As people age they often require increased assistance in everyday activities. Decisions on what is the best type of care for a senior can be difficult and often complicated. Here is help on how to decide between assisted living or senior care in their home.
The choices between assisted living professionally at a nursing home or relying on care in the home can be an agonizing choice for the family of a senior. There are pros and cons to both options and they should be carefully considered before an arrangement is in place.
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The Costs of Senior Care Options
When planning for our retirement, most of us allocate money into a 401K or another savings program to take advantage of tax write-offs and to make sure we will be able to enjoy a nice lifestyle when we are no longer working from 9 to 5. We imagine using the money to supplement our monthly social security checks to enjoy vacations and other leisure activities while taking advantage of all those senior discounts.
The financial company advertisements assist us with the visions of enjoying gardening, sailing and relaxing during our retirement years. They don't show the other side of the reality which includes health problems which accompany aging. Along with a longer life comes an increased chance for developing an age-related disease, such as Alzheimer's Disease or Parkinson's Disease. Alzheimer's Disease is now the sixth leading cause of death, according to the Alzheimer's Association. As we all witnessed from watching former President Ronald Reagan battle the disease, a senior with Alzheimer's Disease can live for many years, while requiring a caregiver to assist with their daily living. As Medicare does not pay for long-term senior care (only stays of 100 days or less in a nursing home for rehabilitation after a hospital stay, with doctor pre-approval, with only the first 20 days paid at 100% by Medicare), the costs can quickly add-up.
Remember, Medicare does not pay for long-term care, which means to effectively plan for your senior care needs, you must plan for where you want to receive the care and save to pay for the care services either in a nursing home or in your home. While less than 7% of Americans over the age of 70 currently have long-term care insurance, it is predicted that more than 50% of Americans will have long-term care insurance in twenty years, as people witness their parents burn through their life savings to pay for their senior care needs. Research the options and manage your investments to allow you to choose your preferred senior care and look for unbiased, third-party information as a credible senior care resource
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Home care generally refers to health care or support provided in the patient's home, but this term is usually applied to non-medical care or custodian care provided by persons who are not licensed medical personnel. Family and friends, who are referred to as caregivers, primary caregiver or voluntary caregiver in this context, can also provide home care. Mostly, however, services are provided by agencies or independent providers.
Seniors comprise the majority of the recipients of home care. Of these, studies show that more women than men need in home senior care. There are other individuals who would typically use this service, such as people with disabilities or special needs and people recovering from major surgeries.
This type of care makes it possible to remain at home and in the environment they are most comfortable with instead of using long-term institution-based nursing care. It allows them to be near loved ones and gives them a feeling of living a "normal" life as opposed to long term stays in a hospice or nursing home. There is also a variety of options available for home care services, depending on the type and frequency of assistance needed.
Billing can be on an hourly, daily or weekly basis with payment coming from the patient and his or her family members or through a variety of public and privates sources. Professional health care services are usually ordered by a doctor and may be covered with insurance. Some community organizations, such as the local cancer society or Alzheimer's association, may also provide funding to help pay for home care services.