In our last post, we discussed some of the options available for long-term care. Now let’s explore additional options, including assisted living and nursing home care.
Medical Foster Home/Adult Foster Care
A medical foster home is a private home operated by a trained caregiver. Residents may be elderly adults with chronic physical or cognitive health needs who require assistance in daily living, or younger adults with disabilities who want to reside in a non-institutional setting. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs oversees a program that encompasses about 700 U.S. medical foster homes and serves approximately 1,000 military veterans. Medical foster homes are not restricted to veterans, however. Many people in the United States live in non-VA adult foster home arrangements.
Post-acute care is palliative or rehabilitative care for people who have recently been discharged from a hospital. Rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and other facilities may offer post-acute care. In some situations, post-acute therapy can also be provided on an outpatient basis or at home.
Assisted living facilities offer services, such as medication management and light personal care, not available at most retirement or independent-living residences. Assisted living focuses on remaining independent within a supervised setting. Residents can choose from options including prepared meals, housekeeping, medication management, and help with activities of daily living such as getting dressed and showering. Assisted-living facilities frequently offer a wide range of activities, including exercise sessions, gardening, crafts, and movie nights to keep residents engaged and foster socialization. Group dining is the norm. Assisted-living communities take many forms, including suburban complexes that cater to dozens of residents, single-house settings, city apartment buildings, and more.
Also known as skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes provide personal and medical care services beyond what is typically available in assisted living facilities. These services usually include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, assistance with the activities of daily living, and three daily meals. Occupational, physical and speech therapy services may also be offered. In some situations, such as rehabilitation after a hospital stay, residence in a nursing home is temporary. However, the majority of residents live in nursing homes permanently because of chronic physical or mental health conditions, or a combination of the two, that can be effectively managed only with continual care. Examples of continual care provided by nursing homes include managing oxygen treatments, applying eye drops, and other forms of health/custodial care.