If you have an elderly parent, grandparent, or another loved one who has succumbed to the natural aging process and now needs help to live alone, you may be struggling with the available options. The idea of putting your loved one in a nursing home probably doesn’t sit well with you or with them. Fortunately, there are other options that may work to delay or even avoid the need for nursing home care. To get you started, the Los Angeles attorneys at Schomer Law Group, APC explain some common alternatives to nursing home care in California.
This refers to a variety of services typically found in large cities. Community-based services may be free, low cost, or may ask for a voluntary donation. Examples of community-based services that may be available in your community include:
- Adult day care
- Meal programs (like Meals-on-Wheels)
- Senior centers
- Friendly visitor programs
- Help with shopping and transportation
- Help with legal questions, bill paying, or other financial matters
Depending on your needs, you may be able to get help with your personal activities (like laundry, shopping, cooking, and cleaning) at home from family members, friends, or volunteer groups. Medicare will pay for home care if you meet certain conditions. In addition, the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance program may be able to help with home care if you, or your spouse, are a veteran.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities offer support for individuals with their daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and using the restroom. They also extend assistance with activities that individuals typically manage on their own, such as medication management and eye drop administration. Additionally, these facilities can provide services like transportation to appointments and meal preparation. Residents often occupy their own individual rooms or apartments within a complex or a group of buildings and frequently share some or all their meals in a communal setting. These facilities typically organize social and recreational activities for residents, and some even have on-site health services. It’s important to note that the term “assisted living” may carry different meanings depending on the specific facility, as not all of them offer the same range of services. Therefore, it’s advisable to reach out to a facility directly to ensure that they can accommodate your specific needs. In most cases, residents of assisted living facilities pay a regular monthly rent in addition to fees for the services they require.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), often referred to as Life Plan Communities, provide a multifaceted approach to retirement living. These communities offer a variety of housing options and a range of care services to cater to the evolving needs of their residents. Within a CCRC, you can find independent houses or apartments for those who are still fully self-sufficient, assisted living facilities for individuals requiring some assistance with daily tasks, and nursing homes for those in need of more intensive care. Residents at CCRCs have the flexibility to transition between these different levels of care, ensuring they receive appropriate support as their requirements change. It’s worth noting that CCRC contracts typically mandate the use of the community’s nursing home if that level of care is necessary. Some CCRCs might only admit individuals into their nursing home if they have previously lived in another part of the retirement community, such as the assisted living or independent living sections. It’s essential to be aware that CCRCs often require a substantial upfront payment, commonly known as an entry fee, in addition to ongoing monthly fees. To determine the accreditation status of a particular CCRC, you can visit the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities website for verification.
Hospice is a special way of caring for people who are terminally ill (with six months or less to live), and for their families. Hospice care focuses on providing comfort for terminally ill patients and their families, not to cure illness. Hospice care patients receive medical and support services, including nursing care, medical social services, doctor services, counseling, homemaker services, and other types of services. As part of hospice care, you will have a team of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors, and trained volunteers to help you and your family cope with your illness in your home, at a hospital, or at a hospice facility.
Do You Have Additional Questions about Alternatives to Nursing Home Care?
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions about alternatives to nursing home care in California, contact the experienced Los Angeles elder law attorneys at Schomer Law Group APCby calling (310) 337-7696 to schedule an appointment.