What You Need to Understand about Elder Care

Elderly or elder care is a phrase most English speaker would easily understand. It is broadly defined as the specific type of care given to seniors or older people. However, it’s not really a very simple concept. There are aspects of it you may not really be that familiar. If you are thinking of or if you are in the process of getting elder care services, it would help knowing the following details:

5 Types of Elder Care Services

Caring for the elderly can  be through different forms. It could be through assisted living, long-term care, adult day care, nursing home care, hospice care, and home care.

  • Assisted living care is intended for elderly people who are no longer able to independently support themselves in doing day-to-day activities, especially those who are already afflicted by multiple diseases.
  • Long-term care refers to various services intended to address the long-term medical and non-medical needs of seniors, especially those who are suffering from chronic illnesses or disability.
  • Adult day care is a type of elderly care service designed to deal with the health, nutritional, social support, and daily living needs of elderly people in a non-residential facility.
  • Nursing home care involves a care home, rest home, convalescent home, intermediate care facility, or a skilled nursing facility. It is the option for elderly people who need continual care and significant support in their daily lives.
  • Hospice care is intended for older people who are already chronically, terminally, or seriously ill. Unlike other types of care services, it is given to address emotional and spiritual needs instead of trying to provide physical treatment.
  • Home care, as the phrase implies, refers to the hiring of a caregiver to provide supportive care at home. Home care can be similar to assisted living but it is generally different in the location where the service is provided.


The cost of elder care depends on the type and extent of services provided. In the 2014 Genworth “Cost of Care” survey, the adult day health care cost average is $65 per hour, assisted living services cost is around $3,500 per month, average nursing home care cost is pegged at $212 per day, home health aide services is at $20 per hour, while homemaker services have a national median hourly rate of $19. These costs are expected to rise in the future. You will certainly be at a disadvantage if you  don’t prepare for such costs. Elder care is a reality everyone has to face. Parents who think of not becoming a burden to their children know they have to prepare for it. Similarly, children who want to make sure that their parents will be receive proper care in their old age would want to prepare for such costs.

Choosing a Care Provider

Traditionally, elder care is provided by family members but it has now become widely acceptable in modern society to be served by non-family members, senior care facilities, and charitable institutions. This is particularly true in western societies where assisted living centers, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities are relatively common.

It’s difficult to generalize if it’s better to get elder care services from an agency or to seek an experienced caregiver who provides at-home services at an hourly rate. There are many factors to take into account. For one, it’s necessary to determine the needs to get the appropriate type of service. Also, there’s the need to carefully examine qualifications and the justifiability of the costs involved. What’s important is to strike the balance between affordability and service quality.

Becoming familiar with the nature of elderly care and the costs associated with it is certainly useful. In these times, pragmatism suggests the need to prepare for elderly care needs. Not everyone can live long healthily. Whether or not you or your loved ones will end up requiring assistance in your older years, there’s nothing wrong in being prepared.