Adult day care programs provide care and companionship to older adults who need supervision or assistance during the day. Centers may focus on certain areas or types of care like social, medical, or memory care.
An Aging-in-Place community (also referred to as a Continuum of Care Retirement Community or CCRC) offers several levels of care on one campus. A resident could move into an area for retirement or assisted living, then utilize higher levels of care when needed.
Assisted Living serves those who need help with the activities of daily life and some health services. Daily meals and 24-hour supervision are provided while other levels of care may be available depending on your state of residence. These additional levels of care may include medication reminders or administration, transportation, and personal grooming.
Home Health Care (medical) is a licensed level of care that provides nursing care and personal care, and requires a doctor’s prescription. Non-medical home care providers can assist with medication reminders, provide limited personal care, prepare light meals and tidy homes, and may offer transportation or errand services.
Hospice is for people with a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice services are not curative, but provide relief of pain and other symptoms associated with the patient’s terminal illness and related conditions. It may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance plans.
Independent Living, also called Retirement Living, is for those who can manage daily life without help. Special services are provided, such as meals in a central dining area. Most people drive, but some transportation is usually offered. These communities offer no health care services and are not required to be licensed or certified.
Memory Care units or communities provide medical service at different levels, from assisted living to the skilled care of nursing/rehab. Some accept Alzheimer’s or dementia patients into their general areas, and others have separate units designed to meet the specific needs of patients with this disease.
Nursing and Rehab communities provide a wide range of care including post acute care (for patients recently released from hospital), inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, and long-term supportive care. Be sure to ask about the specific services you or your loved one require as well as for what period of time.
Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, like cancer or heart failure. Patients may receive medical care for their symptoms along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person’s quality of life and that of their family.
Personal Care offers residents minimal assistance for bathing, grooming, toileting, and dressing. The resident must be able to move around (even if in a wheelchair or scooter). Some health care is provided and medications are given. These communities are licensed.
Respite Care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. Respite care can range from a few hours to several days or weeks, and it can be provided in a number of different settings, such as adult day care facilities, in-home care, assisted living, or skilled nursing levels.
These residences are age-restricted, usually 55+, and may have features or amenities focused on older adults. While there are luxury options, many are priced at market rate or below, with some being designated as affordable housing. While similar to Independent Living, senior apartments do not include amenities such as meal service or housekeeping.