HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - If you're helping a loved one decide where the spend the nextphase of their life - either in a nursing home, an assisted, orindependent living facility - you know choices can bedifficult.
It helps to know what to expect from different types offacilities.
Nursing homes provide 24 hour care for those whoneed around-the-clock assistance. They may also providerehabilitative care on a short-term basis for patients who intendto return to their own homes following surgery or hospitalstays.
Long term patients in nursing homes generally rely on assistancefor most or all of the activities of daily living. Regular medicalsupervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to beavailable, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in theMedicaid program. These facilities are State licensed. They arealso called Nursing Homes, Convalescent Homes, or Skilled CareFacilities.
Assisted living facilities offer a combination ofhousing, personalized supportive services and health care designedto meet the needs of those who need some help, but not constantcare.
Services typically provided in assisted living residencesinclude three meals a day served in a common dining area,housekeeping and laundry service, social and recreationalactivities, assistance (if needed) with eating, bathing, dressing,toileting, and walking, medication management, exercise andwellness programs, ready access to health and medical services,transportation, and around-the-clock access to staff as well asemergency and security personnel.
Independent living facilities offer a residentialenvironment that may or may not provide hospitality or supportivecare - although most do provide some level of service. Under thistype of living arrangement, residents lead an independent lifestylethat requires minimal or no assistance. Most facilities do providea social network of activities and programs for residents.
Continuum of care facilities offer several levelsof assistance - including independent living, assisted living andnursing home care - along with the services and programs to supporteach type of resident, regardless of their level of need.
In helping to choose the right type of facility for your lovedone, it's important you demonstrate support and help them adjust totheir new services or living in a new setting. Be sure to includethe person you are helping when making decisions whenever possible.Always make decisions with their needs and preferences in mind.
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