Following up on Part One of our two part series defining senior care facilities and housing options, we provide summaries of some additional care services when your senior loved ones are no longer able to live independently. Many families care for their elderly family members at home but those families may still be eligible and could benefit from some professional assistance.
There are also several different options for long-term and short-term senior care and facilities to care for your loved ones. We suggest you discuss your loved one’s medical condition and needs as well as your elder care preferences with your doctor and insurance providers before making a final decision. As part of the decision making process, there may first be an assessment to determine the individual’s activities of daily living (ADL), which include bathing, dressing, grooming, bathroom assistance, eating and mobility. The term ADL is commonly used by professional caregivers and in assisted living facilities. Not necessarily part of ADLs, but are also factors to consider, include any medications as well as the individual’s ability to move about independently.
The duration and level of care as well as the amount insurance will cover vary upon each individual. Long-term care insurance can also help cover the cost of many types of senior care.
EXTENDED CONGREGATE CARE (ECC)
An assisted living facility (ALF) with this type of license can provide extended congregate care services. In other words, congregate care facilities are a type of senior housing facility between age-restricted independent living and assisted living facilities. The main, and most important difference to know, between congregate care and traditional assisted living facilities is that congregate care homes do not offer assistance with daily living activity services (ALF). However, an assisted living facility with ECC beds may keep residents who become frailer than would normally be permitted in order for the resident to age in place. For example, an AFL with ECC can provide total help with bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting, as well as provide or arrange for rehabilitative services. Although these facilities may also provide other services, this generally does not include 24-hour nursing services.
These communities are specifically designed for elderly residents and are typically comprised of studio, one bedroom or two bedroom rental apartments with full kitchens and private baths. Services for residents may include meal plans, transportation, wellness clinics, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance but they are not licensed to provide personal/nursing care.
A term to describe any system that manages health care delivery and serves as a gatekeeper for other services, such as specialized medical care, surgery and physical therapy.
LIMITED NURSING SERVICES (LNS)
An assisted living facility (ALF) with a LNS license offers select limited nursing services, as defined by law. However, these facilities do not include 24-hour nursing supervision.
SHORT TERM/RESPITE CARE
For those who are caring for their loved ones at home, there may be still times and circumstances that require a caregiver to seek temporary senior housing. Short-term, or respite care, facilities provide a temporary emergency care environment that supports the wellness needs of seniors who cannot living independently. Whether a caregiver is called away for business or vacation, or just needs a short break from caregiving, these facilities can provide peace of mind that their family member will be properly cared for.
SKILLED NURSING FACILITY (SNF)
Although not as common, this level of care can be found in a nursing center or a transitional care unit in a hospital. Daily rates typically include a furnished bedroom as well as a private or shared bath, meals, activities, transportation, phone service, cable television and all personal/nursing care needs. Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs benefits, some insurance plans or private sources may cover the costs.
Determining the best type of senior living arrangements, the appropriate level of care and caregivers you can trust can sometimes feel overwhelming. If you or a family member is no longer able to live independently within California, please contact CalRegistry to discuss the options and learn about assisted living services and facilities throughout California.