Senior Center

Understanding Extended Care for Seniors

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - March 13, 2013

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Extended care is an option for seniors who are unable to live on their own and need treatment on a long term basis. Whether a senior is experiencing illness, injury, or a long term condition, it’s very important for them to have quality care in order to ensure that they are comfortable and can focus on an eventual recovery, if possible. Extended care is available in a variety of different settings and situations, though it’s commonly employed in facilities more than anything else. Some seniors may be able to get extended care within their own households, though it’s more common to see extended care used in various types of convalescent homes.

Generally speaking, the type of extended care that is received depends greatly on the condition of the individual. Some seniors may prefer to have extended care occur within their household because they may be shut-in or may find it difficult to attend meetings at other locations or with their doctor due to their general condition. Those who are disabled usually use extended care within their home because it is more convenient for them to have access to their exams and other procedures. However, a doctor can set up for extended care to occur on a regular basis in other settings as needed.

The costs for extended care can be paid for in a few different ways. It’s common for many seniors to pay for the use of this service by using their insurance or the Medicare program. However, if they do not have either of these options available, they may have to pay with some type of out of pocket expense instead. In some cases, there is only a certain amount of treatment that Medicare is willing to pay for; this means that either the service has to be paid for in remainder with the insurance coverage or the senior will have to pay an out of pocket cost. Since many seniors who are receiving extended care are not in a situation to take care for themselves, the out of pocket expenses are usually taken care of by their families or a loved one at some point.

Determining whether or not a senior needs extended care is generally up to a doctor. The diagnosis of a condition which is likely to worsen, an injury, or many other life changing illnesses may lead towards a doctor’s decision to create an extended care program for the senior. In situations where the senior is affected severely by a disability, extended care services are generally the best option available to improve their quality of life.