Care Perspectives From Senior Solutions

6 Senior Care Options for Your Loved One & How to Choose the Right One

Posted by Christina Trentham

Sep 25, 2014 10:00:00 AM


Once you and your loved ones decide that mom or dad needs a higher level of daily assistance than can be provided by family caregivers, then the next step is to look at various senior care options. Which best suits mom or dad depends on a variety of factors. So, if you're considering outside senior care, then one of the most important factors to first consider is whether mom or dad needs help with the activities of daily living (ADLs). These are defined as basic self-care tasks that we learn early in life. ADLs include:

  • Feeding

  • Toileting

  • Selecting proper clothing

  • Self-grooming

  • Continence

  • Dressing

  • Bathing

  • Walking and transferring skills (for example, moving from the bed to the wheelchair)

In addition, geriatric-care specialists often suggest you consider more complex living skills, known as instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). These include skills in the following areas:

  • Ability to drive or use public transport

  • Financial management

  • Shopping

  • Meal preparation

  • Telephone and communication devices

  • Medication management

6 Senior Care Options

Seniors today have a wide range of senior care options from which to choose. They range from minimal assistance to highly-intensive skilled nursing care.

  1. In-home housekeeping: If dad wants to stay in his home, is capable of performing ADLs and IADLs, but needs help keeping up with housework, then this may be a good option. Typically, homemaker services provide help with activities such as cleaning, cooking or running errands.

  2. Home health aide service: Mom can remain at home, but needs a little more help than a housekeeping service can offer, perhaps some ADL assistance. Home health care is more medically-involved and is often useful when seniors are recovering from an illness or injury. Home health aides often are trained nurses or therapists.

  3. Adult day care: Adult/senior day care centers provide seniors with companionship and socialization during daytime hours. Some centers also offer some medical assistance. These centers are useful if caregivers need a respite, or both work during the day.

  4. Senior independent living: This type of senior housing offers a wide variety of living options, from apartment-style to individual homes. These communities provide lots of amenities, services and senior activities. Independent living is for older adults who need minimal or no ADL assistance. Minimal medical care is available on-site.

  5. Assisted living: This is a popular care option for many seniors.  Assisted living communities offer a lifestyle that provides personal care and health services for seniors who may need ADL assistance. A good assisted living community is clean, well-maintained and safe for residents'  enjoyment.  Many offer apartments with options for you and your loved one to furnish  with your loved one’s furniture from home, or a fully furnished apartment with everything your loved one needs. On-site prepared meals, special diets, weekly housekeeping, and a myriad of activities specially tailed to seniors' interests and abilities are features of high-quality assisted living.

  6. Nursing home facilities: Seniors who need the highest level of supervision and medical care are typical candidates for nursing homes. They provide seniors with help getting in and out of bed, and feeding, bathing, and dressing assistance. Nursing homes differ from other senior care options in that they provide a high level of medical care. Each resident is supervised by a licensed physician; a nurse or other medical professional is almost always on-site.

What questions can we answer about senior care options?

Topics: Resources, Senior Living Decisions