Alternative To Nursing Home Care: Three Options

Assisted Living PicMaybe You Don’t Need A Nursing Home

Nursing homes are places where patients receive a variety of services like Sub-Acute rehab and long-term care for those who need 24-hour nursing care. But nursing home care is not for everyone.  The need for daily assistance to complete everyday tasks such as bathing, cooking and dressing doesn’t mean you have to go to the Nursing Home.

There are many services that will come to a client’s home and provide the necessary care for a fraction of the cost compared to a nursing home.  There are also senior communities offer independent living with the ability to provide additional healthcare services when they are needed.

Many people don’t know that there is an alternative to Nursing Home care. These alternatives can provide excellent services without giving up living in your own home.

Here are the Top Five Alternatives to Nursing Home Care (in no particular order)

Private Duty Home Care

Private Duty Home Care is long-term care is provided by unlicensed home care aides directly to the client in their home.  This service can help a client with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as bathing, grooming, dressing, cooking and cleaning. Aides can also help provide companion and safety for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia.

This service can be contracted form one to twenty-four hours a day depending on the clients medical needs. That said most companies require a three or four-hour minimum in order to start service. Most often caregivers utilize this service to provide care when they go to work, leave the house for errands or a respite from the responsibility of care giving.

Because the care is done in the clients home, it can be done at the client’s convenience.  Clients have the ability to determine when and where the care is given while choosing the type services provided.  Clients can also change the frequency of the service depending on the availability of family or friends to help with caregiving. As long as the client doesn’t require constant care from a licensed nurse, Private Duty care can offer a comfortable and convenient alternative to nursing home care.

Although this service is not normally covered by medical insurance it may be covered through Long-Term Care Insurance, Auto Accident Insurance or Medicaid Waiver programs.  The majority of time private duty home care is paid for directly by the client or a concerned family member.

Before contracting any home care aide, make sure a thorough background check is done.  After all this person will be coming into your house.  This is why it is best to contact a reputable home care company who provides this type of service.  Home care companies are often required to do background checks on all their employees.  They will also have a back-up in case your assigned Home Health Aide has to miss work.

To find a home care provider, visit the Home Care Association Of America website for a list of member companies.

Adult Day Care Centers

Sometimes a caregiver needs just eight to ten hours of coverage a day so they can work. In that event an Adult Day Care Center may be a sensible option.  Most Adult Day Care Centers are well equipped to handle patients suffering from dementia, incontinence and general conditions that make it impossible for an elderly person to remain home alone safely. Even though these centers have a nurse on-staff this type of service may not be the right choice for patients with acute and fragile medical conditions.

Because Adult Day Care Centers provide care for multiple clients at once, it can be an affordable alternative to nursing home care or paying for one-on-one care private duty home care.

Adult Day Care is usually paid for out-of-pocket.  That said some traditional insurances are starting to cover Adult Day Care as a cost efficient way to help patient avoid potential hospitalization due to an accident.  Medicaid Waiver, Veterans Benefits and other government funding may also be available.

For information on how to choose an Adult Day Care Center visit the National Adult Day Services Association.

Assisted Living

Assisted Livings are apartment style senior friendly communities where residents can live independently while having the security of health care services available. Some communities even offer resort style amenities as part of the lease agreement.

For those who need minor daily assistance, these communities often have home care aides on site to assist residents in an emergency or for a scheduled service.  In fact these services can even accommodate up 24-hour one-on-one care if required.

The rent at these communities is often paid for privately. But the monthly expense at an assisted living communities is half that of a nursing home even with around 10 hours of service from a private duty aide. Even at half the cost the monthly expense of an Assisted Living can seem expensive but there are government subsidies and tax credits available that could supplement the cost. Overall these communities offer a cost efficient alternative to Nursing Home Care.

If you are looking for a nice Assisted Living communities visit the Assisted Living Federation of America for a list of member facilities.





About Tony Fischer

As an advocate for elders and their families, Tony has experience in the entire healthcare continuum. He has worked in hospitals, nursing homes, home care, hospice, and non-profits. His vast and unique experience led him to become a consultant that helps clients navigate the senior healthcare system. Tony also works hand and hand with healthcare providers to improve and streamline customer service. The company he founded with his wife Lori, Elder Advocacy Group Inc, advocates for seniors and senior health issues. They do this through the innovative concepts of Life Care Planning and Elder Care Coordination. Through these concepts Tony is able to help elders and their families plan to age successfully on their terms by protecting their right to choose the healthcare services they want provided in the place they want it. Tony shares his talents with other senior advocacy groups like the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council where he advises a non-profit serving seniors in Wayne County, Michigan. He also produces FREE online content for seniors and their families