What are the Senior Care Options?

What are the Senior Care Options

1. Home Care

A non-medical home care provider can help you stay in your home as you age and need more assistance. While some of these providers may have certifications, many do not. Instead, they rely on their experience of elderly care to assist you in your daily routine. They do not provide medical interventions, but they do remind you of your appointments, run errands, accompany you as needed, telephone for emergency help, and ensure that your home stays clean and safe enough for you to remain.

1.1 What Are the Services Available through Home Care?

Non-medical (non-skilled) home care providers can assist with a myriad of daily activities. They can do your laundry, cook your meals, go grocery shopping, pick up your dry cleaning, and do other tasks that are difficult for you to do. As you age and need more assistance, your non-medical home care provider can help you shower safely, comb your hair, or assist you with dressing. You can use your caregiver to help you with anything around the house that could be a risk for you or cause you pain.

Job Titles for Providers: Caregiver, Sitter, Home Health Aide, Certified Home Health Aide, Non-medical Home Care Provider provide non-medical home care.

1.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Home Care?

Non-medical home care is unique because it allows for as little disruption to your daily life as possible as you age. It is, specifically, for you if you do not have daily medical needs and want to remain in your home as you age, unlike other senior care options. It does not require that you give up your lifestyle as you age. You also get to bond and connect with your caregivers. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of non-medical home care.

Advantages of Home Care:

  • Companionship
  • Lower costs
  • Promotes independence
  • Remain in-home
  • Personalized attention

Disadvantages of Home Care:

  • Lack of medical expertise in an emergency
  • Additional costs for therapeutic providers
  • Independence can lead to falls
  • Laborous hiring process
  • No medical assistance

1.3 Home Care Cost

Cost Level: $$

The amount you pay depends heavily on the cost of living and how many hours you need someone in your home. For example, you could hire someone to just help you for a few hours with your morning routine and housekeeping for a fairly cheap amount each work. You could also want more full-time work or both day and night in-home non-medical care.

Payment Accepted: Payment for this type of senior care is typically out-of-pocket. Depending on your policy, you may be able to use long-term care insurance to cover some of the costs. Medicare can only cover the costs of non-medical home care temporarily and only for part-time hours under the Part B Medicare plan. In order to qualify, you must show that you need more than just help with chores around your home. It must be ordered by your doctor.

2. Home Health Care

Home health care involves the delivery of a range of services that normally take place in a rehabilitation facility or a nursing home, except you receive them in your home. Instead of having to stay somewhere outside of your home, a qualified professional offers you care at your home. Ideally, your time with a home health care professional is temporary until you no longer need their extra care. If you are in recovery or have untreated pain or another chronic issue, then home health care could be the solution to provide the tools for you to learn to care for yourself.

2.1 What Are the Services Available through Home Health Care?

You can access many different medical (skilled) services through home health care. Physical therapy due to chronic pain or after an injury is a common service for home health care. A nurse may provide wound care, change dressings and other skilled post-operational care. Regular check-ups from a home health care professional will help you monitor the progression of any illnesses that you have. You can also get assistance from a nutritionist to help you adjust your needs to a senior diet, especially if you experience comorbidities.

Job Titles for Providers: Providers differ based on the services that you need, but you could expect to see positions for medical doctors. Registered Nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and more.

2.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Home Health Care?

Home health care professionals come to your home for short periods to deliver medical care. Unlike personal caregiving or other services, these professionals do not offer daily living assistance. They also do not supervise you or your loved one or spend periods at your home unless it’s part of a medical care plan.

Advantages of Home Health Care:

  • Avoid long hospital stays
  • Provide personal medical attention
  • Less expensive than a nursing home

Disadvantages of Home Health Care:

  • Usually no help with grooming, bathing, or toileting
  • Temporary until you need further intervention
  • Limited medical treatments available

2.3 Cost of Home Health Care

Expense Level: $$$

Payment Accepted:
You can pay out-of-pocket for home health care. Medicare Part A can cover costs as well, but you need an order from a doctor. You generally get approval for a temporary period only.

