This is the time of year when we in America celebrate our independence.
Our country’s declaration of independence from Britain in 1776 was the idea to become independent from the “world superpower” of that time. Our forefathers fought and won against overwhelming odds. Today, many of the “Great Generation” of senior adults are in a battle to remain independent and in their homes. Many have lived in that home for decades and the thought of having to leave it can be an emotional battle seeming fought against overwhelming odds. This article is a tool to perhaps help families engage in conversations that might help determine if a change in lifestyle is needed.
There are basically 7 options for senior living today and this article will briefly explain them.
Aging in Place (in their home or a family member’s home)
In a recent survey conducted by AARP nearly 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible, and 80 percent believe their current residence is where they will always live. However, for aging seniors to age in place their physical, financial, and care environments must be accommodating. A quote by Robyn Stone, (Executive director of the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research) puts it this way: “Most people are doing that until they aren’t doing it … it’s only when they reach either a crisis or a change in their condition or functional status, or in many times, the family support that they can no longer remain in their homes.” Such a crisis or change often happens after the age of 85. A home that lacks bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms on the first floor for example is just one of several barriers to aging in place. There are options to help finance home modifications such as a second mortgage or a reverse mortgage, but for low-income households and even many middle-income households paying to age in place is a serious challenge.
The Village Concept
The Village movement is a nationwide network of non-profit membership organizations. Members pay a fee for access to and help with local services including transportation, handyman services, help with household tasks, and organized social activities. On average it costs about $50/month or $600/year. A Village works just like a concierge service. A member needing a service would be connected to Village members who donate their time or volunteers who are vetted and trained. The Village concept is not yet widely available and many communities and would require a strong commitment of support from many businesses and services to be successful. Hopefully, it can be developed in many areas of the country.
This is defined as any housing designed exclusively for seniors, usually retirement communities, retirement homes, senior housing, and senior apartments. In general, the housing is compact, easy to navigate, and includes help with outdoor maintenance. The cost is medium to high depending on the location and services offered. Average costs range from $1500 to $10,000/month.
Residential Home Care
These are small facilities that offer personalized service to small groups of senior adults. They are often known as family homes, board and care homes, or personal care homes. They provide lodging, meal services, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). These can often be half the cost of nursing homes but again, are not widely available in all communities.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
These communities are part independent living, part assisted living and part skilled nursing facility. Residents can start out in the independent living section and move to different parts of the community as they need increasing levels of care. The cost of this option is high. CCRCs are the most expensive of all long-term care options.
Assisted Living Community
These communities consist of small apartments where older adults can live somewhat independently but require some assistance. Typical services include a staff available 24 hours a day, meals, medication management, bathing, dressing, housekeeping, and transportation. Again, costs are high and vary according to the level of daily help required and type of living space needed.
Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility
This option is for older adults who need 24-hour supervised care with medications, activities, and overall health management. This facility is to care for those adults with debilitating physical or mental illness and are unable to care for themselves. A licensed physician supervises each resident’s care and a nurse or other medical professional is always on the premises. Costs are high and are according to the level of daily help required.
At Around the Clock Medical Alarms, we remain committed to assisting families to keep their loved ones in their homes for as long as possible. When it becomes time for a change in their living condition, we are able to assist them in Independent and Community Living Facilities where “pull cords” are the method of obtaining help. Often, they need help in areas of the apartment or home where the cords are not accessible. Our subscribers are able to get help in any living area and often coverage for the entire campus. We stand ready to help families fight for their ability to remain independent for as long as possible by getting them the help they need at the touch of a button.
No matter where you live, a medic alert system can help to maintain your independence and safety! If you have questions about a PERS device, feel free to give us a call at 573-334-7233.
Article contributed by Les Tainter, Area Manager, Around the Clock Medical Alarms.