Aging in Our Community: Options for Residential Care

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By Teresa Halverson, Director of Business Development & Community Relations, The Manor at Blue Water Bay

We are all blessed to live on the beautiful Emerald Coast. With more families moving to the area every day, our aging population continues to grow as well. Navigating the senior living and health care options can often be confusing. Our community is fortunate to offer so many different levels of care. Planning ahead, exploring options and taking a facility tour can help avoid crises when you need immediate assistance.

There are many services available to choose from and there is no simple answer to which one would be right for you or your loved one. Knowing what is available will help you understand the difference and enable you to choose a service that best meets your family’s needs. The following services in our community provide care levels.

Independent Living Facilities (ILF) for Seniors: Private Pay. Most residents are normally fully independent aside from some minor medical needs. ILF’s offer a wide range of social amenities and fine dining. Sometimes we are just ready to downsize without having to care for a larger home.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF): Private Pay. Need a little more assistance? No longer able to live alone? These facilities allow an individual to live in a private room. Assistance includes Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and medication management. Communal dining, housekeeping and recreation programs are typically offered. Many facilities offer transportation to appointments, shopping and medical appointments as well. Some ALF’s offer a Memory Care Unit (secure unit) dedicated to a family member who might need daily attention for safety and security.

Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities are traditionally known as long term care facilities. This service is right for you (or your loved one) if you require 24-hour skilled nursing care and assistance with ADLs. Is your loved one no longer safe to live at home or alone? Does your loved one need assistance with getting out of bed? Transfers? Wound care? Long Term Care in skilled nursing facilities is paid for by Private Pay, Long Term Care Insurance or Medicaid. All skilled nursing facilities also offer short term, post hospital rehabilitation stays. Insurance (Medicare or Private Insurance) covers the costs of the stay for a limited time. Typical short stay patients (known as Rehab Patients) are admitted directly from the hospital and receive 24 hours nursing care, physical, occupational and speech therapy services. The goal is to assist the patient to reach their highest level of functioning and return home as soon as possible.

Take time to start looking at all resources available, request a tour of potential facilities and develop a plan for the future to help avoid last-minute crises.

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