Caring for an aging parent or family member is stressful. And it can become even more challenging to place them in a suitable aged care facility because of all the different types that exist.
So in this article, we have outlined the major types of aged care services available to make this choice easy for you.
Types of Aged Care Facilities
First of all, while many facilities will overlap in this regard, receiving aged care can be entirely different to getting end of life care. We suggest checking out this government resource for a better understanding of end of life care.
As far as aged care is concerned, it has several types based on your needs and the level of support required. These include nursing homes, home care, respite care, assisted living facilities, and retirement villages.
A nursing home is the most intensive form of care for older people outside a hospital. If your loved one needs full-time professional care, they should be admitted to a nursing home.
Nursing homes provide custodial care, which includes assistance with getting in and out of bed as well as feeding, bathing, and dressing. They also provide three meals a day and other daily necessities like toiletries and laundry.
Besides this personal care, nursing homes have one major plus – they offer medical care.
Nursing home residents remain under the supervision of a licensed physician. And a nurse or paramedical staff is present 24 hours a day. This allows nursing homes to do basic medical procedures, on-site therapies, and treat age-related diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Home care is the most popular type of aged care facility, and it is exactly what the name sounds like. It is an alternative to a nursing home and provides home-based care to individuals who want to live independently at their own residence.
A professional caregiver visits the person at their house every day or multiple times a week.
Depending on your requirements and the level of home care package, you get a range of services that include:
- Helping with personal hygiene, bathing, and grooming
- Treating and monitoring medical conditions at home
- Conducting physiotherapy, podiatry, and other therapies to maintain mobility
- Preparing meals to ensure you eat well
- Helping with disabilities
- Performing cleaning, laundry, and chores to keep your house in order
- Helping with gardening and house maintenance
- Helping you with transportation to get to appointments, family events, and social interactions
Home care packages are not only reserved for elderly people. Adults with disabilities can also receive home care based on their requirements.
Respite care has been developed to cater to people who need a temporary break from their caregiving responsibilities. A substitute caregiver visits the resident and provides regular assistance with everyday matters, medical checkups, transport, and house chores.
Respite care can be availed at home, day-care center, nursing home, hospital, or any nursing facility that offers to stay the night. It can last from a few hours to a few weeks (or as long as the primary caregiver is unavailable).
Respite care can be planned in advance when your caregiver is on a vacation or has other important matters to attend to. It can also serve as emergency care if your carer meets unforeseen circumstances at his home or workplace.
In any case, respite care allows family members, friends, or caregivers to:
- Relax and unwind
- Attend to other important matters
- Go on a vacation
- Restore energy
- Promote balance in life
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities are different from nursing homes and serve people who need assistance but do not require full-time care. These individuals live in serviced communities, which are collections of apartments known as “serviced apartments” or “assisted living units.”
These facilities don’t confine individuals to hospital-like wards. Instead, they offer a home-like setting with shared outdoor spaces and planned everyday activities for improved social interaction.
Assisted living services include help with the activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, and household chores), daily meals, companionship, and escort services for outings and appointments.
The level of care varies from one unit to another, depending on the residents’ individual needs.
Overall, assisted living is an ideal option for people who want personal living space and minor assistance. It’s also a good option for people who live independently but have difficulty with certain daily tasks.
Similar to home care packages, assisted living is not limited to elders. It can be utilized by adults, couples, or anyone who needs some level of assistance.
Also known as “retirement communities,” retirement villages are a more recent alternative to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They provide independent housing options where elderly people can live independently but still have the security of on-site help from skilled staff if they need it.
Elderly people may choose to move to a retirement community when they want a low-maintenance lifestyle in a small apartment, have on-site dining and entertainment, or enjoy a sense of community among people with similar interests.
Retirement village residents can generally take care of themselves (although some of them might require some assistance).