Definitions: Senior Housing/Living and Resource Options
There are several options open to today's seniors, specific to what lifestyle or level of care they are looking for or needing.
Home Health Care
Home Health can provide a wide range of services, from companions to full 24 hour care. An evaluation of the client will be performed by a Registered Nurse that works for the agency, and the services will be matched with the needs of the client.
Cost - Services may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid or a Long Term Care insurance policy, however a physician's authorization may be needed for service(s) being provided. Private pay does not require a physician's authorization.
Home Companion Services
Companies providing only homemaker and companion services must be registered with AHCA. Services include housekeeping, meals, shopping, and trips outside the home. These services can also be offered by a home health agency, nurse registry, or hospice.
Cost - Most often these services would be paid for with your own money. For possible assistance, check with your insurance company, your local office of the Florida Department of Children and Families, or the Elder Helpline.
Retirement communities are designed for individuals who are relatively independent, physically and socially. They are typically mid-sized to large campus style communities that offer a wide variety of activities and conveniences for the resident. Generally meals, linen service, transportation are provided for the monthly rental. Most communities provide a la carte health care services as needs change.
Cost - : Price ranges vary by the type of community and size of apartment desired. Generally, most communities are private pay with no government financial assistance.
Large, self-contained, campus style communities that offer Retirement, Assisted Living, and Nursing Services. Generally an initial entry fee and monthly payments guarantee the resident access to all specified health care services for the remainder of the residents life. Most CCRC's establish minimum requirements for prospective residents, based on age, financial assets, and income level. In general, residents are expected to move into the community while they are still independent and able to take care of themselves.
Cost - CCRC/LIFECARE: Require an entry fee plus a monthly payment with the arrangement to care for the individual for the remainder of his/her life. Most communities offer several contract options. Depending on the contract the entrance fee may be non-refundable, refundable on a declining basis over time, partially refundable, or fully refundable. Some communities offer full equity of purchase instead of an entry fee.
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)
ALF's range in size from small homes housing 6-12 people to large full service facilities. The range of services vary from facility to facility. Services typically include assistance with meals, bathing, dressing, continence care and other routine daily needs. Medical services vary by facility.
Cost - Price ranges vary by facility, depending on level of care. Charges are billed on a monthly basis. For lower income elderly, some financial assistance is available through the Optional State Supplemental Administration, Medicaid Waiver or through the Veterans Administration as long as skilled care is not required.
Nursing Facilities (SNF)
Skilled nursing facilities provide services 24 hours a day. Physical and mental rehabilitation services, assistance with eating, bathing, grooming and continence care. Registered nurses, LPN's and certified nurses’ aides on staff to provide care and dispense medications. Resident must need 24-hour skilled nursing care and/or rehabilitative services.
Cost - Costs are figured on a daily basis and billed monthly. Medicare and Medicaid can assist in deferring high cost, however, a person must qualify by meeting both the physical and financial requirements.
Adult Family Care Home (AFCH)
Adult care homesare private homes licensed by the state to care for no more than five residents. They offer an attractive living option for individuals who might benefit from a homelike setting with a small number of residents. Adult care homes provide room, board and care much like assisted living facilities, but in a smaller, more personal setting. Many care homes specialize by design and staffing to attend people with memory care issues such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. Even though many families take great joy in providing care to their loved ones so that they can remain at home, the physical, emotional and financial consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite care. Respite care provides the much needed temporary break from the often exhausting challenges faced by the family caregiver. Some assisted living facilities offer short-stays for this reason.
Costs – Costs vary by location.
Adult Day Care
Adult day Care offers therapeutic programs for the health, safety and well-being of adults who have functional impairments. It provides a protective setting where services are provided on a less than 24-hour basis during a center’s operating hours. A Variety of activities are offered that might include exercise, health screening and education, interpersonal communication, and behavior modification. Leisure activities might include arts and crafts, hobbies, and outside activities. Adult day care also provides respite care for functionally impaired adults for the purpose of relieving the primary caregivers. Some nursing homes, ALFs, and hospitals also provide adult day services.
Cost - Can be paid by private funds, by some insurance policies, by some programs administered through the Department of Elder Affairs and the Department of Children and Families, or by a Florida Medicaid waiver program (if both the participant and the center are eligible).
Geriatric Care Manager
A Geriatric Care Manager is a professional who specializes in assisting older adults and their families with long term care arrangements. They assess needs and monitor the quality of all support services (home care, meal programs, transportation, relocation and placement services), accompany to appointments, and advocate as a respected and knowledgeable professional from a neutral position that protects and represents the best interest of the client.
Cost - Costs are usually based on per hour rates and vary by the clinical expertise and experience of the Care Manager. Most often a private pay service, sometimes these professional fees are offset by long-term care insurance plans.
Provides a coordinated program of professional services, including pain control and counseling for patients with a diagnosis of a terminal illness. Hospices provide nursing, physician, social work, and pastoral services; nutritional counseling; and bereavement counseling for terminally ill patients and their families. Additional services may be available. The staff is specially trained to assist the patient and family members who are dealing with death and dying. These services are provided in the patient’s place of residence, a hospital, or a hospice facility.
Cost - Can be paid for by private funds, some insurance policies, or by Medicare or Medicaid (if the patient is eligible).