Historically, nursing homes were where the most personal care for seniors was provided. Today less than 20 percent of Long-Term Care is provided in Nursing Homes. Long-Term Care has evolved. Now, there is a wide range of Long-Term Care services that are available.
In order from the lowest to the highest level of care:
A person’s journey along the continuum of Long-Term Care might begin when their independence starts declining. Often times, early in a Long-Term Care situation, informal caregivers such as family and friends provide most, if not all, of the care. During this phase an individual is still able to do most of the “Activities of Daily Living” but may need some help making meals, transferring or with household chores.
As time goes on, however, a person may start needing help with a couple of the “activities of daily living”. As the condition of the person needing care declines further, the family reaches a point where they need help. Home Health Care agencies are the next type of care in the progression. Providing both personal and skilled medical care, Home Health Care can keep many out of a facility as they offer many of the same services in the comfort of their client’s home.
The next step in the progression of care is typically an Assisted Living Facility, which provides 24-hour supervision, assistance, and health care in a home-like setting. They are attractive alternatives that offer meals, medication management, and activities in a more controlled environment with a little more personal assistance and monitoring.
Finally, if more intensive care is required, Nursing Homes offers a place of residence for those who need constant nursing care, and have significant deficiencies with “Activities of Daily Living”. Nursing homes provide a secure environment and 24-hours of care where someone makes sure the individual’s medical needs, as well as their psychological, spiritual, and emotional needs are met.
Generally, people who need the highest level of Long-Term Care reside in Nursing Homes. Nursing Homes offer trained medical professionals specialized in senior care with illness, injury, or disabilities, and trained staff specialized in assisting residents with daily tasks such as bathing, eating, laundry, and housekeeping. Rehabilitation services are also available.
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