When you start to see that your loved one requires assistance with day-to-day tasks, you may not be sure what options are available. It’s recommended to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one and all other key family members before this point in time so that you know what you plan to do if your loved one starts showing signs of physical or cognitive decline. The trouble is that until you are faced with this situation, it’s hard to know what you will really feel comfortable with.

Below are the various options that families have available. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons to each, as well as what types of assistance your loved one needs both today and in the future.

Home Health Care

This is the most flexible option since it allows your loved one to remain in their home. Many seniors are happy with this arrangement since they can keep their independence, stay in the comfort of their home and not have to make a big move. Home health care is very personalized, so you can arrange help for everything from transportation to cooking to shopping. Skilled nursing care is available, too. Home healthcare agencies train caregivers to perform these tasks.

Assisted Living Facilities

If your loved one is no longer safe living at home, you may want to consider an assisted living facility. These centers provide assistance to elders who are still able to live somewhat independently. Although there is a move involved, some families find that this is the best option when their loved one will only require additional assistance. Assisted living facilities also plan activities, keeping residents busy and engaged.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes can accommodate people with a wide range of conditions, including those who spend most of their time in a wheelchair or bed. They are staffed to provide daily medical needs, and they provide short-term, long-term and rehabilitative care. Since it’s becoming more commonplace to offer a continuum of care, some centers are merging independent living, assisted living and memory care into one community.


Hospice is end-of-life care provided by a group of people that include nurses, social workers, home health aides and spiritual leaders. The goal is to make the last few weeks or months as comfortable as possible for the patient and their family. Hospice Home Care is extended to the entire family, and it can be provided at home or in an assisted living community.