Choosing the Right Adult Care Facility
Written by Jeff Meyer on March 20, 2015
There are many adult care options out there for elderly individuals who are lonely or need help with their daily care and activities. The amount of assistance a senior citizen needs will vary based on his own abilities, as well as his current mental and physical health. Choosing the correct adult care facility is an important decision. Before selecting a facility, individuals and their families need to consider many factors to make sure the elder is being properly taken care of.
Some of the options available for adult care are:
- Adult day care centers
- Assisted living facilities
- Nursing homes
- Home care, by a nurse or a family member
Types of Adult Care Facilities
The right senior housing option will depend on the senior’s medical conditions, lifestyle, and desires. Finding the right place can be a daunting task, and it will help to know a bit about which options are available and what to expect from each. Here are some of the most common alternatives:
Adult Day Care Centers
These centers function during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Adult day care centers are a perfect place for elderly individuals to socialize and be part of the many activities that these centers plan on a daily basis. During the hours the seniors spend at the center, their caregivers at home can take a well-deserved break and recharge batteries.
Adult day care centers provide nutritious meals and snacks, and can accommodate special diets based on the individual’s medical needs or conditions. According to HelpGuide.com, the number of senior citizens in adult day care centers surpasses 4,600 in the U.S.
The staff-to-resident ratio in adult day care centers is based on the medical conditions of the elders. However, that rate is close to 1 staff member for every 6 elders. The crew in these facilities often includes a social worker, a registered nurse, a director, an activity staff, and program assistants.
Assisted Living Facilities
For a long-term senior care option, many choose assisted living facilities or ALFs. Elderly people living in ALFs need minimal assistance and are able to perform many of their daily tasks on their own. Independence is encouraged, while staff members are available whenever needed.
Most ALFs provide nutritious meals, security and supervision, living areas, medication management, social activities, and nursing services. Assisted living facilities are normally regulated at the state level.
Nursing homes are the best option for elderly individuals who cannot be cared for at home but don’t need to be in a hospital either. Senior citizens with critical health conditions are good candidates to live in a nursing home, where nurses are available 24/7 to care for these patients.
Nursing homes are also called skilled nursing facilities and can have many different settings. Some nursing homes are design to be more like a hospital, while others are designed to be more like a home, for those who prefer a more relaxed environment.
Making the Decision
When confronted with the decision of which elderly care setting is right for you or a loved one, be sure to visit many of the different options and ask the right questions. Here are some of the questions to ask:
- Is transportation available?
- Is the facility licensed?
- How long has the facility been in business?
- What is the cost and does insurance cover any of it?
- What activities does the facility run and how regularly?
- Does the facility accept residents with my specific medical needs?
- What is the elder-to-staff ratio?
With due diligence, elderly individuals can find the best adult care facility to fit their specific needs and lifestyle. Do not be afraid to ask questions and visit the facility numerous times before making this important life decision.