Making the choice to transition to an assisted living community is one that should not be taken likely. Most seniors hesitate to make such a big change, but there are many advantages to moving to an assisted living setting. There may be many reasons a senior would benefit from staying in an assisted living facility. Some seniors may need to stay for a short term temporarily, while others may consider fully transitioning as a permanent residential solution.
Assisted living homes often will offer short term, temporary stay options for seniors who would like to test the waters. There are also short-term assisted living homes for seniors who need help following a hospital stay, rehab or in the event a caregiver needs a break. With short term assisted living options, there are no strings attached and it is a great way to test the facilities or get short term support without requiring a permanent commitment.
Seniors who have spent time in the hospital and are going to be discharged may not feel ready to be at home alone. Seniors that are not in need of rehabilitation, but may need a helping hand can benefit from a short-term stay in an assisted living facility.
Families that live too far to help care for a senior during a medical emergency are good candidates. Those whose family or caregivers work schedule prevents them from providing dedicated care are also good candidates for a short-term stay at an assisted living home.
Seniors who are not sure if they are able to live at home alone and those who would like to try living in a community can benefit from a short term respite stay.
Senior Medicare recipients that are unable to get approval for rehabilitation therapy but will not be safe on their own following surgery are perfect candidates for short term stays in an assisted living community as well. Instead of being placed in a nursing home, the family can secure a short-term spot in a community where Medicare can cover supportive services following treatment.
Moving into an assisted living facility can be difficult for many seniors, however, when the visit will only be a temporary, short-term thing is much easier. Long-term residents may have to think about selling their home or downsizing their possessions, however, for a short term stay most of these tasks are not required. Regardless of how long the visit will be, it is a good idea to be prepared in advance to make the transition more efficient.
Both short term residents and long-term assisted living residents will need to have a medical assessment prior to moving in or on the first day of their stay. The caregivers at the assisted living community will go over the medical history, medical needs, concerns and any other issues that may be present. This will allow the staff to create a customized care plan that ensures all the senior's needs are met. Depending on how the senior arrived, there may be a test given to assess their physical ability to complete certain tasks. Seniors who arrive for a short-term stay following a medical procedure will likely be exempt from such tests. The staff will also ask about dietary needs, eating habits and personal meal preferences. Some locations may perform a memory assessment to see if the senior is in need of memory care services, if it seems appropriate.
The enrollment agent or head caregiver will go over the social history of the senior to get a better understanding of their personality. This will also help the staff suggest social activities that suit the senior's needs and preferences. Some locations may pair newly enrolled seniors with an existing resident as a form of a mentor. This will help ease the transition even though the seniors stay will only be short term. Regardless of age, it is easier to navigate new situations and places when there is a friendly, helpful person at your side.
Short-term residents are encouraged to bring enough of their personal belongings to be comfortable, but there is no requirement to fully outfit an entire room. There will be maintenance staff to help hang pictures, arrange any furniture brought, and other details that will help make the senior’s space their own. The staff dedicated to senior care will be available 24 hours a day. Most staff members will take the time to introduce themselves during their shift, so seniors feel at ease.
Many assisted living communities will provide short term stay options that include a full range of amenities such as:
Seniors who choose a temporary short term stay on a trial basis will be given the same service, support, and level of interaction as a regular resident. This is the perfect chance to get to know the other residents, staff members, and medical personnel at the facility. Touring an assisted living home for a day is much different than living there in person. Staying on-site, even for a short-term stay will allow seniors to get a clear idea of the day to day activities of the community.
Short term stays in an assisted living facility offer a wide range of benefits depending on the needs of the senior. Many seniors assume that all assisted living homes are cold institutions that offer small hallways, crowded double rooms, and tasteless food. In actuality, assisted living is more like a luxury getaway, or at the very least on par with a private apartment. Many communities offer gourmet dining arrangements, guided social activities, exercise programs, therapy sessions and much more. Assisted living facilities more resemble active retirement homes and less like nursing homes which can make all the difference in a senior's choice to transition or age in place. Although living arrangements have changed, old ideas can be hard to break. Short term trial stays in an assisted living environment are a great way for seniors to see and experience the difference before making a final decision.
