but are presented with the opportunity to engage in shared activities like meals and entertainment. Assisted living, however, is not appropriate for individuals who require consistent medical care.
# 2 – Continuing Care Retirement Communities
These communities can be an ideal option for elderly individuals who want to remain in the same community as their needs change. Many residents of these facilities transition from living independently to assisted living or skilled nursing.
Most elderly individuals in these facilities live independently but receive personal assistance with housekeeping, hygiene, and transportation. These facilities are often more costly than other senior care options, but the overall price for a facility can vary greatly.
# 3 – Home Care
Home care offers elderly individuals the opportunity to age in place and receive the care that they need while still staying at home. With a home care provider, the caretaker visits the elderly individual at his or her residence whenever they need care, which is often on a daily or weekly basis. Home care represents a variety of services.
Home care can include various things like assistance getting dressed, maintaining hygiene, moving around the house, cleaning, and transportation. While home care does not provide the same level of socialization and community interaction as assisted living, elderly individuals can still gain comfort from the caregiver’s companionship.
# 4 – Medicaid HBCS
Medicaid’s Home & Community-Based Services (BCS) Waivers provide various care services and non-medical support to Medicaid recipients. Much like PACE, HBCS exists to provide seniors and other population groups who require nursing home care with the opportunity to reside at home or with loved ones.
Applicants to the program must at least 65 years of age or disabled, financially qualified for Medicaid, and required assistance at least two Activities of Daily Living.
# 5 – Medicare PACE
Medicare’s Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides a combination of services to individuals who would otherwise reside in nursing homes. Members in PACE are allowed to continue residing at home or with loved ones while receiving moderate levels of long-term care.
Healthcare professionals work in combination with PACE participants to make that the recipients receive an appropriate level of care. Anyone with either Medicare or Medicaid who is 55 years of age or older who lives in the service area of a PACE organization, needs nursing home-level care, and can safely live in the community with help from PACE is eligible for the program.
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