How to Find Affordable Alternatives to Assisted Living

Jan 29, 2019

When you’re looking for inexpensive alternatives to assisted living or a nursing home for your senior mom or dad, the first considerations are often senior independent living communities, senior helpers and home care assistance professionals. These options use elderly home care services in varying degrees to assist your parent in retaining an independent and healthy lifestyle.

Let’s look more closely at these options, including the pros and cons of each.

1. Senior Independent Living

There is a wide range of independent living communities available today that provide maintenance-free housing in accommodations like small cottages, villas or apartments. Convenience is, far and away, the biggest draw to this style of living. Seniors who have worked hard all their lives and are ready to relax and enjoy their golden years find these communities and their amenities very attractive.

Amenities often include: building security, organized recreation opportunities, field trips, game nights, pool centers, physical fitness centers, dining services, hair salons, transportation to medical facilities, housekeeping, dry cleaning, chapel services, trash removal, lawn care, garage rental and more.

While many of these retirement facilities offer a sliding scale for rent, the bottom line is often cost prohibitive. Substantial amenities and senior care services are expensive to maintain, and the grounds and facilities require constant upkeep. These overhead expenses are reflected in a monthly rent that can oftentimes be costlier than a house or condo.

Other than the cost, the biggest drawback of senior independent living is there is no one responsible for checking up on your parent. For instance, days could go by without your mom ever speaking to anyone else. If she fell into a pattern of isolation, it’s difficult to ensure she’s eating properly or taking medication when she should. There are few checks and balances in place since independent living communities largely expect your parent to care for themselves.

A senior wellness check-in service like Call My Mom can help balance this downside by checking up on your senior parent each day to make sure all is well – encouraging them stay active, take medication and eat healthily. With Call My Mom, a CareFriend who knows your parent’s likes and dislikes will engage them in meaningful, caring conversation every day, helping diminish feelings of isolation or loneliness.

2. Senior Independent Living with a Continuum of Care

Many retirement facilities offer a contracted continuum of care. Translation: Your mom or dad can choose to start with independent living, transition into assisted living, and then into skilled nursing care as their health needs change over time. The advantage to continuum of care is that it delivers both flexibility and consistency. Your parent can remain in the same community throughout each stage, although a room or building change may be required.

Again, the biggest disadvantage to this option is the cost. It won’t take long to deplete retirement investments and savings accounts, after which homes and properties often revert to the facility.

Loneliness, isolation and depression can still present problems within this living arrangement. Even though you can be relatively confident your parents’ physical needs will be tended to, social and emotional needs often remain unmet. Call My Mom can help with this challenge. Having someone who sincerely cares about your parent call each day to check up on him or her goes a long way in making sure they remain socially and emotionally fulfilled.

3. Home Care Assistance

Staying in the home that your mom or dad has enjoyed over the years is another option for independent living. To help a parent who wants to age in place, you will want to seek out qualified and trustworthy senior helpers and senior friend finders to meet your parent’s changing needs. There are two kinds of in-home care available: non-medical and medical. Based on your mom or dad’s immediate needs, you may be able to start with non-medical and then progress to medical as needs change.

Whether you and your parent choose non-medical home care or medical home care, the caregivers that are performing these services are uniquely positioned to help improve the physical and psychological wellbeing of your parent.

However, it doesn’t come cheap. One of the most significant challenges of in-home care is how quickly the cost of services adds up. Over time, in-home care can do some serious damage to seniors’ finances.

There are basically 5 levels of home care assistants: Housekeepers, Personal Care Assistants (PCAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNAs), and Registered Nurses (RNs).

When comparing these 5 levels of home caregiving, you will notice the more affordable options usually require the least amount of medical responsibility and training. As needs increase, costs will go up. Keep in mind that although costs can be considerable, when your senior parent requires medical care, it is also then possible to use Medicare to pay for a portion.

Whomever you choose as a helper, you will find that caregiver will have a list of what they can and cannot do. Some of it will be legal mandates, some will be personal preferences. Either way, you may find gaps in the care your parent needs.

How Does a Senior Wellness Check-In Service Work?

A great option to fill in the gaps and make sure your parent is receiving the level of attention they need is a senior wellness check-in service like Call My Mom. Whether you choose senior independent living, senior independent continuum living, home care assistance, or traditional aging in place, there will still be times throughout the week when your senior parent will need someone to check up on him or her.

Call My Mom offers three care plan options. Each employs professionals to engage in meaningful conversation with your mom or dad on a scheduled basis to help prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness common in the elderly population. Using information you provide, we will call your loved one throughout the week to discuss topics that are important to them, providing a level of friendly, ongoing companionship that can counter the debilitating effects of loneliness.

These daily wellness calls give us the opportunity to ensure everything is ok with your senior parent, providing you with priceless peace of mind. If a call is missed, an email will notify you that your parent did not answer, so you are always kept in the loop.

In addition, our professional staff can offer gentle reminders to ensure that your loved one takes her medications, attends doctor appointments, participates in events and more. By effectively performing these services, we make good on our mission to reduce loneliness and depression, as well as to safeguard both the physical and mental wellbeing of your aging parent.

The Best Support Service Around

As you research affordable alternatives to a nursing home or assisted living for your senior parent, keep Call My Mom in mind. We often work hand-in-hand with these options as an invaluable, supportive link in your overall caregiving plan. When you can’t be there, we can. Together, we can help your parent enjoy a happier, more independent lifestyle. Check out our pricing plans {insert hyperlink} to find the one that fits your budget and your parent’s needs and let us help you build a safer future for your loved one.

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Everyone loves a thoughtful gift no matter when it’s given. Show your mom or dad how much you care with the gift of a Care Friend and the individualized care and attention they’ll provide. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and one that he or she deserves!