Understanding the Continuum of Care for Older Adults

Growing older impacts different people in different ways, and it is not always possible to anticipate what circumstances may arise that create the need for assistance. The different options available belong on a continuum that addresses safety, dignity and independence for aging adults. The following summarizes the range of options that are available when the time comes to consider getting help.

Going Solo or Keeping it in the Family

Some people are fortunate enough to have fewer complications due to aging, and they feel strongly about living out their lives in their own home, or the home of a loved one. In order to prevent accidents, and ease daily living activities, there are still some common-sense precautions to take in the home. The CDC recommends the following:

  • Get rid of trip hazards like throw rugs, and keep floors clutter free.
  • Brighten your home with extra lighting or brighter light bulbs.
  • Install grab bars in the bathroom(s)—next to the toilet and inside and outside of your bathtub or shower.
  • Install handrails on both sides of staircases

There are other precautions that should be taken, and SmithLife Homecare offers a free home assessment, in which our Certified Home Safety Experts come to your home, identify potential hazards, and recommend fixes. You can learn more about it here.

In-Home Professional Care

Staying home can still work for an aging adult challenged by mobility, health, or cognitive issues. In-home professional care can range from help with outings like grocery shopping and doctor visits to medical assistance post-procedure or long term. To get the best out of these kinds of services, you should consider a provider who offers a full range, flexibility, and professional needs assessment. This way, as needs increase (or decrease if they are due to a short-term medical issue), there is continuity of care.

Independent Living

Staying at home may not be the preferred option, and an excellent way to find community, access activities, and continue a comfortable, safe lifestyle is through independent living. From 55+ housing communities to facilities with dining and other amenities, the design and intent of independent living is to reduce isolation, promote safety, and allow adults to feel secure that they have found a forever home. When living in these communities, adults can still engage in-home assistance to ease their daily living. SmithLife Homecare is a collaboration that includes Charles E. Smith Living Communities, where the collaboration offers discounted in-home services to the residents.

Assisted Living

When an older adult has reached a point in which activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, cooking, and cleaning have become a challenge, a holistic solution is an assisted living facility where the amenities include regular, in-home care, dining facilities, access to medical professionals on the staff, and other essential support to allow for as much continued independence as possible while still acknowledging the realities being faced. Charles E. Smith Living Communities includes assisted living facilities, where the excellent services can be supplemented by additional in-home care.

Advanced Care Options

Whether it is hospice in the home, memory care, or nursing care, some adults reach a point where they require a greater degree of care from medical professionals to ease their final time. Understanding when and where to engage in these services can be overwhelming for families, and a trained expert consultation can help determine the best possible approach. SmithLife Homecare starts its relationship with clients by a home visit from an RN who assists with determining the amount of care needed.

At SmithLife Homecare, we are proud to offer multiple points of entry into the continuum of care for older adults. We feel strongly that aging with dignity can be supported by the right amount of care and assistance, and we offer flexible, customized solutions to allow our clients to love their lives in safety and continued independence. Contact us today to learn more.

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