What You Need to Know About… Independent Living with Home Health Services

You recently took an assessment to determine the level of care you may need from a senior living community. Your test results show that you qualify for independent living with home health services. This report will go into some detail as to just what that phrase independent living with home health care means, what it means for you, and what you should be looking for in any senior living community in your immediate future.

What Does the Label Independent Living with Home Health Services Mean?

Independent living with home health care is pretty easily understood. The independent living portion means that, for the most part, you are capable of living on your own, making your own choices, and carrying out your daily tasks and going about your daily activities without any troubles. You are certainly mentally fit and “with it”. The home health care portion of the label means that for some reason, perhaps an illness or injury, you need some periodic health care that can be provided in your home. These visits do not have to be daily ones in order to qualify. Weekly and other regular therapies and services also apply, as long as they can be conducted in your own home and do not require traveling to an office or other location.

Independent living with home health care is often a temporary condition, one in which, once you have recovered from your injury or illness, you can leave behind, and return to living an active, independent lifestyle. Until such time, however, as long as you need the visits from the home health care provider(s), it is most appropriate to your situation.

What Does Independent Living with Home Health Care Mean for YOU?

Being capable of living on your own, despite your need for in-home health care, means that you are fairly capable of meeting your daily needs and carrying out your daily tasks. You can tend to your home, yourself, and your everyday activities. Your health situation has not diminished your ability to continue life as you’ve pretty much been living, with perhaps a few restrictions or limitations based on your health needs. You are still firmly in control of your situation, despite an on-going health issue.

You can determine how your daily life is arranged. What you do and when you do it, what you eat and where who you spend your time with and what you do with them – even how your home is arranged and decorated and organized. All of these things are still yours to decide.

That said, just because you CAN carry on caring for yourself and your home does not mean that you HAVE to continue. Laundry and housekeeping chores, yard work and auto maintenance – all tasks that you most likely CAN do, but perhaps you’d rather choose NOT to do. Becoming a resident of a senior living community that caters to independent seniors in need of home health care often means that you will have the choice to do those things or not. Again, you have those choices to make.

What Does Independent Living with Home Health Care Mean for Your Ideal Senior Living Community

Independent living communities come in all shapes and sizes – the 55+ restricted community, the “tower block” just for seniors, rows of neatly arranged townhomes around a central community building or set of buildings – but yours will also need to have the added home health care services. Yours may look like any of those mentioned above, or it may look more like a traditional apartment complex. You’ll have your own unit, but it may be on the ground floor while other seniors in need of more assisted care live above you. Or you may find that your neighbors are in temporary health situations like yours, and not at all the permanent resident.

And as the physical makeup of communities differs, so do their services and amenities. You may find communities that offer restaurant-style meals, and others that have a cafeteria or dining room instead. You’ll find communities that offer housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and groundskeeping services, all together, daily. And you’ll find communities that offer only two or three of these, or that offer only scheduled services, meaning you’ll have to plan ahead and make an appointment or reservation. Exercise facilities, pools, programs and organized outings and other group activities vary from community to community, too. And yours will have to consider the various health needs of ALL its residents, including you.

Safety and security in senior communities are almost always a given, and the amount and type of safety features and security services will depend greatly on the physical makeup of your chosen community. Complex-style communities and apartment blocks often have round the clock security personnel deployed to ensure the safety of the community. Smaller facilities may only have security personnel available at certain hours, typically after dark. All units tend to have a smoke, fire, CO2 and other alarms, to provide you with all the assurance as possible.

The one constant in communities that offer independent living with home health care is that home health service. No more trekking to the doctor or specialist – the care comes to you, in your own home unit, and in many cases, on your schedule, not theirs. It is this service – tending to your health needs in your own home – that makes an independent living with a home health care situation very appealing to many in your shoes.

What Independent Living with Home Health Care Means When Choosing the Right Senior Living Community for You

As someone who qualifies for independent living with home health care, you should focus your priority on your health and the home health care services provided. Are they on staff, or from the larger outside community? Are they available on call, should you need them, or by appointment only? And speaking of appointments, can you determine when they visit you or are you reliant on sticking to their schedule? And regardless of where they come from, or when they can come to you, what is the quality of the care and services they provide?

After that, you’ll have LOTS of decisions and choices to make. What type of dining/meal arrangement do you prefer? What services and amenities are important to you? Just how busy and active do you think you can be, and stay within any limitations your health may require?

And what about YOUR space within the community? Do you want a townhome or an apartment? Do you want to furnish and decorate it yourself, or would something more “prefab” suits your needs? (This is very important to consider if your need is a temporary one.) And what about the great outdoors? Are you a gardener or bird watcher?

Choosing the right senior community that allows for independent living with added home health care could be one of the most important things you do for your health. Our advice is to choose the one that best suits ALL your needs – physical, social, emotional, and comfortable. It will be your home for some time, after all, and you need to feel at home with your choice.

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