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Understand the alternatives to moving into a nursing home

When you are planning for your care as you grow older, you have several choices available. Many people automatically think of a nursing home when they think of care for the elderly. That, however, is only one possible choice that you have. Learning about all the options that you might encounter can help you as you make the plans for your care.

In some cases, you might be able to continue to live at home if you use in-home care. This type of care provides you with someone who can help you with vital care activities. You might be able to get help with cooking, cleaning, shopping and bathing. This can be done by friends, family members or agencies.

If you aren’t able to remain at home, you might be able to seek out care in an assisted living facility or a continuing care retirement community. In both of these options, you would have access to staff members who can help you to take care of a variety of activities. The activities you can get help with varies from one center to another, so you should check with facilities in your area to determine what services are available.

Another option is a board-and-care home. These homes are meant for people who don’t need nursing home care, but can’t do vital activities on their own. In many cases, you can get help with bathing, using the restroom, dressing and a variety of other activities.

All of these options require payment. In some cases, Medicare, Medicaid, insurance or sliding fee scales are possible. Understanding each of these care options and the payment options ahead of time can help you plan for your care.

Source: Medicare.gov, “Alternatives to nursing homes,” accessed Aug. 13, 2015