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Senior Care Facilities

There are two kinds of senior living facilities. They are based on how much help is needed:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes.

You should think about an assisted living facility if you or your relative don’t need a lot of medical care but do need more help than can easily be gotten at home. Assisted living homes can give someone as much help as needed with daily living, but offer only some nursing care or none at all. People often live independently in their own unit. The place provides meals and house cleaning, offers interesting things to do, and takes residents wherever they need to go, like the doctor or the shopping mall. They can also provide help with bathing, dressing, and taking medicines, if needed.

Some assisted living facilities are part of a continuing care retirement community or lifecare community. These communities offer independent living and skilled nursing facilities as well as assisted living. Sometimes assisted living help is set up in a home with only a few residents. These are often called board and care homes.

If your relative becomes very frail or suffers from the later stages of dementia, more care could be needed. A nursing home or skilled nursing facility may be necessary if someone:

  • needs round-the-clock nursing care
  • might wander away without supervision
  • needs help with meals, bathing, personal care, medications, and moving around
  • needs more help than the current caregiver can possibly give, or cannot live alone.

These places supply 24-hour services and supervision, including medical care and some physical, speech, and occupational therapy, to people living there. They might also offer other services such as social activities and transportation. As a rule, the rooms are for one or two people. Some places want residents to bring some special items from home to make their rooms more familiar. Some even allow a pet or make it possible for couples to stay together.

Both assisted living and skilled nursing facilities sometimes offer special areas for people with dementia. These areas are designed to meet the special needs of these people and to keep them safe from wandering.

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