3. Nursing Home

A nursing home provides medical care and daily living assistance for seniors. At a nursing home, you or your loved one can get 24-hour medical care from trained and licensed experts. You move into a room on either a short-term or long-term basis. Most stays are for patients who permanently reside at the facility, but some seniors only need temporary care and rehabilitation. Depending on the price range, availability, and needs of the patient, you can decide to get a private room or share a room with another patient.

3.1 What Are the Services Available at Nursing Homes?

Nursing home facilities provide services based on the needs of the patient. If you have injuries or chronic effects from injuries, then you can access physical therapy while in the facility. Nurses deliver and ensure that patients take medications. Specialists provide services in stroke and heart attack rehabilitation, among other care. By providing meals, nutritionists ensure proper food intake based on needs from medical conditions and age. If you have hospital treatments, the nursing home arranges transportation and recovery for you. Nurses and technicians can also provide help bathing and other basic care needs. Many nursing homes also arrange limited social activities to provide entertainment or religious services.

Job Titles for Providers: Doctors, Rehabilitation Specialists, CNAs, LPNs, RNs, NPs, and more work at nursing home facilities.

3.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes are different from other long-term care options in the level of medical care that you receive. You can get comprehensive medical care that is not available with other senior living options. You or your loved one also receives medical attention at any hour needed without having to be in a hospital. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in a nursing home.

Advantages of a Nursing Home

  • Supervised care
  • Rehabilitation services
  • A team-based approach to care
  • Quick access to emergency care
  • Consistent monitoring of health metrics

Disadvantages of a Nursing Home

  • Lack of independent
  • Little to no privacy
  • Limited ability to leave the facility for outings
  • Sterile instead of home-like environment
  • Limited personal interaction

3.3 Nursing Home Cost

Cost Level: $$$$$

The average cost of a nursing home ranges from more than $90,000 a year for a private room and more than $80,000 for a shared room. Some services in the nursing home also incur extra charges.

Payment Accepted: You can pay out-of-pocket for a nursing home, but it will be very expensive. Long-term care insurance can reduce the burden of this cost. Some life insurance plans provide avenues to use some benefits for nursing home stays, such as through accelerated death benefits. Medicare can cover costs if the admission to the facility follows a stay in the hospital. This is typically short-term for rehabilitation services. Depending on meeting income and other eligibility requirements, you may qualify for Medicaid. You can use this to pay for a nursing facility under some circumstances, which also vary by state.

4. Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are best if you need help in everyday tasks and have some medical issues, but none that require daily professional care. Some patients have an early-stage neurological disorder, while others may have issues with a disability or a lack of familial support to remain at home. You can find these facilities as standalone communities or designated areas of nursing homes that are separate from the full-support side. The latter allows you to transition from assisted living to a nursing home if your or your loved one’s care needs change.

4.1 What are the Services Available at an Assisted Living Facility?

You can access many services as an assisted living facility. Generally, you receive all of your meals, subject to dietician review, from the facility. The facility also takes care of housekeeping and other chores. Your room has a design that keeps limited mobility in mind to make it safer and easier to navigate. The most common services in an assisted living facility include assistance with showering, mobility, getting ready, using the bathroom, going to bed, and making and consuming meals. Assisted living facilities provide limited medical services along with daily care assistance. Individual facilities typically have criteria you must meet to remain in this independent role as opposed to a nursing home.

Job Titles for Providers: CNAs, Medical Technicians, Dieticians, Volunteer Coordinators, and other service providers work at assisted living facilities.

4.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities provide a higher level of care than living at home or an independent facility, but they provide less managed care than a nursing home. You are still largely independent at an assisted living facility, but you do still have easy access to medical care. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing an assisted living facility.

