Nursing homes provide around the clock care for patients, including skilled nursing care and assistance with personal hygiene and meals. Some people need that level of care but many prefer to avoid nursing home placement if possible. Alternatives to nursing home placement in the Buffalo, New York area include living with family members, home health care services and assisted living facilities.
Living With Family
Some elderly or disabled people that qualify for nursing home care live with family members instead. Family members may provide the bulk of their care but they may also receive supportive services such as home health care or homemaking services to augment the care their family members provide.
Home Health Care
Home health care agencies provide a wide range of services to patients in their own homes, allowing them to remain at home instead of checking in to a nursing home. Home health services include skilled nursing care, home health aide assistance with personal care, homemaking services physical and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and social services. Home health agencies in the Buffalo, New York area include Caregivers, Health Force, Willcare and Schofield.
Assisted living facilities offer an alternative to nursing home care for some patients in Buffalo. Patients (usually referred to as residents in assisted living facilities) live in single rooms or one bedroom apartments where they receive assistance with activities of daily living. The facility provides services like assistance with activities of daily living, meal preparation and housekeeping. Patients do not receive skilled nursing care like nursing home patients do, however, and while help is available around the clock they do not receive the intensive level of care provided in nursing homes. Buffalo has many assisted living facilities including Elderwood, Niagara Lutheran and Peregrines Landing.
A person’s financial means can influence her choice of alternatives to nursing home placement. Elderly people usually have Medicare which pays for some home health services if they have skilled nursing needs. Medicaid also pays for home health care in New York. Many health insurance policies pay for home health care and some people can afford to pay out of pocket for services. Medicare will not pay for assisted living, however. Medicaid will under some circumstances. Some people choose to pay for assisted living out of pocket but it can be costly.
Making the Choice
Choosing the best alternative to nursing home placement can be challenging. The best placement for people depends on their individual needs and preferences as well as the resources they have. For instance, living with family members would only be a suitable option for someone with family members that expressed the willingness and ability to provide the level of care needed. Assisted living would only be an option for those with the means to pay for it.
Senior Homes. http://www.seniorhomes.com/p/paying-for-assisted-living/. Paying for Assisted Living.
PBS. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/caringforyourparents/handbook/homecare/payingfor.html. Caregiver’s Handbook.