– By George Shaw
Most individuals, if given the choice, would prefer to stay in their own home later in life – even as their needs for care progress. There are a number of different home health care options for those who wish to “age in place,” yet depending on the actual level of care that is required, this option can become quite costly – especially if assistance is needed around the clock.
Some of the issues to consider when making the decision to remain at home or move into a senior care facility include cost and location. Proximity to family and other loved ones is certainly a primary factor in making this decision – regardless of whether these individuals will be the actual caregivers.
Certainly, we all enjoy our independence. It is great to be able to do the things that we want to do when we choose to do them. But for some who are getting older, physical mobility and / or cognitive impairments may make it difficult to live an independent lifestyle without the assistance of others.
While in the past, seniors with physical or mental impairments had no other choice but to move to a skilled nursing home, today there are many types of living arrangement options that are available. These can include:
Retirement Communities – As the group of baby boomers who are retiring continues to increase, there are a number of new retirement communities being developed across the country. These living arrangements typically consist of apartments or condos for those who can live independently, and they oftentimes provide amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, and a myriad of planned social activities.
Assisted Care Living Facilities – Assisted care living facilities are ideal for those who can do most things independently, but they may need some assistance with basic daily activities such as bathing or dressing. These facilities typically consist of apartment type arrangements with a common eating area and planned activities.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities – Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs, are a relatively new type of living arrangement for seniors that consist of independent condos, assisted living quarters, and skilled nursing services, whereby the residents may move to different areas as their needs for care progress. These communities are ideal for seniors as they can stay in one area, even if they develop a need for additional assistance. These are also a great option for married couples as both individuals may reside in the same location, even if one needs a higher level of care.
In terms of expenses, in many cases, the cost of care in a facility or at home may be covered under a long-term care insurance policy. Today’s insurance plans have become quite flexible in their payment options for the many different care choices that are now available to seniors.