Advantages of an Assisted Living Facility:

  • Moderate amount of independence in living
  • Readily available assistance with hygiene tasks
  • Safer than living at home alone
  • Some basic health monitoring
  • Security services

Disadvantages of an Assisted Living Facility:

  • No rehabilitation facilities
  • No around-the-clock care
  • Pimarily remain on the grounds
  • Must maintain ability to care for yourself
  • Lack of full indepedence

4.3 Assisted Living Facility Cost

Cost Level: $$$

The median cost of an assisted living facility is just over $48,000. The amount you may pay differs based on the local cost of living, amenities, and whether you have a private room or semi-apartment.

Payment Accepted: Payment for a placement at an assisted living facility is primarily out-of-pocket. Medicare and Medicaid only go toward the payment of services that do not include room and board in these circumstances. Some states have programs to reduce the costs you have to pay out-of-pocket.

5. Independent Living

Independent living facilities offer the most flexibility and freedom outside of remaining at home. This type of facility is only for you if you do not need daily medical assistance and you can take care of yourself. Instead of focusing on services for physical health, these places center on mental stimulation by providing a community of seniors with whom you can socialize. By scheduling lots of activities both on the grounds of the facility and around the town, independent living gives you a lot of opportunities to stimulate your mind. This is also a good choice for any healthy senior facing loneliness, as you get to meet and live around many other seniors. You would typically have your own apartment space in a facility dedicated entirely to independent care.

5.1 What are the Services Available at Independent Living Facilities

The services at an independent living facility vary but often include housekeeping services, a cafeteria or other meal options, and assistance with transportation. These facilities do not provide medical services, although staff may have training in first aid. Instead, you can find services for planning regular activities and excursions. Many of these facilities do have amenity services, such as pools, gyms, and recreation areas. Since these are not medical institutions, regulations classify them as residences. There are no strict guidelines for the services that each facility must provide. These services vary greatly between different facilities.

Job Titles for Providers: While some independent living facilities may have some nurses on staff, you can primarily find aides, activity coordinators, and other specialists that manage the day-to-day living experience.

5.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Independent Living?

Independent living facilities differ from other senior care choices primarily by the amount of freedom that you have. You can still enter or exit the property as you wish, go on vacation, and carry on with your private life. This is also more of a social senior facility than a medical senior facility. Those with health needs that require professional attention or those with major mobility issues should choose a different type of care. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of selecting an independent living facility.

Advantages of Independent Living Facilities:

  • Independence within a secure setting
  • Opportunities to socialize
  • Inclusive unit repairs and lawncare
  • Amenities, such as swimming pools
  • Freedom to choose layout of the unit

Disadvantages of Independent Living Facilities:

  • Moving from your home
  • Lack of medical care
  • Needing to change to a different care plan
  • Maintaining mobility and health to remain
  • Disagreements with community members

5.3 Independent Living Facility Cost

Cost Level: $$

The average cost of independent living for seniors varies by state, but it ranges from a low of about $22,000 per year to over $48,000 a year. The services, amenities, and design of the space also add to the costs.

Payment Accepted: Neither Medicare nor Medicaid can pay for independent living. Depending on your benefits, long-term care insurance could cover a portion of the costs. Overall, you can expect to pay for this out-of-pocket. The good news is this is one of the cheaper options because you do not pay for medical care and you can choose which services you buy, such as housekeeping.

6. Senior Living

At a senior living facility, you live independently with other older adults. A senior living facility is also known as an independent living facility. You have access to come and go as you please and your full autonomy. Facilities like these are typically stand-alone and may include apartments, houses, or condos. Amenities vary across facilities.

6.1 What are the Services Available at Senior Living Facilities?

Staff does not provide you with any daily living task assistance, such as bathing, getting dressed, or anything else. You must be completely independent or hire a private caregiver. You also do not receive medical care. Instead, senior living facilities provide a place to live in an environment with older adults in mind. You may also have scheduled activities for entertainment. A concierge can help connect you with other services that you need.

