If you've come to this article, you're likely to have an elder family member or friend who is either temporarily or permanently struggling to live safely on their own and you're wondering what you can do to help them. This post is a survey of options for you to consider for the care of Americans over age 65. What you choose depends on the person's physical condition, available finances, and support. Note to our regular readers, this post is intended to help the consumers who come to our site. We wanted to have a resource to help them get started. If you can help improve the content, please let us know and we'll do it.
- Is your family member or friend coming out of the hospital? If yes, then based on their condition, the hospital should be directing them to the care that will best serve them at the lowest cost. Note that sometimes cheapest is best, because in this case the least expensive solution is likely to be to have them go home and receive care from a home health care provider. If they can't walk or require special care or medication, then they might be referred to a skilled nursing facility or a rehabilatation center.
- Is your Friend or Family Member Coping with One or More Chonic Illnesses? If yes, you may be in luck! It has been recognized that elderly persons with one or more chronic diseases are the most likely to generate high healthcare costs if they don't have the proper care and Medicare is very motivated to reduce costs, which could mean that your friend or loved one may be entitled to some free care from nurses or in a facility best equipped to care for them. The available help, however, varies widely. Our advice is to get advice from their primary care physician, a geriatric care manager, or a social worker.
- If no to the above, then it's likely that your friend or loved one is facing the natural challenges of aging. There are options:
- Non-medical Home Care might do the trick: A home health aide can come and assist with things like meal preparation, laundry, companionship and some hands-on care such as assistance with bathing. This care is often paid privately, but there are also programs (generally through Medicaid) that can make this kind of care available. From a money perspective, this can be an inexpensive option when the person needs part time help, but it can become one of the most expensive options when 24 hour care is needed.
- Elderly Group Living: Many options are available and sometimes multiple options are available at the same facility. The options range from "independent living", to "assisted living" to "Skilled Nursing". Some places will allow you to pay a consistent price and they'll provide the level of care that is needed, whereas others charge based on the level of care needed
- Independent Living Assistance: There are ways other resources that can help keep your loved one in their home. Among them are "Villages" like Beacon Hill Village where neighbors help neighbors and the village can get you discounts with well qualified service providers. There are "telecare" systems that very inexpensively monitor your loved-one's home and activities from afar. One is provided by BeClose. There's even a national cohousing network to try to pair people together to enable living with companionship at a lower cost.
Get the help you need to make informed decisions. Seek out your local council on aging, the primary care physician, or professional care managers to assess the available options for your loved ones.
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital. Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota