Aging brings life-style changes that affect everything from housing to the type of support needed on a daily basis. Our area offers a wide range of options, often at prices below the national average.
Many people prefer to live in their home for as long as possible. Three levels of in-home support are available in the Champaign-Urbana area:
- Non-medical home care includes personal care and help with activities of daily living such as cleaning, cooking and dressing. No medical services are provided.
Finding workers often involves working with a caregiver agency or hiring someone independently. There are pros and cons to each approach.
There is no comprehensive database of non-medical home care workers or companies, so plan to rely on your network of friends, colleagues, and organizations for leads.
- Geriatric care managers assess your needs, work with you to develop a long-term care plan, and find the services you need. Geriatric care managers are often nurses or social workers who specialize in caring for seniors. Two on-line resources can help you start your search.
The National Institute on Aging provides additional information about the roles and qualifications of care managers; their “eldercare locator” lists agencies and organizations and can be searched by ZIP code.
The Aging Life Care Association’s database lists its members and is also searchable by ZIP code.
- Medicare-certified home health care agencies provide health care and support services. Because both ratings and company names may change, Medicare.gov Home Health Compare is the best source of current information about these agencies.
If living at home is not the best option, assisted living residences help you remain as self-sufficient as possible with the assurance that help is available when needed. Support is generally provided in five main areas: bathing, dressing, medication management, meal preparation and transportation. Laundry and housekeeping are generally part of the package, too.
But, beyond the basic services, it’s important to find social support; quality of life depends on interaction. So the best way to find your assisted living community is to visit several, looking for the one that is just right. Since there are around 20 senior living communities in Champaign, Urbana and surrounding towns, you have a range of options, usually at prices well below national averages. To help you start shopping, Senior Living.org has some very good questions to consider.
Keep in mind that there are a number of long-term care options available. LongTermCare.gov, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Web site, is a helpful resource.
If, for example, additional medical support is needed, a nursing home may be the best option. Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified facility in the country.