Job Titles for Providers: While you will not find doctors or nurses at a senior living facility, you will find activity coordinators, maintenance workers, and a range of people to help you coordinate services.

6.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Senior Living Facilities?

Senior living offers some of the most independent living options for older adults. No services exist in these facilities for medical or daily living assistance.

Advantages of Senior Living Facilities:

  • Do not have to provide upkeep to you place
  • Can live among other older adults
  • Generally quiet neighbors and high community standards

Disadvantages of Senior Living Facilities:

  • Not for people who require daily medical care
  • May require selling your home to afford
  • May require you to move away from family and friends to find a suitable facility

6.3 Senior Living Facility Cost

Cost Level: $$$$$
Just like independent living, senior living is expensive, but it varies based on the services, location, and type of home.

Payment Accepted: Since you do not need medical intervention, neither Medicare nor Medicaid would be appropriate for the situation. Depending on your policy, you may have coverage through long-term care options. Most likely, you will pay out-of-pocket for your expenses in senior living.

7. Skilled Nursing Home

Skilled nursing homes can provide you with short or long-term care in a comfortable setting outside of the hospital. For rehabilitation services, you can stay for a short amount of time while you receive the in-patient treatment that you need. You could also reside permanently at a skilled nursing home if your needs are more chronic.

7.1 What are the Services Available at Skilled Nursing Homes?

At a skilled nursing home, you receive medical treatment depending on your diagnosis. If you had a fall that led to hospitalization, then you could work with a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. A doctor could also prescribe you pain medication. Skilled nursing homes often have nurses and doctors trained to deal with your recovery from common issues, such as heart attacks and strokes. You get medication, diagnostic services, and treatments outside of the hospital. The staff can also assist you with daily living needs, such as going to the bathroom, getting dressed, bathing, and meal service.

Job Titles for Providers: Depending on the specialties of the skilled nursing center, you can find a range of medical health providers, including doctors, RNs, CNAs, NPs, a pulmonary care nurse, a cardiac nurse, physical therapists, and more.

7.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Skilled Nursing Homes

What makes a skilled nursing home so unique from other options is the level of expertise of the nursing and doctoral staff. At this kind of facility, you can get a high level of non-hospital medical care from a range of medical professionals. At the same time, it provides the benefits of a nursing home.

Advantages of Skilled Nursing Homes:

  • Expertise in recovery care
  • Consistent health monitoring and care
  • Help with daily mobility tasks
  • Security provided

Disadvantages of Skilled Nursing Homes:

  • Limited social activities
  • Limited freedom to leave the facility
  • No or limited privacy
  • One of the most expensive options for care

7.3 Skilled Nursing Home Cost

Expense Level: $$$$$
Data does not show differences between the cost of nursing homes and skilled nursing homes, and additional expenses depend on the services that you need.

Payment Accepted:
You can use Medicare to pay for a skilled nursing home for up to 100 days, following your release from a hospital. Medicaid may also pay for some short-term costs, depending on eligibility. Check your policy to see if long-term care insurance covers a skilled nursing facility for short or long-term stays. Otherwise, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for your stay.

8. Memory Care Facility

Consider a memory care facility as you advance into dementia or Alzheimer’s disorder. These facilities concentrate on providing care and experiences from medical staff with training in memory loss disorders. These facilities may be stand-alone facilities or designated units in a nursing home or assisted living complex.

8.1 What are the Services Available at Memory Care Facilities?

The staff at memory care facilities help you go about your day while dealing with the effects of memory loss. This means giving you reminders, making sure that you make it to activities and meals on time, and assisting you with daily care needs, such as bathing and getting dressed, as your disease progresses. Residential activities focus on brain stimulation and the needs of the patient demographic. Staff members attend to your needs and maintain your safety. They all dispense medicine and monitor your progress.

