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The Different Types of Senior Care

If you are just beginning to research the various options for eldercare, you’ll find that there are many different options available. By understanding these options and what they have to offer, you can pick something that aligns with your needs, lifestyle and budget.

Let’s explore the different types of senior care options and what to expect from each one.  Most of the listed services are available after a person’s medical conditions are stable and they no longer require hospitalization or intensive rehabilitation services.

Skilled Care vs Custodial Care

Skilled services may be nursing care such as IV medication or urinary catheter management, wound assessment, disease assessment and education.  Physical therapy and other rehabilitation services may also be considered skilled care if they help improve the senior’s ability to safely care for themselves and navigate their environment.  These services require the care of a licensed medical professional.   

Custodial care is care that helps with things like bathing, dressing and eating. It’s a good option for seniors who are very debilitated or with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Both skilled and custodial care can be provided in the home, an assisted living facility, a nursing home or an adult daycare center.

Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted Living facilities offer 24-hour supervision and are best for seniors who need assistance with some aspect of their daily activities. This may be as little as assistance with meals and laundry and as much as assistance with bathing, dressing and medication administration. Seniors who live in these facilities have their own apartments. Memory Care areas are most often contained within an Assisted Living facility and is for people with some level of dementia. Additionally, memory care has lower staff-to-resident ratios and the staff is trained to handle the cognitive, behavioral, emotional and physical needs of people with dementia. Both traditional Assisted Living facilities and Memory Care areas provide social and physical activities for their residents.

Senior Home Care and Home Health Care

Although these two terms are used interchangeably, they are different. Senior home care generally means custodial or unskilled care provided by home health care aides under the periodic supervision of a nurse.  Certified home health care agencies provide a higher level of care described in the skilled care section above.  Certified home health care is frequently partially or fully covered by health insurance.  The quantity of services covered depends on your insurance plan.   

The benefit to both senior home care and certified home health care is that it’s provided in the comfort of your home. Patients don’t have to go anywhere to receive specialized, one-on-one care, assessment and education, and this care can help them stay out of the hospital and recover faster from their illness.

Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Palliative care focuses on relieving patients of their pain and symptoms related to a serious illness.  Its goal is to improve the quality of life at any stage of a serious illness. 

Hospice treats terminally ill patients in the last months of their lives. The goal of Hospice care is to maximize comfort and improve the quality of life so one can live as comfortably as possible. Hospice also provides services to the family and caregivers during this difficult time and offers bereavement services after the patient’s death.

Hopefully this has helped you better understand the different types of senior care available. If you’re unsure about the type of care you or a loved one needs, contact VNA Health Group today. We offer various home health and hospice services for individuals and their families.

Have questions about home care? Contact us today at 800.400.0981