Posted by: wrcseniorservices | February 4, 2011

Long Term, Assisted, Daily Living – WHAT!?

After a brief departure for the holidays, I want to get back on the topic we kicked off in Survival of the Prepared. I know it has been awhile, so if you missed that blog or don’t remember it, please take a quick peek.

Chances are if you are reading this blog you have an aging parent or loved one.  Most people we talk to don’t even know where to begin planning for their future needs.  That’s why we started this series – to help make things a little easier. 

First things first, let’s take a crash course together in the world of long term care. It’s a world of mystery with lots of jargon.  Maybe you have visited a restaurant in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. You took one look at the menu, had no idea what anything was or what to order. Unless you are a truly adventurous person, that’s not a very comfortable situation to be in. Long term care has its own menu that you can order from.

First thing you need to know before you know where to start with your own aging loved ones is what some of those menu items are.  What is long term care? Simply put – it’s help given to a person with a chronic illness or disability to meet their needs over a long period of time. And here are some of the forms that help can come in:

Home Care
Community Based Services
Service-Enriched Housing
Assisted Living/Personal Care
CCRC
Short Stay Rehab
Nursing Home

Let’s break down the first three items on the menu, so you know what’s in them:

Home Care describes any care provided in your own home. This can be as simple as a person coming to clean your house twice a month to as extensive as around-the-clock care. Some home care services you can receive –  help with personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting), respite care (short stays to relieve a family caregiver), companion care (a companion caregiver to socialize with) help with housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, shopping/errands, skilled nursing care, physical, occupational and speech therapy and hospice care (for the terminally ill).

Community-Based Services are support services provided out in the community. These can be such things as Meals-on-Wheels (to deliver home cooked meals to their home), transportation services, senior centers (offering meals and programs for seniors) and adult daily living centers (center where a senior can spend the day or half-day while a caregiver is at work)

Service-Enriched Housing (also called Supportive Housing) is a place to live for seniors with low to moderate incomes. Typically these are apartment buildings. Rent is usually based on income. Additional services are available such as home care to help the individual stay healthy and remain in this independent setting as long as possible.  

Any questions about those first three items? Please feel free to ask or comment below! Next week, we’ll break down the other four.

Dawn Wise
Manager of Marketing and Communications
WRC Senior Services
dwise@wrc.org

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