At some point during their golden years, most people will require some level of long-term care. Nursing homes are often the first option people think of when planning for this stage of life, but seniors often refuse to go to a nursing home—and who can blame them? Few people want to sacrifice their independence and privacy or leave homes they’ve lived in for years.
Fortunately, the availability of nursing home alternatives is on the rise. From adult daycare programs to non-medical home care, there are options to meet the needs of almost any individual.
Home-based care is particularly popular because it allows seniors to retain their agency while having their needs met. If this sounds like the solution for you, contact LightSpring Home Care Care today. Our experienced caregivers can provide mobility assistance, transportation, personal care, and much more.
The Disadvantages of a Nursing Home
Though nursing homes may be beneficial in some cases, many seniors have concerns about moving into such a facility. Nursing homes often provide less privacy than one would get at home. Meals and activities are often scheduled, meaning residents have little control over their daily routines, including their diet.
Further, nursing home employees typically have many patients to care for, so personalized attention is rare. Residents may also feel isolated from friends, family, and their local community.
The following nursing home alternatives allow your family member or loved one to age either at home or in a homelike atmosphere, with community and comprehensive care.
Top Alternatives to Nursing Homes
1. Home Care
Home care is one of the most popular alternatives to nursing home care because it allows individuals to receive care in their homes. Seniors can remain where they’re most comfortable and secure, stay connected to their communities, retain personal agency, and remain close to friends and family.
Additionally, home care is often much cheaper than moving into a nursing home. For example, a year of nursing home care in New Jersey costs at least $90,000, while in-home care costs about $75,000 or less.
Non-medical home care includes assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. It may also include light housekeeping, mobility assistance, and transportation, depending on your loved one’s needs. Non-medical caregivers also assess the home for safety hazards and ensure walkways are clear and safe.
Home care agencies, like LightSpring Home Care, often provide comprehensive services like live-in care, 24-hour care, and in-home memory care. Live-in and 24-hour care services ensure your loved one is never alone and always has someone to assist them when they need it. In-home memory care usually includes safety supervision, medication reminders, and help with hygiene and diet.
In-home medical care allows seniors to remain at home even if they require care from a medical professional. Medical care can be short or long-term and includes everything from medication administration and wound care to post-surgical recovery.
You can schedule medical care for just a few hours a week or have a nurse by your loved one’s side around the clock. Since medical home care is more expensive than non-medical care, many people also blend these services to save money while meeting their loved one’s needs.
2. Assisted Living Communities
If your loved one can no longer live on their own but doesn’t require continuous care, an assisted living community might be a good alternative to a nursing home. These senior living communities offer private apartments so residents can have independence, but they also offer access to shared meals, activities, and transportation. They can also receive personal care and mobility assistance from caregivers employed by the community.
However, this option may not work if your loved one requires ‘round-the-clock care. In those cases, 24-hour in-home care may be the best alternative.
3. Adult Day Care
Seniors who are isolated or need daytime assistance may benefit from adult daycare. They’ll receive care at a facility during the day and return home each evening. These programs usually provide meals, activities, and entertainment. Attendees also have the opportunity to socialize with each other and form friendships.
Most adult daycares are only open on weekdays. If your loved one needs nighttime and weekend assistance, you might consider filling these hours with non-medical home care.
4. Adult Foster Care
Adult foster care programs are offered in private homes where several seniors live together like a family. They’ll share meals together, socialize, and have access to personal care. Though these programs are similar to nursing homes in that several residents live in the same space, adult foster care provides a comfortable, residential setting. Fewer residents also means that each person receives more personalized care.
Adult foster care is also often much cheaper than a nursing home, though it’s not as cost-effective as non-medical home care.
5. Family Caregiving & Respite Care
Many adult children choose to be a family caregiver over putting their loved one in a nursing home to ensure their loved one’s well-being and to spend quality time with them. This option usually involves moving your loved one into your home and caring for them there. You or another family member will provide personal care and meet their needs.
However, as your loved one’s needs increase, it may become necessary to schedule respite care. Agencies like LightSpring Home Care provide supplemental non-medical care so you can rest, recharge, and avoid burnout.
6. Continued Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are similar to assisted living communities in that residents have private homes with access to personal care, transportation, shared meals, and scheduled activities. However, CCRCs usually offer a wider variety of care options than assisted living, such as skilled nursing services. This allows your loved one to remain in the same community as their needs increase.
The biggest downside to CCRCs is the expense. They’re often much more expensive than the other alternatives on this list because they provide so many services.
How to Choose the Best Nursing Home Alternative
The first step in choosing the best nursing home alternative is to consider your loved one’s needs. How much care do they require? Do they need medical care or just personal care assistance? Are they at risk of becoming isolated and depressed?
Considering these questions can help you determine which kind of care will benefit your loved one the most. For instance, someone who’s isolated may benefit most from adult day care or non-medical home care.
It’s also worth noting that non-medical home care is the most comprehensive and holistic alternative to a nursing home. In-home caregivers can provide many—if not all—of the same services as assisted living communities, but with a personal touch. Rather than following a rote program designed for multiple people, they’ll receive individual attention and assistance.
Home care may also be the best option if your loved one requires medical care. You can schedule in-home medical services for a few hours a day and schedule non-medical care for any other assistance they require.
Get Comprehensive and Compassionate Home Care From LightSpring Home Care
For many individuals, home is the place they feel safest and most comfortable—and they should get to stay there as long as they like. At LightSpring Home Care, we enable our clients to enjoy the freedoms of aging in place while fostering their safety.
Our caregivers provide a wide array of services—from personal care assistance and support with daily activities to 24-hour monitoring and safety supervision. We diversify our home care services so each client receives a care plan customized to meet their individual needs.
Additionally, fully-insured caregivers are supported by multidisciplinary care coordination teams. Together, they make it possible for you or a loved one to continue thriving at home. Contact us today to learn how we can support you.