The Health Care System can be confusing and difficult to navigate. When you suddenly find yourself or someone you know needing care, you may become flooded with questions and concerns about what should you do, what is available, what is the cost and what does it all mean? Should you move to an assisted living residence or stay to receive home care assistance where you are and get help in-home? In this two-part series, we will describe the various options available to you so you can review them and discuss with your loved ones to find which option is the best fit for you.
Option 1 of 2
Moving From Your Current Residence
If you decide to move from your present home there are these options available to you;
1. Non-Profit/Subsidized Independent Housing – This is affordable housing for seniors 55 years and older and the rent is income-based usually 30 % of income. The majority of these residences are sponsored by a philanthropic group or foundation such as The Rotary Club, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club or BC Housing. These are independent apartments without any services provided.
2. Supportive Housing – These residences are rental units rented at ‘market prices’. Residents are independent for the most part but may require some assistance with meals, transportation, housekeeping and/or social activities. Some of these residences are similar to staying in a luxury hotel and come with many amenities such as a hairdresser, gym and mini ‘spa’. There is an Emergency Response system in each unit and non-medical staff available 9-5 which adds reassurance to the individual and family. If you are considering such a residence, it is important to have a clear understanding as to what is available to you and what are the criteria for a continual stay.
3. Assisted Living – This rental option provides housing plus additional health services for an individual who is relatively independent but requires some assistance. An individual must require assistance with personal care including bathing support, grooming, dressing and/or medication management to be eligible. An individual usually receives two full meals a day, weekly housekeeping, weekly laundry and 24-hour emergency support. Assisted Living Residences can either be private or subsidized by the local Health Authority. If an individual would like to go to a subsidized Assisted Living residence, they must contact their local Health Authority for an assessment of eligibility. The cost of subsidized is income-based. Private Assisted Living Residences vary in price.
Note – Some Supportive Housing Residences have ‘Assisted Living’ units within their complex so it is best to contact the residence to determine what services they offer.
4. Residential Care – These facilities are for individuals who can no longer care for themselves and require 24-hour medical supervision. These facilities can either be private which vary in price or subsidized by the local Health Authority. If an individual requires this level of care, they must be assessed by the local Health Authority for eligibility. The cost of subsidized residential care is income-based.
In Non-Profit/Subsidized Housing, Supportive Housing and Assisted Living options an individual can receive additional home health services to what is provided in the Residence. These services are an additional cost to the individual that can be provided by a private agency or from your local Health Authority.
Public and Private Home Care Assistance and Home Health Services will be discussed in Part Two.
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