“When is it time to make a change?” This is different for each individual. Consider the medical, social, and financial implications of staying in place, engaging in-home services, or moving to a senior community. Determine in advance what your wants and health changes may be factors in making a decision to move or bring in services.
Choosing the best care for yourself or an aging parent can be complex and emotional. Before making decisions, ask questions and gather facts! Make a list of your current needs, future desires, and how much you are able or willing to pay. Research available resources/options and list the pros and cons when looking at services, care providers, and senior communities.
To help you get started, get a free planning worksheet at the Eden Prairie Senior Center. Other resources include the EPPIA website, www.edenprairieaging.org, and USA Today’s best seller Your Step-by-Step Guide: Stages of Senior Care by Paul and Lori Hogan, founders of Home Instead Senior Care. In assisting a loved one, it is important to listen to them and address their concerns and to include them in the process. If it becomes too difficult or overwhelming; this may be the time to have a professional step in to help. A short description of care options is listed below.
- In-Home Care offers varying levels of care in your home, whether you live independently or in a senior community. Care is personalized and may include light housekeeping, meal preparation, personal care, medication management, etc.
- Independent Living offers seniors the most independence when leaving home. These are large communities with apartments, kitchens, activities, and optional meal plans. Amenities may include beauty salons, exercise equipment, pools, theaters, libraries, billiards, chapels, and common areas for socializing. Many facilities also provide a range of personal care services as one’s needs change, including on-site doctor and medical visits and personal assistance.
- Assisted Living provides 24 hour care. Meals, housekeeping and laundry are generally included. Assistance with ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) such as bathing, dressing, and medication management is also available. Seniors still enjoy independence with private apartments and bathrooms. These communities range in size, and may be integrated with independent living.
- Long Term Care (LTC) facilities offer skilled nursing care. These facilities provide care for people with serious and complex medical conditions and they often accept people who cannot afford to pay privately and need financial assistance. These facilities offer various levels of care.
- Memory Care serves individuals with various forms of dementia. This care is provided in specialized, secure units in many residential communities, and LTC facilities. Meals, housekeeping, assistance with ADLs, and activities are provided. Personal care services are offered on an a la carte basis or included in the monthly fee.
- Residential Care Homes provide services in a smaller home-like environment with higher staffing ratios than assisted living, home cooked meals, and more personalized care. Residents may have a private or shared bedroom, and the rest of the home is commonly used. Activities, in-home beauty and medical services are generally available. Some homes have 24 hour staff and provide skilled nursing, dementia care, and end-of-life care.
When considering which of the above options is most appropriate for you, it is important that you know your needs, consider possible future needs, and visit a variety of facilities. In addition to the physical attributes, it is also important to consider such things as staff knowledge, level of staffing, activities, and last but not least, food!
Submitted by EPPIA Members:
Jonathan Rosenberg, Owner of Twin Cities Care www.twincitiescare.com
Rhonda Kalal, CAREGiver Director at www.homeinstead.com
Holly Hansen, Senior Partner at www.BrilliantMovesMN.com
EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA meets five times a year to exchange information and problem solve in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org.