Despite the growing population of seniors in the U.S., the AARP Public Policy Institute announced that the number of seniors in nursing homes has decreased. A major contributor to this statistic is the increased number of options available to the elderly. In contrast to the situtaion a decade ago where the options for seniors were limited to skilled care nursing homes, seniors today have the option of various types of less-supported living. From at home care to senior day care to assisted living facilities, these attractive options can better balance the health and supervision needs of seniors with the need for independence. For seniors, services that are more tailored to their individual needs often results in a better quality of care.
The range of services that these alternatives provide range from at-home meal preparation to living facilities with full-time health care staff. While these alternatives to nursing home care can provide significant cost savings, these alternatives frequently require more of an active care-provider role from family members. In addition, families of seniors benefitting from at home care or assisted living should be aware that the federal regulation of nursing homes may not apply to less intensive senior care such as assisted living facilities.
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