(NAPSI) - As a caregiver, an important goal is to have your loved one be content with his or her home.
To be best able to match the housing to the needs, wants and personality of your family member, it helps to understand the options. These include:
• Age-restricted communities may be comprised of single-family homes, town-homes or apartments. Many communities have well-equipped clubhouses and other amenities.
• Assisted-living arrangements provide personal care and support services or help with basic daily activities such as bathing, dressing and medication management. Most offer meals, activities, housekeeping, transportation and security.
• Nursing homes provide skilled nursing care and help with basic, daily activities, often supported by speech, occupational and physical therapists.
• Continuing-Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) feature independent-living homes and offer social, recreational and cultural activities. In addition, they have assisted-living and nursing-level care. Residents usually enter at the independent-living level. If their health and abilities decline, they can move to the assisted-living or nursing-home tier within the same complex.
Once you decide that a loved one needs a change in housing, these tips can guide you:
• Determine what help your loved one needs. You may want a professional assessment.
• Visit a number of residences.
• When you take a tour, talk to residents, staff and visiting family members.
• Ask staff members how long they've worked there; a good sign of quality is low turnover.
• Check with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities at www.carf.org. Many assisted-living residences, nursing homes and CCRCs voluntarily apply for accreditation, which means they meet many quality measures.
• Be sure you get clear information on costs and the details for all financial arrangements.
You can learn more at www.aarp.org or by calling (888) 687-2277.
Ginzler is a national expert on independent living and aging issues. She currently serves as AARP's lead spokesperson on caregiving, housing and mobility issues.