Editor’s note: This is the third article in a series on caregiver support – strategies for managing caregiver stress, and how to locate and utilize your local resources.
There are varying levels of care available depending on your loved one’s needs. Age, health and financial status also play a role. Many people find it complex and confusing but understanding these options will help you make informed care decisions for your loved one.
Every Alzheimer’s care situation is unique, so no single type of living arrangement will fit everyone’s needs. Below is an outline of the different resources available in most communities to help you make educated choices.
Respite Care – Adult Day Care
Respite Care provides caregivers with a temporary break from their duties. Whether it’s for a few hours a week to run errands or a few weeks a year to take a much needed vacation, respite care can be a valuable stress reliever. Adult Day Programs are the ideal form of respite care as they provide a relatively easy and cost effective first step in the care journey. They are an excellent solution for the daytime hours and provide socialization and mental stimulation for participants. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, it is important to find and adult day program that specializes in dementia care.
Estimated Monthly Cost: $1,500 – $2,000 (assuming 4 to 5 days per week)
Home Health Care
Home care agencies allow people to receive individualized care in their own homes. Licensed, professional caregivers come to them and assist with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and toileting. These agencies often help with transportation to appointments and can assist with bill paying and household chores. Home Care is also referred to as In-Home Personal Care or Home Health Care.
Estimated Monthly Cost: $3,500 – $5,000
Assisted Living/Residential Care Communities
Assisted Living Communities are designed for seniors who need extra care and are no longer able to live on their own safely. Meals, housekeeping, medication management and assistance with the activities of daily living are routinely provided. Generally, people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can live safely in assisted living communities.
Estimated Monthly Cost: $3,500 – $6,000
Memory Care Communities
Memory Care Communities are specialized residential care facilities with a focus on caring for individuals with memory impairment conditions. Most of these living environments have secured or locked areas to ensure that none of the residents wander out. Residents frequently have access to outside walking paths or gardens. These communities provide 24 hour care and assistance with the activities of daily living. Caregivers are specially trained to care for individuals with all forms of dementia. Memory Care Facilities are often referred to Alzheimer’s Assisted Living or Dementia Care Communities.
Estimated Monthly Cost: $4,000 – $7,000
Nursing Homes/Skilled Nursing Facilities
Nursing Homes provide 24 hour skilled nursing care for the elderly who need a very high level of assistance. Licensed nurses care for patients around the clock. These facilities are often referred to as Nursing Centers, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Convalescent Care or a Long Term Care Facility.
Estimated Monthly Cost: $7,000 – $10,000
No matter what your individual caregiving situation may be, it is important to educate yourself on the community resources available to you. Doing so will provide you with peace of mind that you have made the right decision for your family.
Contributing author: Glenner Memory Care Centers‘ mission is to provide quality adult day care and support services to families and others affected by Alzheimer’s and memory impairment diseases. We do this by providing quality adult day programs, family support, case management, crisis intervention, family and community education, advocacy and information and referrals.
See also: Worried about the memory health of a loved one? Use the free Alzheimer’s-Dementia Memory Loss symptom checklist to determine the probability of serious memory loss.