Job Titles for Providers: Neurologists, doctors, RNs, CNAs, NPs, and other people provide care to patients at memory care facilities.

8.2 What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Memory Care Facilities?

At a memory care facility, you or your loved one receive care designed specifically for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disorder. Patients at the facility have the same common issues, and the staff has specific training in those neurological disorders. The setup of the facility caters to those with memory loss issues, such as basic signposting.

Advantages of Memory Care Facilities:

  • Security to prevent roaming
  • No kitchen access to prevent fires and burns
  • Disease monitoring
  • Meals provided
  • Organized activities

Disadvantages of Memory Care Facilities:

  • Away from home
  • No one-on-one private caregiving provided
  • Generally do not leave the facility
  • Rules on visitation
  • Clinical living setting

8.3 Memory Care Facility Cost

Cost Level: $$$
The average cost of a stay at a memory care facility is $6,935, but the cost varies by location and services.

Payment Accepted:
Medicare and Medicaid typically only pays for medical treatment you may need, not room and board. You need to use a qualifying long-term care insurance plan or pay out of pocket to stay at a memory care facility.

9. Adult Daycare

Adult daycares allow family caregivers to attend to their work or other obligations while their senior loved ones receive either social or medical care. Adult daycares may offer some level of medical assistance. Thus, if you need some level of care to get around, but are primarily independent, then adult daycare could be an option to keep you from entering a full-time facility. It eliminates the need for a separate caregiver during those hours. You can also find companionship from other older adults and participate in activities together.

9.1 What are the Services available at Adult Daycare?

Adult daycares that focus on social activities offer recreational services and activities for older adults to do. Additionally, other adult daycares may include medical interventions. These can be basic medical care options or more advanced medical care, such as early memory care or physical therapy. Many adult daycares also provide meals to clients. Many adult daycares can arrange pick-up and drop-off for their clients.

Job Titles for Providers: At adult daycare, you can find RNs, CNAs, physical therapists, volunteer coordinators, and other positions depending on the services of the facility.

9.2 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Adult Daycare?

With adult daycare, you do not live in a facility. Unlike other options, this is a temporary arrangement for a certain number of hours with no overnight stays. Adult daycares do not provide daily living care, so they differ from at-home caregiving and other facilities. Unlike senior centers, adult daycares can provide a basic level of medical care.

Advantages of Adult Daycare:

  • Social interaction
  • Keeps you out of a long-term care facility longer
  • More affordable than private caregiving
  • Provides organization and structure to your day
  • Allows family members to maintain personal commitments

Disadvantages of Adult Daycare:

  • Closest adult daycare may not have the services you need
  • Lack of intensive medical care
  • No one-on-one full-time attention
  • Lack of choice for meals and activities
  • Differing standards of care between facilities

9.3 Adult Daycare Cost

Expense Level: $$

Adult daycares set their rates, which vary from approximately $25 to $100 for the day. Some of the services from adult daycares receive government funding, such as meals.

Payment Accepted: Check your plan to see if your long-term care insurance covers adult daycare. Medicare typically does not cover the costs of adult day care, but you may have access to state or Medicaid programs. Otherwise, you can pay for adult daycare out-of-pocket.

10. Senior Center

At a senior center, you can gather with other older adults for community and access to services. The emphasis of a senior center is to act as a focal point for recreational activities and assistance for signing up for structured senior-oriented programs. You cannot live at a senior center. Instead, you attend planned programs and activities, meet with social workers, and engage in opportunities that keep you or your loved one active and independent.

10.1 What are the Services available at Senior Centers?

Primarily, senior centers offer individual programs from which older adults can choose. Senior centers commonly offer age-appropriate exercise programs, instruction on meal planning, and nutritional information for seniors. As part of the social aspect of senior centers, you can often find a variety of different recreational activities that depend on the individual senior center, such as crafts, educational opportunities, group volunteering, and voting drives. At these centers, you can also get advice and support on accessing government programs, careers, and more.

