According to a recent study done by the AARP, 95% of people over 75 say they want to remain in their homes as long as possible. To help older adults retain their independence and thrive at home, many communities have the following resources seniors and their caregivers can take advantage of.
Non-Medical Home Care
There are literally 1000s of different non-medical home care companies across the US, with some of the larger brands being Home Instead Senior Care, Comfort Keepers, and Visiting Angels. These companies provide a wide range of services to help their clients stay at home, including:
- Light housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Meal prep
Most non-medical home care companies place a CNA in the home, and they can be scheduled for as many hours as are needed. Clients pay for non-medical home care services out of pocket, through Medicaid, or with certain long-term care insurance plans. Hourly rates different by area and company, but for private pay clients, you can expect to pay between $15-$35/hour.
Many seniors grow tired of cooking or struggle to prepare meals for themselves as they age. Fortunately, many communities have local meal services that can help.
Meals On Wheels is the most recognizable meal organization for seniors, with over 5000 independently run programs across the US. Their local volunteers will typically deliver a hot meal each day to qualifying participants. In order to qualify for Meals On Wheels in most communities, you’ll need to be deemed homebound and be below a certain income threshold.
For seniors not wanting to use Meals On Wheels (or those who don’t qualify), there are certainly other options:
- You can order meals online through companies like Bistro MD or Magic Kitchen, and they can be delivered in a cooler right to your front door fully cooked.
- You could hire a local personal chef to prepare customized meals in the home. Many personal chef services, Chefs For Seniors included, are surprisingly affordable and offer a higher level of customization for specific diets.
Almost every community has a local senior center that provides a wide-range of community services. There’s usually no cost to join, and it can be a great way for seniors living on their own to get out and socialize.
Here’s a list of the services offered by most senior centers:
- Congregate dining site for a noon meal during the week
- Educational classes
- Case management
- Caregiver support groups
- Health & wellness fairs
Geriatric Care Managers
Hiring a geriatric care manager is basically like hiring a relative. They usually have a nursing or social work background and can provide a wide variety of services for families including bill paying, coordinating home services, and managing medical appointments. Their services can be especially helpful if family caregivers live far away. In terms of cost, most geriatric care managers charge $50-$200/hour, depending on the market and their level of experience.
To find licensed geriatric care managers in your area, visit aginglifecare.org.
A community “Village” for seniors is a relatively new concept, but the Village to Village Network is picking up steam with new organizations opening almost every month. A Village is a local nonprofit run by members and paid staff, that provides a support system to enable seniors to age in place. These services include volunteers providing rides, access to community vendors (sometimes at discounted rates), and various social/educational events. Membership fees are usually very reasonable, ~$100-$500/year, especially considering the value of the services provided.
Adult Day Center
An adult day center is typically a non-residential facility that provides meals, activities, and supervision. They focus on serving people with certain chronic conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, and can provide respite for family caregivers. Most adult day centers are run by hospitals or community nonprofits, and are staffed by CNA’s, other medical personnel, and volunteers.