Elder Care FAQ's

What is Independent Living?
Independent Living is a term used to describe the living arrangement of seniors who are still able to function independently without or with additional support services. Many independent living communities offer a choice of patio homes, duplex accommodations, or apartments to meet the lifestyle and budget of the residents. Independent Living communities may be privately owned with market rate rentals or may include subsidized housing for persons who quality for assistance based on income.


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What is Assisted Living?
Adult care homes are residences for aged and disabled adults who may require 24-hour supervision and assistance with their activities of daily living. In some adult care homes medical care may be provided and medication may be given by designated, trained staff. Homes caring for two-six residents are commonly referred to as Family Care Homes. Larger facilities are referred to as assisted living facilities (ALF) and are typically staffed with Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) to provide personal care services to residents.


What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?
A skilled nursing facility provides clinical nursing and therapy services on both a long term and short term basis. Individuals who require wound care, IV treatments, ostomy and catheter management, and/or total assistance with personal care can all be served within a skilled nursing facility setting. Staffing for a skilled nursing facility includes RNs, LPNs, and CNAs with a Director of Nursing, Medical Director and attending physician(s) onsite to oversee medical and clinical services. Many skilled nursing facilities offer short term rehabilitation services that include physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapies in addition to nursing care.


What are Adult Day Services?
Individuals who live in secure environments may benefit from participating in a group setting that offers socialization, stimulation and supervision. In addition to services to the participant, adult day programs offer much needed support and respite to caregivers who care for loved ones in their own homes. Adult Day programs often provide peace of mind for caregivers who continue to be employed outside the home or who desire to remain active in their community.


What are Continuing Care Retirement Communities?
CCRCs provide a continuum of care ranging from independent living (with meals, leisure activities and other amenities) to assisted living and skilled nursing home care. A contractual agreement with the provider for health and/or personal care is regarded as an insurance product and is regulated by the NC Department of Insurance.


What is Respite Care?
Respite care is usually defined as short term, five day or less, care for caregivers who need a break from the responsibilities of care giving or who are unable to care for their loved ones due to a health crisis, out of town event or other situation which renders them unable to provide in-home care. Some Adult Care Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities will admit individuals for a limited period of respite care privately or through a contract with other agencies.


My mom has Alzheimer’s. What type of facility would work best for her?
Dementia is the most common word to describe a group of illnesses that affect the brain. There are several types of dementia of which the most common is Alzheimer's disease. Many long term care facilities offer secure environments or specific programming for persons with dementia who may be at risk for wandering or other potentially injurious behaviors.


What are Home Care services?
Individuals, public agencies and private businesses may be providers of in home services ranging from companionship to assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs include such activities as bathing, grooming and meal preparation. Some home care service providers employ nurse assistants or more highly qualified nursing personnel to provide more extensive health services including medication management, physical therapy or other more specialized services.