When exploring care options for your loved one, you’re bound to run across a dizzying array of terms. Because many seniors bristle at the mere mention of the words nursing home, facilities and staff often resort to euphemisms in an effort to put families more at ease. In her book, Eldercare for Dummies, Dr. Rachelle Zukerman lists several of these synonyms: “old folks home, rest home, convalescent home, health center, rehabilitation center, home for the aged, living center, nursing center, care center.”
More directly, types of elder care generally fall into these categories:
- Nursing Home. These facilities have with live-in residents who require constant care by licensed health care professionals.
- Assisted Living. Usually apartment- or condo-type settings, seniors can live more independently than at a nursing home but still have access to care. They’re still seen on an as-needed basis by a network of providers and receive help managing medications and grooming. Many nursing homes also have independent living residences.
- Independent Living. More like a retirement community, these facilities are for seniors who don’t need special care, just opportunities to socialize. Some also offer meals and transportation.
- In-Home Elder Care Services. Services can consist of assistance at a senior’s own home with health care, meals preparation and transportation from a network of doctors or nurses. Care can range from round-the-clock in shifts to periodic checkups.
- Adult day care. Programs provide supervision and activities during daytime hours to give the caregiver a break and peace of mind while at work or running errands.
The first three types follow a scale from a low to high level of independence for the senior. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities aren’t exclusive to the elderly, but often include younger people with other disabilities.