What comes to mind when you think of reaching old age? For some adults, this question conjures an image of a small nursing home building. However, in recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional nursing homes among aging individuals and their adult children. This decline in nursing home admissions was further reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, almost 3 out of 4 nursing homes in the United States are facing staffing shortages that adversely affect their ability to provide care for residents.
As the population of Americans over the age of 65 grows at an unprecedented rate, life expectancy increases, and more elderly adults prioritize their freedom and independence, families are starting to ask an important question: what are the best alternatives to nursing homes? This article presents three common alternative care options to consider.
Assisted living is a popular choice for adults who require assistance with activities of daily living and medication management. Compared to nursing homes, assisted living facilities offer the advantages of a more flexible daily schedule, increased social interaction, and rooms that feel more like home. Care can be tailored to meet individual needs, although it is important to note that assisted living services are regulated on a state level, and the specific offerings may vary depending on the location. It is essential to consider that assisted living is not suitable for aging adults who require skilled nursing or 24-hour care, and some facilities may have shared rooms.
Senior Community Programs
Senior communities, also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), consist of apartments, homes, or shared living units that provide varying levels of care as residents' needs change over time. These communities offer residents a certain level of freedom and provide opportunities for social activities that foster connection and interaction.
While everyone's needs and preferences will differ as they age, an increasing number of senior adults are choosing to prioritize their independence and age within the comfort and security of their own homes. Non-medical, in-home care promotes this freedom and independence while also providing family members with the peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the necessary care.
Since in-home care is not medical in nature, it is not appropriate for individuals in need of nursing from a licensed medical provider, medical tests, or diabetes care. However, it is a beneficial option for seniors who require additional assistance with activities of daily living, companionship, personal care, meal planning and preparation, transportation services, medication reminders, financial management, and respite care. In-home care offers the highest level of freedom and independence for aging adults, allowing friends and family members to visit without any restrictions. Additionally, it is often more affordable than nursing home care.
At HomeSpark, we provide in-home care tailored to the unique needs of your aging loved one. We take the time to understand your family, conduct a thorough home safety assessment, and develop a care plan that will be implemented by our highly trained professional caregivers. Contact us today to learn more about our services.