Considering Alternative Types of Long-Term Care
Adult Day Care and Respite Care
Adult day care and respite care are two types of long-term care options for those who only need assistance and supervision during the day or evening. These two long-term care options offer relief to family, friends or caregivers: they can go to work or handle personal business or take a break while knowing the individual is safe and receiving care and companionship.
One of the main goals of adult day care and respite care programs is to help delay or prevent individuals from having to become a resident of a long-term care setting. By providing alternative care, these two long-term care options aid in preventing caregiver burnout and allow individuals to remain in their own homes as well as help to enhance self-esteem and to encourage socialization.
Medical and Nonmedical In-Home Care
In-home care as an alternative type of long-term care can help individuals live independently for as long as possible, given the limits of their medical condition. It covers a wide range of both medical and nonmedical services to help delay the need for having to leave home to reside in a long-term care community.
Understanding How Home Health Care and Home Care Services Differ — Because the terms sound so similar, it is easy to confuse the difference between these two types of care in the home.
Home health care is medically oriented and usually involves helping individuals recover from an illness or injury. Because it can include occupational, physical and speech therapy or even skilled nursing, those who provide home health care include registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and home health aides. They often work for home health care agencies, hospitals and public health departments licensed by the state.
Home care services are usually nonmedical and typically involve helping individuals with either Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing and eating, or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as cooking, cleaning and monitoring that individuals take their medication in the correct dosage and at the correct time each day.
Individuals can arrange for services for a set number of hours for a set fee; many in-home care agencies have a minimum length of stay (usually two to four hours). Companion and aide services that may include housekeeping, meal preparation, errands and personal care are often available at an hourly rate with a required minimum number of hours. Nursing services that include personal care and skilled licensed care also are available at an hourly rate with a required minimum number of hours. Live-in services usually cost a set fee per 24-hour period.
Hospice Long-Term Care
Hospice is a special way of caring for individuals who are terminally ill with six months or less to live; it includes physical care and supportive services. Because the goal of hospice is to provide comfort but not to cure the illness, hospice care is for both individuals and their family members.
How Hospice Care Works — If individuals qualify for hospice care and choose it, they can receive medical and support services to help them and their families cope with the terminal illness. Hospice care includes nursing care, medical social services, physician services, counseling and homemaker services. Because hospice care focuses on providing expert pain and symptom management along with psychosocial and spiritual support, an interdisciplinary team of highly trained experts and caring professionals focuses on an individual's unique needs, life goals and priorities.
Choosing Hospice Care — Many individuals do not realize that they even have a choice when it comes to the provider of their hospice care. The Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association details a guide of questions for consumers to consider when choosing hospice care at www.mohospice.org or 1-573-634-5514.
To learn more about available hospice choices and help with figuring out this alternative type of long-term care, contact VOYCEconnect at www.voycestl.org or 314-919-2403 or 1-866-918-8222.
Call our VOYCEconnect specialist to help you sort through the many options for long-term care. Our VOYCEconnect specialist can assess your level of need and suggest alternatives to keep you independent as long as possible.
A more detailed listing of alternative long-term care can be found in our Consumer Resource Guide and Directory.
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