A Guide To Senior Care Options Terminology

Looking at all the care options can be quite confusing. Enclosed is a short explanation of the various care options available. For a high-level comparison summary between the different options click here.

senior care options foe elder care

Memory Care

Dementia Care

Alzheimer’s Care facilities are for senior who require special care due to dementia. They are often set with special safeguards for wandering and caregivers are trained in handling dementia behaviors. Alzheimer’s Care is delivered in assisted living settings and in nursing homes.
Payment forms: Private Pay; Medicaid
Price Range: $3,000 to $7,000 per month

Skilled Nursing facilities (SNFs)

Convalescent homes

Nursing homes are often known as are traditional nursing facilities. They provide medical nursing service for seniors with serious illnesses or disabilities twenty-four hours a day. The state and federal governments have to license these facilities in order for them to provide by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aids.
Nursing care facilities cater to several types of patients: some patients require short-term rehab while recovering from surgery; others require long-term nursing and medical supervision. In addition, some nursing homes offer specialized care programs for Alzheimer’s or other illnesses, or short-term respite care for frail or disabled persons when a family member requires a rest from providing care in the home.
Payment forms: Private Pay; Medicare; Medicaid
Price Range: $4,000 to $8,000 per month

Residential care institution

Assisted care community

Assisted living facilities are an apartment-style habitat designed to focus on providing assistance with daily living activities. They provide a higher level of service for the elderly which can include preparing meals, housekeeping, medication assistance, laundry, and also due regular check-in’s on the residents. Basically they are designed to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing home facilities.
  • Assisted living center: An assisted living facility that provides resident rooms or residential units to eleven or more residents.
  • Assisted living home: An assisted living facility that provides resident rooms to ten or fewer residents, also known as a Micro Community.
Payment forms: Mostly Private Pay; some Medicaid
Price Range: $2,000 to $4,000 per month depending on assistance required. Alzheimer’s Care would range from $2,500 to $4,500 for a shared suite.
For seniors who can take stay at home, and receive applicable care in their own home. Care could be Home Health Care (medical,) i.e. doctor-prescribed provided by skilled personnel such as nurses or physical and occupational therapists, or Intermediate Care (non medical) such as transportation assistance, help with meals, light chores, companionship, etc.

Home Health Care

Home health care agencies provide in-home skilled nursing and other home health care services, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. Home health care agencies are licensed by the state, but must adhere to federal regulations as well.
Home health must be prescribed by a physician. Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide the care, sometimes in conjunction with other health professionals. These providers may also enlist the assistance of a home health aide who can help with personal care such as bathing and using the toilet. Home health aides can also administer medication under the supervision of a nurse.
Payment forms: Private Pay; some Medicaid
Price Range: varies, and is usually an hourly fee

Intermediate Care

Homecare

This is a type of in Home nonmedical care provided in the home. It includes custodial care and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing and providing medication reminders. Homecare workers are professionally trained caregivers who provide companionship and are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for the person receiving care.
Homecare can be arranged without a physician’s order and is different from home health care, in that caregivers do not provide nursing care. For example, while they may provide medication reminders, they are not allowed to administer medication. Neither are caregivers housecleaners; although some light housekeeping may be necessary and appropriate, heavy housecleaning is normally not expected. In-home caregivers may provide care within a facility setting to help supplement for extra needed care.

Directed care services

Programs and services, including personal care services, provided to persons who are incapable of recognizing danger, summoning assistance, expressing need or making basic care decisions.
Personal care services: Assistance with activities of daily living that can be performed by persons w/o professional skills or professional training and includes coordination or provision of intermittent nursing services and the administration of medications and treatments by a licensed nurse.
Supervisory care services: General supervision, including daily awareness of resident functioning and continuing needs, the ability to intervene in a crisis and assistance in the self-administration of prescribed medications.

Residential Care Homes

Board and Care Homes

Group Homes

Adult Family Homes

A category that encompasses various types of smaller senior communities. They are known by different and are often referred to as residential care homes, adult family homes, personal care homes, adult foster homes, group homes, or board and care homes. Typically they all have the same things in common: they provide care for seniors in a homelike setting that’s very much like a family.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care programs work just like any other day care programs you may send your child in a safe and caring setting for adults. The program provides meals and care services to seniors in a community setting during the day if the caregiver needs time off or must work. Programs are structured and designed, often through the development of a personal care plan, to cover the daily individual needs of each participant, including a variety of social and supportive services. Participants may be physically, mentally or functionally impaired, or they may simply need companionship or supervision during part of the day. Many programs offered specialize in participants needing Alzheimer’s care.Usually 4-5 adults.

Adult Day Health Care

Like adult day care, adult day health care provides a safe, caring setting for adults who require supervision or care during the day. Adult day health programs are designed for individuals who require a more skilled level of care. These programs offer medical services, like rehabilitation, therapy, nursing care and special nutrition. The programs are structured and designed, often through the development of a personal care plan, to cover the daily individual needs of each participant. Participants of adult day health care require some health care, unlike adult day care participants.
Payment forms: Private Pay; some Medicaid
Price Range: $1,500-$3,000 per month depending on level of care

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

Life Care Communities (LCC)

These are communities operated and planned to offer a fourth dimension of service. Starting out, most elderly people only need the bare minimum of solicitude and don’t require to have someone with them at all times. This allows individuals to never have to change their environment and get the specific care that they require throughout stay.

 

Independent Living

Retirement Communities 

Senior Communities are for seniors who can take care of themselves, are relatively in good health and active. They are usually over 55 and under 80. This type of residence that is usually an apartment complex, or an enclosed community. The facility usually provides various activities for the seniors.

 

Congregate Care
This is very similar to independent living complexes. It has the aspects of community environment, with one or more meals per day prepared and served in a community dinning hall. Transportation, pools, a convenience store, bank, barber/beauty shop, resident laundry, housekeeping, and security, are all services and amenities that may be provided there.
Payment forms: Private Pay; some Medicaid
Price Range: $1,500-$3,000 per month depending on level of care

Hospice Care

Hospice care is an infusion of home care and facility care provided to benefit terminally ill patients and support their families through their tough times.

Respite care services

Short-Term Stay programs

 Services provided by a licensed health care institution to persons otherwise cared for in foster homes and in private homes to provide an interval of rest or relief of not more than thirty days to operators of foster homes or to family members.
Payment forms: Private Pay; some Medicaid
Price Range: $75to $150 per day

 

Unclassified health care institution

A health care institution not classified or subclassified in statute or in rule that provides medical services, nursing services, or health-related services.

Senior Housing Options Comparison

Cost Per Month
$1,000 – 3,000
$2,000 – 5,000
$4,000-$8,000
$3,000-$7,000
Meals Per Day
Options
3+
3+
3+
Medication
Varies
Yes
Yes
Yes
Management
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Personal Care
No
Most Yes
Yes
Yes
Mobility Assistance
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Accepts Wheelchairs
No
Varies
Varies
Yes
Alzheimer’s Dementia Care
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
On-Site Nurses
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Transportation
No
Most
Yes
Yes
Incontinence Care
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Housekeeping
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Personal Laundry
No
Most
Yes
Varies

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