Long Term Care-Alternatives to a Nursing Home
I don’t want to go to a nursing home; what are some other choices?
There are many home and community based services available to help people stay at home. Your area Agency on Aging can help you decide what you need and review the services that are available in your area. You might be able to stay at home or in an assisted living facility instead of going to a nursing home.
How do I pay for these other services?
The government pays for some of the programs, and some are private (which means you would have to pay). People who are eligible for Medicaid may be able to get services under the Medicaid “waivered services program.” Medical services and some non-medical services such as home modification are available under this program.
What kind of services can I get at home?
"At home" services that are available in some areas include:
- home health care
- home delivered meals
- telephone assurance
- adult day care
- personal/attendant care
- respite care
- case management services
You should ask for qualifications and references from any service provider before you have them into your home.
What if I need more care than I can get at home?
If you determine that you will need more care than you can get in your home, you can consider moving to a facility where 24-hour care is available. There are two basic types:
- A residential care facility (sometimes called assisted living facility). This provides room, food, laundry, and some help with daily living activities. Residents are physically able to manage their own needs with occasional help. The facility provides general supervision of health care, medication, and diets as defined in the written policies of the facility.
- A comprehensive nursing care facility (commonly referred to as a nursing home or a nursing facility). This provides nursing care, administration of medications, special diets, treatment, and perhaps rehabilitative and restorative therapy under a doctor's order.
A facility can be licensed to provide both residential and comprehensive levels of care. So it is possible to go to an assisted living facility, and then move to another part of the facility if you need more care later.
In Indiana, not all assisted living facilities are required to be licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health. If you are thinking about entering a nursing home, you will need to discuss your care needs with your physician.
Last revised: 11-03
LSC Code: 1591900