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Housing Options for Aging Parents

  In-Home Care Assisted-Living Facility Nursing Home
When to consider Parent can live independently but needs some assistance Parent can live independently but needs some assistance Parent can't live independently and requires regular nursing care
Types of care provided
  • Medical care (nursing or health aide)
  • Household help
  • Companion or caretaker services
  • Meal delivery
  • Transportation
  • Rental rooms, apartments, or houses
  • Housekeeping services
  • Meals
  • Social activities
  • Transportation
  • May provide limited health-care services
  • 24-hour access to medical care
  • Custodial care: some help eating, bathing, dressing, or taking medications
  • Skilled nursing care
Potential advantages
  • Can remain in familiar surroundings
  • May be less expensive than assisted-living or nursing home care if limited services are needed
  • Staff available 24 hours a day
  • Social interaction with other residents
  • May have home-like atmosphere
  • Social interaction with other residents
  • Access to round-the-clock medical care
  • May have special care units for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related conditions
Potential disadvantages
  • Strangers in home
  • Can be difficult to coordinate care
  • Limited privacy
  • Long waiting lists
  • High fees for extra services
  • Limited privacy
  • Long waiting lists
  • Very expensive
What you need to do
  • Assess hazards and functionality of home, renovate if necessary
  • Check credentials of agency or individual providing service
  • Research facility thoroughly
  • Consult an attorney before signing a contract
  • Research facility thoroughly
  • Consult an attorney before signing a contract