There may be a time that you need help with housekeeping, medical care, or any of your other day-to-day needs. That is when it’s no longer safe for you to live by yourself.
WRAL’s recent article entitled “Options for care when you can no longer live alone” explains that because older adult care isn’t one-size fits-all, your specific needs will affect what you choose to do.
Home care. This is the least expensive option. You may be able to combine households with a relative who has the willingness and ability to help. This could be someone who moves in with you, or you could move into a spare room or attached apartment. How well this type of care works, will depend on the level of care you require.
Independent living. If you want your own space in a community of older adults, independent living complexes have housing designed for people 55 and older. You’ll live independently, while enjoying shared amenities provided by the community. These may include a pool, gym, tennis courts, game room, movie theater, and laundry services. Independent living communities don’t offer care but are a way to stay active and social—which is great for your physical and mental health.
Adult foster care. This service provides a home environment for those with special needs, such as mental health issues, physical disabilities, age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s. The number of residents is restricted to a small number to ensure adequate care, and the home environment allows a certain level of independence.
Assisted living center. These facilities provide individual apartments, similar to independent living communities, but with more services and care. Most provide a secure environment and are equipped to help with emergencies. They usually provide meals, transportation, cleaning services, activities and help with daily care and medication. An assisted living home is very similar to an assisted living center, but those are limited to fewer residents.
Nursing home. These facilities have the most extensive care of all the options, with 24-hour help and in-room medical care. Members of the staff will monitor you, administer medication and help with daily hygiene tasks. Residents usually live in a shared or private room with a bathroom.
Continuing care center. A continuing care center provides a number of levels of care throughout the aging process. For instance, a person may enter mostly independent and stay as you age and need more care.
Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to plan and include family members, so you’re all on the same page as to your wishes for when you can no longer live alone.
Reference: WRAL (March 20, 2022) “Options for care when you can no longer live alone”
Suggested Key Terms: Long-Term Care Planning, Assisted Living, Nursing Home Care, Elder Care, Caregiving, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Aging in Place, Disability