Seniors are also able to reside in an assisted living facility during their recovery period. This is best for older people who are generally independent but need extra help while they heal. This type of stay can be for seniors who are being discharged from a rehab center, those recovering from surgery or those who just need extra help while they recover from an injury.
Many seniors live far away from family members, which can make it difficult to get the help they need while staying at home. In some cases, hiring a home care aide will not cover their full range of needs during their recovery. Home care aides typically work a set number of hours during the day, and very few stay overnight. When a senior chooses to stay in an assisted living home as a short-term resident, they will get the help they need 24 hours a day.
Seniors that have experienced a health event that resulted in hospitalization may require rehab following their treatment. This can include nursing care, physical therapy or simply dedicated assistance while they recover. Recovery and rehab can be completed in a variety of settings, not only at home. Seniors who live on their own or those who live with family members may benefit from the dedicated care available in an assisted living facility near them following their hospital stay.
Most recovery or rehab will be started in the hospital but completed after a senior has been discharged. Seniors who require regular care and those that are recovering from a medical concern will require even more attention and care than usual. Staying in an assisted living home short term during this recovery period will help reduce the chances of being readmitted to the hospital from medical complications. The dedicated caregivers in an assisted living home will also work to restore confidence and strength for when the senior is ready to return to their primary home.
There are many seniors who stay with friends or family members, and in some cases, those who live on their own with the help of a part-time caregiver. Sometimes, a caregiver may need to take some time off for personal reasons or simply to take a break and decompress. Seniors who have a regular caregiver at home or who live with family members may also check into an assisted living facility for a short-term stay.
Short term visits are available for seniors even if they do not have a pressing medical need. Sometimes, the main caregiver may need to travel or become sick themselves. In these cases, it is helpful to have a backup plan in the form of a short-term stay in a facility that can take care of the needs of a senior in a safe environment.
Caring for a senior is a noble undertaking, but just like with any job, it can become overwhelming at times. Most seniors are cared for by a spouse, loved one, or their own adult children. Taking care of a senior full time while also trying to manage a household and job at the same time can easily become very stressful. Families that are seeking a break from taking care of a senior for a short period of time can benefit greatly from short-term care assisted living communities.
Seniors who are not ready to move away from their homes or leave their loved ones behind permanently can compromise with a temporary short time stay at an assisted living facility. Caregivers who are seeking external support are able to depend on short term stay locations when managing senior’s care on their own becomes overly disruptive or when the caregiver is becoming burned out. When a caregiver is burned out or overstressed, it is easy to pass those frustrations along to the person who is being cared for. Depending on the health condition of the senior, it can have a negative effect that causes their health to decline even further. A 30 to a 60-day stay in an assisted living home is a great way to create a middle ground for both parties while also allowing the caregivers to recharge and relax.
Modern assisted living homes offer a lot to keep seniors happy and well cared for, however, this comes at a cost. The price for short-term stays in an assisted living community that are temporary in nature is higher than the cost of a long-term stay. On average, you can expect to pay between $125 to $300 per day. The price per day is calculated on the amount of care required, the actual location of the facility, and the size of the living space the senior chooses.
Meal plans usually are billed separately and come in a variety of options to suit the dietary needs of the resident. Some seniors may prefer to cook for themselves, or they may want to dine in the community dining hall. While some meals may be pre-arranged, plenty of seniors appreciate the ability to choose from an a-la-carte menu during meal times. Utilities are included in the daily cost unless otherwise stated by the facility. Housekeeping may be included, or it may be billed separately depending on the location.
Unlike long term assisted living, short term stays are usually paid out of pocket. Medicaid or Medicare may provide limited coverage for assisted living in certain situations. The senior or their family will be expected to pay a deposit plus make payments for services rendered on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. For very short stays that are under two weeks, many facilities will ask for upfront payment for the length of the stay and then bill the senior or their family for any additional expenses incurred during their visit.
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