Nursing home options

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
When you think of living and care options for the elderly, nursing homes probably come to mind. However, today's seniors have a variety of options, depending on their level of functioning, income, and personal preferences. Many are able to remain in their own homes by taking advantage of home assistance programs like adult day care, which provide rehabilitative healthcare, meal delivery, and transportation services. Homesharing programs are shared living situations arranged by agencies that specialize in recruiting and matching like-minded individuals. These programs allow those who are in fairly good health to develop stimulating new relationships with peers or with a younger family member. Reassembling refers to aging parents and adult children who decide to live together for economic or health reasons. Although this option requires a great deal of time, energy, and discussion, many families find it to be a rewarding experience. Retirement communities present a good option for seniors who are healthy, have adequate income, and want to maintain home ownership. These communities typically offer social and recreational programs as well as maintenance services to their residents. Nursing homes have greatly improved in quality over the past few decades. However, quality has a price tag, and because long-term care is only briefly covered by Medicare and seldom fully covered by insurance, the cost is generally payed for by families.

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