Most extended families are familiar with a circumstance or two where a relative provides the primary care for a dependent due to special needs, short term medical condition, or an elder who requires home care. Regardless of the situation, caregiving can be challenging. We are here to inform you that there are resources available in your community to help relieve such challenges. If you know of a relative, or even a friend offering care to a loved one, it sometimes helps just to have an understanding of what resources are available. Some options are more appropriate than others depending on the individual needs.
Joan Hopley is the Elder Care Coordinator for Strohschein Law Group. Joan has developed several networking relationships and worked as a registered nurse in the field of geriatrics for years. She provides our clients and our client’s caregivers with the support and resources to reassure they are receiving the best possible treatment within their community, whether in the home or at a facility. In February 2013 she will be hosting a free educational program “The Caregiver’s Tool Box.” If you could use some guidance or would like to accompany a relative or friend that provides direct care for a loved one, please RSVP at 630-377-3241. Below are additional basic explanations, continuing from last week’s blog, of what types of care or communities which are available.
A Skilled Nursing Facility, also known as a nursing home, refers to a facility providing both 24-hour medical care and custodial care for people unable to care for themselves, either temporarily or permanently, due to mental, emotional or physical conditions. Facilities may be either independent or part of a senior continuing care community and have a licensed physician, as well as a nurse or other medical professionals on the premises most of the time. Services are regulated by the individual states.
Active Adult Communities are residential developments which provide residents with a variety of amenities such as golf courses, coffee shops, exercise facilities, and community events. These communities generally cater to individuals age 55 and older and may be age-restricted. Although they often serve as retirement communities, a percentage of residents may not yet be retired, but simply interested in sharing a community with like-minded people in their age group.
Adult Day Care is a planned program of activities for adults who need supervision for part of the day. Adult day care centers can be public or private, non-profit, or for-profit and usually operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday. The following are good candidates for adult day care:
•Can benefit from the friendship and functional assistance a day care center offers
•May be physically or cognitively challenged, but don’t require 24-hour supervision
•Are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease
•Are mobile, with the assistance of a cane, walker, or wheelchair
•Are continent (usually required)
Assisted Living Communities, sometimes referred to as assisted living facilities or assisted living centers, are residential facilities which aim to provide individuals with as much autonomy as possible while providing a variety of support services to residents within a homelike setting. Services may include meals, transportation, help getting around, grooming, housekeeping and a limited number of medical services such as medication management.
Independent Living Communities refers to residence in a compact, easy-to-maintain, private apartment or house within a community of seniors. The housing arrangements are usually designed exclusively for seniors age 55 and older, yet in some cases the age requirement is 62.
Many household tasks might be part of the community’s service offerings, including laundry, linen service, group meals, local transportation and planned social and cultural activities. Independent living communities do not include assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing and personal care, or health services, such as medication administration and nursing care.
Some communities provide only a small communal sitting room, while others have entire community centers that include dining rooms and recreational facilities. Most independent living units include small kitchens, and some communities also offer meals in a communal dining area.
If you have any questions or concerns call Strohschein Law Group at (630) 377-3241, and be sure to attend our Caregiver’s Tool Box presentation coming up February 12th or 16th.