The type of Eldercare will depend on a variety of factors. As we age, our needs change. Whether it is the ability to manage one’s home or a health condition that interfers with daily living. A needs assessment includes 1) The capability both physically and mentally to handle activities of daily living 2) Evaluation of the current living environment and 3) Status of personal finances.
Quite often adult children or other family members are unprepared for a crisis or series of events that impact the life of an aging adult. An imminent crisis or series of events can include falls, adverse reaction to medication, over medication, acute confusion and/or disorientation, or an acute medical event such as a stroke or heart attack. These events are followed by an emergency room visit, hospitalization or a physician’s appointment which typically result in the first of many recommendations for some type of Eldercare.
A nursing home is a place for people who don’t need to be in a hospital but can’t be cared for at home. Most nursing homes have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day.
Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as physical, speech and occupational therapy. There might be a nurses’s station on each floor. Other nursing homes try to be more like home. They try to have a neighborhood feel. Often, they don’t have a fixed day-to-day schedule, and kitchens might be open to residents. Staff members are encouraged to develop relationships with residents.
Some nursing homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. Some will let couples live together. Nursing homes are not only for the elderly, but for anyone who requires 24-hour care.
Alzheimer’s special care units, or SCUs, are the most intensive care options for people suffering from severe memory loss. Some SCUs comprise entire floors of hospitals or nursing homes, or they may stand alone as their own private facilities. These healthcare facilities are built with secured entrances and walkways where patients can walk without getting lost. Outdoor walking and sitting areas are spacious and enclosed. Indoor hallways are often built in circular patters so patients can walk without hitting dead ends, which can cause frustration and sadness in people with dementia. Patients with memory loss receive treatment according to the severity of their conditions. Many patients require assistance with daily activities such as cleaning, cooking and bathing. Others may require counseling or therapy. These facilities provide staff at all hours of the day and night who can respond to the unique needs of their residents.
Small residential board and care homes offer asssisted living services in a smaller home like setting. They are well suited for residents who do not want to live in a larger community setting but still require a level of assistance similar to that offered by an assisted living facility or a nursing home. The staff in a residential care home may assist with medications, help residents bathe, get dressed and perform many other daily tasks or activities of daily living. Because of the homes' intimate settings, owners can often specialize in particular resident needs such as diabetes care, memory care, residents with special diets, residents who speak a particular language (Japanese or Spanish for example), residents of a particular religion or cultural background, as well as other needs.
Large assisted living communities 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.
Retirement communities typically are large planned communities that restrict occupants to those 55 or older and are designed for independent seniors with few medical problems. These communities cater to younger seniors through a wide variety of activities especially physically with pools, golfcourses, tennis courts, etc.
Retirement or senior apartments are similar to apartment units in general except they may include common areas for socializing. Most of these communities provide one or two meals each day for residents and access to private or common kitchen facilities for other meals.