The senior population is larger than ever. Over 8,000 people turn 85 every day. By 2025, there will be around 72 million seniors as the Baby Boomer generation ages. This is over 20% of the U.S. population. As this population group grows, the demand for senior caregivers will skyrocket, at different degrees of care. As a result, there are more options than ever to choose from in terms of senior care. Let’s review all the options, which have different levels of care, ranging from little assistance to full-time nursing.
Living at Home
Over 80% of seniors want to stay in their own home. As a result, this is the most popular living arrangement amongst seniors. Early in one’s senior years, it’s not too difficult for a senior to live at home alone, with a spouse, or another family member. This lifestyle isn’t very different from life before the senior years. However, as someone continues to age, there may be more care required. In the meantime, emergency alert devices are a handy option for a senior living on their own, so they can get help at the push of a button.
In-home care consists of a nurse visiting daily or living in the home with the senior(s). it is useful for a variety of scenarios, including:
- Companionship and social interaction with caregivers
- Assistance with mundane tasks such as paying bills, chores, shopping, and medication management.
- Hands-on care with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
There are additional programs such as ‘adult day care’ that provide transportation to and from community centers that provide social programs, meals, exercise, and more. This can serve as an occasional substitute for in-home care.
Independent living Communities
Independent living communities are planned housing developments designated for residents 55 and older. The living arrangements may consist of apartments, town homes, condos, or single-family houses. There are often planned activities, meetings, outings, and more.
This form of senior care allows great social interaction with a senior’s age group while also having medical assistance and security close by.
Assisted Living is a broad term, with different levels of care, living situation, and population size. In general, assisted living homes are designed for help with the activities of daily living. These facilities can range from small, specialized locations or larger communities with hundreds of residents.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing homes are generally the last places for seniors to receive care. They are a long-term care option, when a senior can no longer function adequately or perform basic tasks on their own. Nursing homes operate differently based on the needs of their residents, so here are some different aspects to consider when looking into a nursing home:
- Staff – When visiting a nursing home, take time to study the staff’s demeanor and interactions with residents. Are they friendly? Are registered nurses available on a full-time basis? Decide on certain questions you want answered before the visit, so you get all the information you need when you’re there.
- Safety – Ask the staff about safety procedures, and their results on recent federal or state inspections.
- Rooms – Look at the rooms carefully and evaluate whether they fit your loved one’s needs. Can personal belongings be safely stored in there, are the rooms kept up to a standard of cleanliness? Is there access to a TV, phone, etc.?
There’s a lot to consider when looking into senior care, and a lot of options to choose from. What you choose depends on budget, your loved one’s needs, and other personal preferences or constraints. Choosing the right senior care solution can be time consuming, but it’s worth it to your loved one.