Caregiver Help

Housing Options

Sometimes it is not possible for a caregiver and care receiver to live together.

* The level of care that your spouse, relative or friend needs may require highly skilled health care personnel on a regular basis. In this case, an extended care facility, such as assisted living or a nursing facility, may be an option.
* The care receiver may live in another town and does not want to move.
* There may not be room in your home, or family members may not want to live together. Whatever the reason, living in a separate household does not mean that you cannot be a good caregiver. You and the care receiver may, however, need to make arrangements for additional help and/or services. They can be provided either in his or her present home or in a new housing arrangement.

Points to Consider When Choosing Housing or Living Arrangements

When providing services to persons who have limitations in their mobility and multiple physical needs, the type of housing and living arrangements are critical. Housing and care in this instance go hand in hand. There are many types of housing arrangements available.

Before making a housing choice, you and your care receiver should assess all of your needs.

  • What facilities are available in the community, and how much will they cost?
  • How are you going to pay for housing and services?
  • Are there guarantees that the facility is financially secure? You and the care receiver will want to ask these questions before making a decision about moving into a new housing arrangement. If this arrangement involves a large entrance fee or deposit or the signing of a contract, you may want to consult a lawyer before making a commitment.

Choosing Housing Options

Regardless of what the facility is called, check it out thoroughly before making a decision. Some are licensed or accredited while others are not.

  • Licensing is an evaluation of a facility’s operation in accordance with government regulations, such as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
  • Many skilled and intermediate care nursing facilities are accredited to accept patients under the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. This means they must meet certain standards and provide certain services. You will need to ensure that the facility is the right one for your spouse, relative or friend. Even if you are not thinking about housing options in the foreseeable future, it is wise to have several in mind in case an emergency arises and you need temporary care for your relative. Home care agencies often do not have staff available to fill in on short notice, and you may need the services of a long-term care facility.

You can:

  • Start your preliminary search by phone.
  • Visit those facilities that have the services your care receiver wants and needs.
  • Take the care receiver to see the facility. Better yet, visit several and let the care receiver make the final choice, if at all possible.

Types of Housing or Living Arrangements

The costs for various housing options is variable. The type of housing needed may vary depending on where you live, or the assistance needed to assist the care receiver with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). Contact us or the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) office for more information or assistance.

* Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer varying levels of care in the same building or on the same campus. Both retirement and continuing care communities may encompass everything from housing for independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing home care. They are usually designed for older persons with substantial financial resources.

* Nursing Homes provide an array of services such as 24-hour skilled nursing care for total care patients; custodial care; therapy for patients convalescing from hospitalizations; personal care; and help with ADL’s for persons with dementia, chronic health and/or mobility problems.

* Boarding Care Homes can be an alternative to nursing home placement. These homes provide a room, laundry, cleaning, 24-hour supervision, and in some cases, assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming. This type of home does not provide medical or skilled nursing care. Residents must be able to take medication on their own or with little supervision.

* Residential Health Care Facilities provide residents with an individual living unit with a private bathroom but not necessarily a kitchen. They provide meals, housekeeping, and usually some personal care and assistance with ADLs. Usually a caregiver is on-site, with medical personnel making periodic visits.

* Assisted Living Facilities may provide everything, including skilled nursing care. Others provide only personal care, assistance with ADLs and/or social activities.

* Home Plus facilities are private residences which offer 24-hour supervision and care for five people or less. These homes provide a room, meals, 24-hour supervision, personal care, and they may include supervised nursing care.

Questions to ask before you sign a contract:

  1. How much will it cost, including add-ons to the rent?
  2. What is the cost or policy for telephone, television, or cable hook up?
  3. Is there a cost for transportation, laundry, meals, etc.?
  4. How are cleaning standards maintained?
  5. What is the staff to resident ratio for a 24-hour period?