List of Alternatives for Nursing Homes as a Part of Senior Health Care

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Health

As you grow older, performing day to day chores all by yourself becomes increasingly difficult and you need some kind of assistance to perform these activities. But most of the people do not want to move from their houses and get into the restriction of nursing home living despite their old age and diminishing physical abilities. But today it is possible to get a range of medical services and professional health care right at your home. You can also opt for community living where you will get a home accommodation just for yourself and continue to receive care and services amidst a residential setting.

As you opt for any other arrangement than a nursing home, you have to take into consideration the resource to be used to pay for the care. If you plan to use state funds---Medicare or Medicaid and so on--- to pay for the services, your choices are restricted to the state- licensed retirement homes only that accept Medicaid payment from the residents. 

Now when you are looking for any alternative to nursing homes you will come to find two broad types of homes: State licensed and non- State licensed.

State licensed homes can again be divided into two major types:

Adult Family Homes

Boarding Homes/Assisted Living

On the other hand, non- state licensed facilities also have two broad categories:

Retirement Communities/Independent Living

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

You can find an Adult Family Home in your neighborhood. These homes appoint the staffs who are responsible for the safety and well being of these elderly people.

Here the members get all kinds of basic services like a room, meals and laundry. In addition to that, additional assistance and supervision are provided as and when needed. You can also get occasional nursing care as and when necessary.

These homes licensed by the state often provide specialized care for people with various mental disabilities like dementia. These homes do not accept more than six members.

Boarding Homes are more popular as are "Assisted Living" facilities where cares are provided in a community setting. The safety and well-being of the senior is taken care by the staff.

In addition to meal and laundry, different other assistance and care are provided. These homes too provide nursing care where needed. Special cares are taken of the patients with various kinds of mental health issues.

This is also a state licensed arrangement and can accept seven or more residents.

These homes generally provide three levels of service packages.

Retirement communities and independent living facilities are nothing but a Housing Complex meant exclusively for the senior people in the age group of 55 years or above. The person applying for the membership in such a home must be healthy, as it is not the complete responsibility of the staff of the community to provide safety and wellbeing to the residents. However, any medical or personal care are offered by visiting nurses or a doctor associated with the home.

Planned retirement communities vary in their sizes from large-scale, single-family home establishments to smaller-scale, senior houses or apartments.

A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is another kind of residential community for seniors. The specialty of this arrangement is that it offers a range of housing options at various stages of old age. As for example, you may start with independent living to end in nursing home care. The basic objective is to provide the senior all the cares and facilities in a home set up. People most often move into such a community.

It is a part of long-term care plan that typically involves either an entry fee in addition to monthly service charges. Monthly charges vary as the needs for medical or personal care services increases.

Before entering into long-term care plan, you are advised to seek financial and legal advice as it is a life-long contract.