HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - If you're helping a loved one decide where the spend the next phase of their life - either in a nursing home, an assisted, or independent living facility - you know choices can be difficult.
It helps to know what to expect from different types of facilities.
Nursing homes provide 24 hour care for those who need around-the-clock assistance. They may also provide rehabilitative care on a short-term basis for patients who intend to return to their own homes following surgery or hospital stays.
Long term patients in nursing homes generally rely on assistance for most or all of the activities of daily living. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. These facilities are State licensed. They are also called Nursing Homes, Convalescent Homes, or Skilled Care Facilities.
Assisted living facilities offer a combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs of those who need some help, but not constant care.
Services typically provided in assisted living residences include three meals a day served in a common dining area, housekeeping and laundry service, social and recreational activities, assistance (if needed) with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and walking, medication management, exercise and wellness programs, ready access to health and medical services, transportation, and around-the-clock access to staff as well as emergency and security personnel.
Independent living facilities offer a residential environment that may or may not provide hospitality or supportive care - although most do provide some level of service. Under this type of living arrangement, residents lead an independent lifestyle that requires minimal or no assistance. Most facilities do provide a social network of activities and programs for residents.
Continuum of care facilities offer several levels of assistance - including independent living, assisted living and nursing home care - along with the services and programs to support each type of resident, regardless of their level of need.
In helping to choose the right type of facility for your loved one, it's important you demonstrate support and help them adjust to their new services or living in a new setting. Be sure to include the person you are helping when making decisions whenever possible. Always make decisions with their needs and preferences in mind.