Housing for Older Adults
“My dad has lived alone for awhile. Lately, he’s had trouble with basic activities like bathing and dressing. I think an assisted-living facility might be a good option for him, but I don’t know much about them. Where do I start?”
When you realize a parent or loved one needs more help than you can give, you may have to make some big decisions in a short time. Sometimes, with the help of a caregiver, an older person can continue to live at home. But you may find that an assisted-living facility or nursing home is the best fit. Assisted living allows residents to maintain independence, living in apartments but getting help with daily activities. Nursing homes offer a higher level of care and are best for patients who need regular nursing attention and medical care. For an overview of long-term care options, visit the Medicare website.
Choosing the right facility takes research. Ask family, friends, and health care providers for recommendations, as well as your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Your AAA also should know about other resources for eldercare services and caregiver support in your community. To find and compare Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, use Medicare’s online Nursing Home Compare tool.
After you narrow your options, visit some facilities to ask questions and get a feel for each place.
The Cost of Care
A good step when researching facilities is to really understand the cost of higher levels of care such as assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. GenWorth Financial, Inc. maintains a web page where you can truly understand the cost of care based on the care setting and geographic location of care.
Source: Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging and 2-1-1 and they may know of additional resources on this topic.
Area Agency on Aging (AAA)
An Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is a public nonprofit agency designated by a state to address the needs and concerns of all older persons at the regional and local levels. AAAs are primarily responsible for a geographic area, also known as a planning and service area (PSA), that is either a city, a single county, or a multi-county district. AAAs coordinate and offer services that help older adults remain in their homes, if that is their preference, aided by services such as home-delivered meals, homemaker assistance, and whatever else it may take to make independent living a viable option.
Find your local AAA by visiting their website or calling 1-800-677-1116.
2-1-1 is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community. Dial 2-1-1 from your phone or visit their website.
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