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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Life expectancy has increased, and the senior citizenry will make up a larger percentage of the population for a longer period of time in the near future. More than 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring daily and eventually will need senior care services due to acute or chronic health issues. It is widely accepted that nearly 90 percent of elderly people prefer to live independently.
Senior care services become increasingly necessary within the community when an elderly person's independence is interrupted either temporarily or by long-term needs. As an elderly person's physical capabilities diminish, ordinary tasks such as driving, cooking, housekeeping, and other daily activities are also affected. These everyday functions can be aided by the introduction of a home health care professional. Many people do not know that this type of assistance is often available and funded by local, state, and federal sources supplemented by Medicare. In-home care could be the answer to maintaining independence and living at home. Local agencies provide information to connect older people to these senior care services.
Senior care services are designed to offer assistance in developing the best and most practical personal plan for each individual. Collaborations are formed between medical teams, concerned family members, and social advocates to find the best solutions for an older adult to maintain his or her independence. Each case is handled with respect and compassion. The safety of the elderly person is always of primary importance and should take precedence to independence when physical conditions warrant.
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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.