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We all want our loved ones to receive the best. When it comes to selecting a program for elder care, however, simply having attentive staff isn’t enough: A situation needs to align with your family member’s treatment, day-to-day needs, and physical abilities.

ElderCareResearching elder care is a complex route, with health insurance adding an additional factor to consider. As a guide, here’s a breakdown of the most common options you’ll encounter:

Independent Living: These communities, possibly government subsidized, are ideal for those with few medical problems. The facilities feature fully-equipped, private apartments and may offer meal packages. Also known as retirement communities.

Assisted Living: When a senior can no longer live alone, an assisted living community presents the best situation. Such individuals do not need a high level of care, but staff, including licensed nurses, are on call 24-7 to assist with medications, activities, meals, and house-keeping. Some facilities may accept Medicaid.

Nursing Homes: Skilled workers assist elderly patients requiring a high level of attention. Facilities are designed for both short- and long-term care, with nurses on staff. In this arrangement, patients frequently share a room, although meals are served in a common dining room. Most facilities, also known as convalescent care and long-term care centers, take Medicaid or Medicare.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care: Part of a nursing home, Special Care Units, or SCUs, offer specialized activities for and are equipped with staff experienced with these types of patients. To prevent patients from wandering off, these areas are locked and have additional security.

Residential Care Homes: Residents live together in a private, home-like community. Live-in workers provide care and assist with daily activities. These facilities are also referenced as congregate housing, group homes, and adult family homes, and may take Medicaid.

Home Care: In this arrangement, the elderly remain in their own homes while still receiving care. Hours and needs are variable, from a care worker coming in on occasion to assisting with daily needs around the clock. Medicaid and Medicare may cover this option.

Continuing Care Retirement Community: This transitional arrangement combines independent, assisted living, and nursing home care. The resident, however, has a long-term contract or agreement with the facility for the housing, services, and healthcare provided. As well, the state regulates these communities, and care is governed by the state department of insurance.

Respite Stay: This short-term or temporary care option lasts just a few hours per week, offering relief to the patient’s regular caregiver. The stay often occurs in an assisted living or nursing community.

Hospice: A program provides near-end-of-life care, at home, in a facility, or in a hospital.

No matter the arrangement, always make sure your loved one is safe and cared for. Should you suspect negligence, Trantolo & Trantolo’s team of elder care lawyers is here to help.