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Different types of elder care options for your loved ones
In 423 B.C.E., in the great comedy The Clouds, the Greek dramatist Aristophanes stated that old people are children for a second timeand all too often, alas, the children of aging parents find that to be as true today as it was way back then. Sometimes they decide to keep them in the home, effectively returning the care that their parents had given to them as children. But when the children have their own offspring to raise and take care of, this may not be a practical possibility (a great disappointment to the young ones, who much of the time are more than pleased to have their grandparents living in the house with them). In such cases alternative arrangements should be sought. This article will discuss three such arrangements(1) independent living, (2) assisted living, and (3) nursing homeslaying out the best of each type.
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s included disability rights, which in turn lead to an independent living movement. According to Ken Lyons of Assisted Living Today (http://assistedlivingtoday.com/) Independent living is also a philosophy built around the idea that the individualeven the one who is disabledis the best expert on his or her own needs.
Also, there is even a new termaging in placecoined to describe the ability to live in one`s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level (definition by the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/ ).
It is quite often possible for the elderly to continue to live in their own homes, to stay safe in their homes (source: http://safesoundfamily.com/blog/aging-parents-how-do-you-know-theyre-safe/ ), and to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle long after they have retired. Through regular exercise they can keep themselves in shape, and they may even continue to hold part-time jobsafter all, in the United States there can be no mandatory retirement age.
In many localities elderly people have joined together to help each other to live as independently as possible. One example of such a grassroots community is the Beacon Hill Village in Boston, established in 2001. This community relies primarily on the support of volunteers trained by the village staff; such workers assist the residents with their household and gardening chores, shopping, transportation and other things, while professional repairs and health care are provided by vendors.
However, if your aging loved ones are not quite capable of taking care of themselves but still do not require the intensive care found in a nursing home, then you might want to try the option of placing them in an assisted living facility. In such places, the elderly are given assistance with the activities of daily living, such as getting up, eating, getting washed and dressed, moving from one place to another and going to the bathroom. Assisted living is often the best option for those who need to have help in at least one of these activities.
A nursing home is for people who need more intensive care than an assisted living facility is typically capable of giving. They have nurses working around the clock (source: http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/25/pf/insurance/home_nurses.moneymag/) to provide care for the residence, and libraries and game rooms may be present. My own maternal grandparents spent their last days in nursing homes, which had both of these facilities. They also had a television set in each bedroom. Some nursing homes specialize in providing care for people with Alzheimers disease or other special needs. Others provide occupational therapy. The term skilled nursing facility (SNF) denotes one that is financed by Medicare.
Features of the above three options may be combined into what is known as a called continuing care or life care community. Senior housing facilities like these typically have around 330 units in which their residents live for an average of three years (source: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/senior-housing/). The level of care provided here may be increased as individuals age and need to have more assistance. The contract may be either life care (with a monthly fee similar to what they paid when in independent living) or modified (the independent living fee is charged for a specific period only).