As you grow older, housing may pose more and more of a concern, especially if your health is failing. If you are worried that you may not be able to take care of your basic needs as you age, such as cleaning, cooking, bathing and maintenance, then looking at your long term health care options is an important choice. Let’s start right away with your options.
In-home health care is the best option for people who have a higher level of fitness, and want to remain as independent as possible throughout their later years. In this situation, home health care nurses may come and visit you daily, or every couple of days, to take care of your everyday medical needs. Also, a housekeeper may be utilized, as well as a personal health care attendant, who would be responsible for more of the day-to-day living help – such as a companion, driver, cook or the like. In-home health care is quite easy to locate; just contact a nurses’ association or look in the Yellow Pages.
An intermediary between nursing homes and independent living, continuing care, or retirement communities, offer a wide variety of health benefits and services to their inhabitants. These communities are usually all-inclusive, where dwellers receive lodging, meals, social events, varying levels of health care, and sometimes other perks as well.
Entrance fees for these establishments can be quite high (ranging from $10,000 to over 300,000); added to their monthly fees (ranging from $800-4000), and this option can prove to be expensive health care. However, services are guaranteed for the remainder of your life if you choose this option, and if your health falters, you can always be moved to the nursing home portion of their health care facility.
Because of the all-inclusive nature of this kind of health care, you’ll want to read the fine print carefully in your contract. What are all of the recurring and one-time fees? What exactly is covered with those fees? What health care options are, and are not offered? Do you need to purchase extra health insurance to cover your specific care costs? Also don’t forget to check up with the Better Business Bureau about the status of the facility you are interested in; if you plan on living there the rest of your life, you may want to double check it’s reputation, too.
In a very simple sense, nursing homes will take care of your health care needs when you are no longer able to. This may be for a short period of time while you are recovering, or for a longer period of time as you age. Nursing homes are the whole meal deal of health care for the elderly or otherwise incapacitated. If this is an option that you think you may require, there are many things to discuss and consider when looking at your options. Does the home provide the type of care that you will require? Research the history of the nursing home; are there any black spots on their record? Talk to people who have lived there, have used their services, or who are still living there now, if at all possible. Get their viewpoint.