If you are new to the job of navigating the intricacies of elder care, you may mistakenly assume assisted living and home health care are synonymous. They are not. Assisted living is the term for senior care that takes place outside of the home. Assisted living options in Oklahoma City range from small, village-like settings where seniors are active and primarily in good health to facilities focused on providing intensive round-the-clock medical care. When seniors don’t need intensive 24-hour medical care, they and their families often consider two options: assisted living and non-medical home care. There are pros and cons to both arrangements.
As the name implies, non-medical home care involves a caregiver coming to a senior’s home and staying there, either full-time or for a set number of hours per day. These providers aren’t nurses and typically have no medical training. In essence, non-medical home care providers are like paid companions. They help seniors with such daily tasks as bathing, dressing, light cleaning, laundry, meal preparation and transportation. While they can help ensure seniors take their medication as directed, they’re usually not licensed to administer medication.
There is a third category of senior care: home health care. Similar to non-medical home care, this scenario involves an aide who comes to the senior’s home to perform tasks. In this case, the aide is a medical provider and can administer medication, help with wound care, provide physical therapy and more. These individuals typically don’t perform routine tasks like cooking and cleaning. Their role is strictly to attend to a senior’s medical needs.
In an assisted living arrangement, a senior moves into an apartment in a facility with other seniors. Staff members are available around the clock to provide non-medical assistance, and most facilities also have nurses on staff. Often, seniors and their families assume the cost of assisted living in OKC will be too high. Actually, Oklahoma has one of the highest concentrations of affordable assisted living in the country.
Besides the incorrect assumption they will not be able to find quality, affordable senior housing in OKC, another common reason seniors and their families hesitate to pursue this option is fear. Seniors worry they won’t enjoy life in senior housing. Actually, the opposite usually occurs. Seniors who felt isolated living alone enjoy interacting with their neighbors, who often become friends. Assisted living facilities typically schedule social events, classes and outings designed to appeal to an array of interests. Senior living actually helps seniors be more independent. Because they don’t have to rely so much on their loved ones, these relationships often grow stronger.
Deciding between in-home healthcare and affordable assisted living can be tough. Fortunately, there are many outstanding assisted living options in Oklahoma City. With research and patience, you’ll eventually identify what’s best for your loved one. If you have never toured an assisted living center, contact us at Village at Oakwood. We would love to show you around our facility, introduce you to our staff and some of our residents and answer any questions you may have.