Job Titles for Providers: You can find social workers, volunteer coordinators, nutritionists, exercise instructors, and other positions at senior centers. The exact positions depend on the types of classes or activities that the senior center offers.

11.2 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Senior Centers?

Unlike some other older adult care options, senior centers do not provide any medical support or assistance with daily living tasks. Senior centers also differ from other care options that do not provide these options in that you do not live at senior centers. They are simply places to go for recreational use and service appointments.

Advantages of Senior Centers:

  • Meet other older adults
  • Assistance in getting on government programs
  • Improved mental and physical state

Disadvantages of Senior Centers:

  • Must be completely independent
  • No medical support
  • No daily living support

11.3 Cost of Senior Centers

Cost Level: $

Senior centers receive funding from governments, grants, and private donors so that they can offer no-cost or low-cost programs. Expenses at senior centers are typically free or have a stated cost for each activity available. The cost varies widely between the service offered and the individual senior center.

Payment Accepted: Since you do not receive any medical or living support, neither Medicaid nor Medicare applies. If an activity costs money, you need to pay for it out-of-pocket.

12. Adult Foster Care

Adult foster care is available to any qualifying adult, but these facilities are especially advantageous for older adults. Adult foster care facilities are also known as adult family homes. Unlike the name suggests, no adoption occurs. Instead, adult foster care is a home environment with multiple people of similar needs. The service is for more than just seniors, but older adults are a large portion of the population. As a senior, you can live in adult foster care to remain in a home environment and receive care. Every adult foster care home must have a license and adhere to certain guidelines to protect residents. These facilities are typically small and owner-occupied.

12.1 What are the Services available at Adult Foster Care?

The services that adult foster care offer differs depending on the individual home. Common services include assistance with daily living tasks, such as laundry, meal preparation, bathing, bathroom use, and grooming. You can also get help getting around if you have mobility issues. This includes assistance with moving around the home and with transportation. You also have someone to give you medication and provide you with assistance if you have memory or other issues.

Job Titles for Providers: As adult foster care does not require medical needs, the positions of those who work in adult foster care vary. You could find the owner, managers, and caregivers.

12.2 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Adult Foster Care?

Adult foster care differs from more intensive services, especially nursing homes, in that you typically need to be independent. While some assistance is available for daily living and mobility tasks, you typically would not qualify with major impairments. It also offers you the ability to live in a home setting instead of a medical facility. Unlike independent living, you do have access to some care.

Advantages of Adult Foster Care:

  • Live in a home environment
  • Maintain as much independence as possible
  • Can leave the home if able
  • Stay in hometown even if there is no nursing home
  • Provides consistent supervision

Disadvantages of Adult Foster Care:

  • Lack of medical care
  • Inconsistencies in qualifications of homes
  • Inconsistencies in services available between homes
  • Difficulty in finding a facility due to supply constraints
  • Need to leave if conditions deteriorate

12.3 Cost of Adult Foster Care

Expense Level: $$$

The cost of adult foster care varies based on location and services available. For example, the cost of adult foster care in Oregon ranges between $1,800 and $7,200 a month.

Payment Accepted: Social security insurance can go toward the payment of adult foster care. You can also use Medicaid, but not Medicare to cover your costs, so long as you are eligible. Long-term care insurance can also cover your stay, depending on the plan. Otherwise, you need to pay for this service out-of-pocket.

13. Private Hire Caregiver

Private hire caregivers provide basic medical assistance and help you with your everyday living tasks. This type of caregiver stays with you to provide companionship to assist in meeting your social needs, as well. Depending on the type of certification and training, you could find a caregiver that specializes in areas like memory care or other issues. Certification requirements vary by state; be sure to look up your local requirements. You can hire caregivers for specific times, as well as throughout the night.

