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  1. Employee Resources
  2. News Room
  3. Senior Care: Know Your Options

Senior Care: Know Your Options

Release Date: December 13, 2023

It can be confusing and overwhelming for caregivers to understand and evaluate the wide range of options for seniors who may need help living safely and comfortably. Before you make any decisions about care, talk to your older loved one, their doctor, other healthcare providers, and your family to determine the right options for your senior.

Home Care

Depending on your older loved one’s needs, they may be able to get help with at-home activities from family, friends, or volunteer groups. There are a variety of community services that can help your older loved one with at-home care as well as home modification and equipment to support their stay at home. Some low-cost community services are supported by volunteer groups and donation-based services that help with transportation and shopping. Costs for these services vary depending on your senior’s physical location and the support they need. The home services and programs listed below may be available in your loved one’s community:

  • Adult day care
  • Meal programs like Meals-on-Wheels
  • Senior centers
  • Home care agencies
  • Friendly visitor programs, like therapy dogs or church groups that offer visits for elderly shut-ins

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities provide help with activities of daily living. Residents often live in their own room or apartment within a community that enjoys meals and recreational activities together. Some of these facilities have health services on site, however not all assisted living facilities provide the same services. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are retirement communities that offer more than one kind of housing and different levels of care. While assisted living facilities only offer one type of care, CCRCs offer various levels of care. In the same community, there may be individual homes or apartments for people who still live on their own, an assisted living facility for people who need some help with daily care, and a nursing home for those who require higher levels of care. Residents move from one level to another based on their needs, but usually stay within the CCRC. CCRC contracts usually require you to use a CCRC nursing home if you need nursing home care. Some CCRCs only admit people into their nursing home if they've previously lived in another section of the retirement community, like their assisted living or an independent area.

Your Employee Assistance Program is Here to Support

If you need additional eldercare assistance or resources, contact your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you are considering any type of elderly care, always check the quality of the servicers by reading reviews, speaking with current residents, and asking questions. You Employee Assistance Program can assist you with developing helpful questions to ask and providing resources and information on various caregiving topics. EAP support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information or for help in contacting your EAP, send an email to your DHS Work-Life specialists at worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 12/13/2023
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