What Are The Alternatives to Nursing Homes ?

Kevin Wenke

Kevin Wenke

Owner at Decision Tree Financial. CFP. CLU

When people ask me about alternatives to nursing homes where long-term care services can be delivered to help seniors or people with disabilities they are happy to learn that there are different levels of long-term care available depending on the needs.

It is not all about moving into, and absorbing the cost of, a nursing home where ALL of that person’s needs are met because there are alternatives to nursing homes providing different environments to receive the appropriate care.

Nursing homes are important, but most people who need some level of long-term care services are not completely incapacitated, so a nursing home would be overkill. For example:

Assisted Living Facility

My grandmother moved into an Assisted Living Facility.  This was a place where she had the freedom to move around as much as she could and do the things she wanted to do.  She enjoyed cooking and had her own kitchen; she had her friends that she liked to visit with.

But if she needed help all that was needed was to ring a bell.  Help would come if the pain in her knees would not let her get up; or if she needed anything else… help was available.

Assisted Living Facilities are appropriate if the individual is mostly independent but needs a little help now and then.

Adult Day Care

Have ever known any kids that went to a daycare? You know, the place where the kids make macaroni art and finger painting masterpieces!

The kids are dropped of so that the parents can go to work and be productive through the day.  Then when it’s time to go home the kids don’t want to because they had fun all day!

It’s the same thing with Adult Daycare…instead, they are playing bridge, or canasta instead of finger painting.

Adult day care can provide family caregivers with a needed break, or freedom to work, while giving older adults a chance to socialize with peers and remedy the isolation and loneliness that many can experience.

Respite care

The YMCA near me has a program that runs from 9am-noon on Saturdays where parents can drop off their kids to use parts of the facility under supervision.  This gives parents three hours free over the weekend to handle adult chores without interruption.

Respite care is very similar in that it occasionally provides some time, often when emergencies happen, so that those emergencies can be taken care of.  These services can be delivered at home, or in a licensed facility.

Nursing Care at Home

When I was in college, I was a personal care aid for 14 months.  My “client” was a 35-year-old mom of a 9-year-old daughter.  The mom suffered from multiple sclerosis and while she lived at home she was far from independent.

I cooked and cleaned for her.  I made sure she took all of her medications and I kept her company — We must have watched the movie “GoodFellas” 35 times!

There are different levels of home care, but this generally refers to receiving help, personal or medical, in the person’s home.

The cost of all of these different long-term care services is related to the amount of care that is needed by the patient.  How to pay for these services is a completely different question! 

For more clarity on these payment options check out this link How to pay for Long-Term Care Services.

There is a lot to think about when planning for your future care.  To help you through these decisions, you can learn a lot more about preparing and planning for potential long-term care services and even download a free book entitled Long-Term Care Secret.

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