13.1 Services from a Private Hire Caregiver

With your private hire caregiver, you can expect services that center on everyday living tasks. These include laundry, meal assistance, light housekeeping, grooming, bathing, and toileting. Caregivers can complete simple errands for you that relate to your ability to live on your own, such as grocery shopping or transportation to doctor appointments. Moreover, they use their training to monitor your basic health readings and alert your family or doctor about changes.

Job Titles for Providers: This position is known as a private hire caregiver, home health aide, or certified private caregiver.

13.2 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of hiring a Private Hire Caregiver

Unlike personal care aides (caregivers), these caregivers have training in dealing with specific populations, such as geriatric care, memory care, and disabilities. Caregiving differs from other facilities, as it does not require institutionalization. Unlike adult foster care, you remain in your own home.

Advantages of a Private Hire Caregiver:

  • Trained personal care
  • Assistance with transportation
  • Alert emergency services in the event of an incident
  • Lower-cost

Disadvantages of a Private Hire Caregiver

  • Usually no official training or certification
  • No backup if caregiver doesn’t show up
  • Laborious hiring process

13.3 Cost of Private Hire Caregiver

Expense Level: $

Private hire caregivers make a median of $13.02 per hour, but it would depend on your location. Using an agency over direct hire would also increase costs per hour.

Payment Accepted: If a medical condition requires caregiving assistance, you may qualify to use Medicare for a private hire caregiver. Long-term care insurance could also provide coverage, depending on your plan. Some states allow for the use of Medicaid for private caregivers, so long as the caregiver has completed the necessary regulatory requirements. If you do not meet the eligibility for any of these programs, you can pay out-of-pocket.

14. Hospice Care Facility

At a hospice care facility, you receive care for the end stage of your life with medical professionals. These facilities cater to people who have an illness that can no longer respond to treatment. Only patients with an expected six months or less to live can have a referral from their doctor for hospice care. You will find a host of people and services to assist in alleviating discomfort and preparing you for the end of your life.

14.1 What are the Services available at Hospice Care Facilities?

While staying at a hospice care facility, you or your loved one receive a range of services to help ease the transition at the end of life. Based on your needs, you will get medicine for daily care but not for terminal illness treatment. You can also receive spiritual or religious guidance based on your preferences. Counselors work with you and your family to prepare for the end of your life. Medical staff continue to monitor your progress and offer you services that make your time more comfortable.

Job Titles for Providers: People who work at hospice care facilities include doctors, nurses, religious service providers, mental health professionals, dieticians, and others, depending on the needs at the facility.

14.2 What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hospice Care Facilities?

Hospice care facilities differ from other senior care facilities in that you only avail of the services in the last six months of your life. Rather than providing treatment or long-term assistance with daily living tasks, this type of facility focuses on short-term comfort and mental health. It also incorporates the entire family into treatment.

Advantages of Hospice Care Facilities:

  • Provides grief resource for families
  • Gives end-of-life psychological services for patients
  • Prevents unnecessary and uncomfortable medical tests and treatments
  • Access to pain medication as needed
  • Can decide to leave hospice treatment and receive illness treatment

Disadvantages of Hospice Care Facilities:

  • Acceptance of inevitable death
  • Requires ending treatments for illness to remain in hospice
  • Clinical trial participation must end
  • Lack of a specific caregiver
  • Difficult to estimate how long you left to live for eligibility purposes

14.3 Hospice Care Facility Cost

Expense Level: $$

The average cost of a hospice care facility ranges from approximately just under $2,000 per month to about $2,400 per month. Costs vary depending on the services that you need.

Payment Accepted: You can use Medicare for hospice care to cover most to all your expenses, depending on the services you need. Most are completely covered, while there is a copay for prescriptions of no more than $5.00. For Medicare to cover your costs, you must acknowledge that you have ended any illness treatment. You can also get coverage through Medicaid and private insurance, depending on your individual policies and eligibility criteria

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