Caring for an Aging or Elderly Parent: Getting Started

Caring for an Aging or Elderly Parent: Getting Started


Fortunately, there are more housing and care options available to older adults than ever before, and many of those choices are designed to help individuals live vibrant independent lives in community settings well into old age. However, choosing the right environment to meet any given individual's needs can be overwhelming for seniors and their families. We have provided the following set of "frequently asked questions" as a starting point for understanding common available options and what each offers.

What is short-term, post-acute care?

Short-term, post-acute care is for patients who require rehabilitative or medical services after an acute hospital stay before returning to their home in the community.

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center is an appropriate placement for patients recovering from a variety of medical or surgical conditions, including:

  • Joint replacements
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple trauma
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Urinary tract infections

To find out more about our short-term, post-acute care, call 1-877-822-4722.

What is a skilled nursing facility?

A skilled nursing facility (SNF) provides short-term, post-acute rehabilitative care. A SNF is a nursing facility with staff and equipment to provide skilled nursing (a level of care that includes services provided by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse) and/or skilled rehabilitation therapists.

Skilled nursing is available in the Rehabilitative Services Unit at HRC and at the skilled nursing facility at Orchard Cove Retirement Community in Canton.

What is a long-term care facility?

A long-term care facility offers a variety of services, including medical and non-medical care, for people who have a chronic illness or disability.  At Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, our residents live among others with similar needs and abilities.

Primary care geriatricians, as well as specialists who understand the unique health-care needs of seniors, provide medical care to residents.

Recreation and creative arts therapists offer residents a wide range of activities and dietitians ensure that each resident's individual nutritional requirements are met.

An exercise program, where residents can work out under the close supervision of specialized trainers is also offered.

To find out more about our long-term care, call 1-877-822-4722.

What do adult day health programs offer?

Adult Day Health programs enhance the lives of seniors living at home by providing a social community along with a comprehensive range of elder care services all in one place, including:

  • recreational, social and educational activities
  • entertainment and creative arts programs
  • fitness programs
  • nursing services, medication administration, and personal care
  • nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack
  • social work services, counseling and family support
  • physical, occupational and speech therapy with a doctor's referral
  • door-to-door chaircar van transportation

Who do we serve?

Our program staff help participants with a wide range of cognitive and physical needs function at their best, emotionally, physically and intellectually, whether they need nursing care and supervision, or simply socialization and a structured community setting.

The Adult Day Health Program is offered at HRC in Roslindale and at the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in Brighton.  At HRC, our Russian-speaking staff members conduct activities in Russian, while the program staff at our site in Brighton are all bilingual (Russian-English).

To find out more about our Adult Day Health Program, call 617-363-8515.

What services are provided by home health care?

Home Health Care provides care to individuals in their place of residence to promote, maintain or restore health or for minimizing the effects of disability or illness. 

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center offers community-based seniors a comprehensive range of services to assist them with their recovery following surgery, illness or hospital stay. Staffed by seasoned professionals who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our Home Health Care Continuum offers the following:

  • nursing
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech therapy
  • social work
  • home health aide assistance

Our clinicians provide the prescribed services called for in a physician-approved care plan and work closely with your personal physician to develop and follow the plan tailored for your recovery.

Eligibility and payment
To qualify for home health-care services, a senior must meet the following criteria:

  • have orders from a physician concerning a treatment plan
  • have a treatment plan that is reasonable and necessary under the qualifications of coverage provided by the individual's insurance
  • be homebound

Hospitalization is not required for referral to our home health care agency, and individuals can self-refer. Our agency is certified by Medicare and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and both Medicare and private pay clients are accepted.

To find out more about our Home Health Care Continuum, call 781-821-0820.

What is an assisted living community?

Assisted living communities are for those who need some assistance in activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, eating, dressing, and using the toilet, but who also want to experience some independence. The units may be:

  • studio apartments
  • one-bedroom apartments with scaled-down kitchens

Assisted living communities may have group dining areas and common areas for social and recreational activities.

Hebrew SeniorLife offers assisted living communities at NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, MA.

What is independent senior supportive housing?

Independent senior supportive housing addresses the social needs of senior residents, with central communal areas and on-site supportive services to encourage independent living.

Hebrew SeniorLife was a pioneer in development of independent senior supportive housing and sponsors five sites in Revere, Randolph and Brookline, Massachusetts.

What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

A Continuing Care Retirement Community is a full-service community offering a long-term contract that provides for a continuum of care, including retirement, assisted living and nursing services, all on one campus.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities allow seniors to tailor their service plan to suit their needs, abilities, and preferences. Even though a senior may not require a specific service now, they can opt to enroll in it. These services include:

  • Assisted living services
  • Nursing and other medical services.

Some Continuing Care Retirement Communities can accommodate residents with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of memory loss. It's best to check with each Continuing Care Retirement Community that you are considering.

Remember, too, that Continuing Care Retirement Communities are not designed for short-term residency or care.

As with any new residence you are contemplating, it's wise to do as much research as possible.

  • Find out whether or not the Continuing Care Retirement Community is accredited by the CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). If it is not, you should conduct a thorough review of its services, operations and finances.
  • Determine if the Continuing Care Retirement Community contract is appropriate for your lifestyle and financial situation. You may need to consult your attorney or accountant.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities are the most expensive long-term-care solution available to seniors. The fees vary according to:

  • whether the resident owns or rents the living space;
  • the size and location of the residence;
  • the amenities chosen;
  • whether the living space is for one or two individuals;
  • the type of service contract chosen.

It's prudent to seek financial and legal advice as you go about making this important decision. If you break the contract later, you may forfeit the entrance fee. The three types of residential contracts, or fee schedules, are:

  • Life Care/Extensive Contract: provides unlimited long-term nursing care at little or no additional cost for as long as the nursing services are necessary. This type of agreement is the most expensive, but also the least risky for you.
  • Modified/Continuing Care Contract: provides long-term health care or nursing services for a specified period of time. After the specified care period, you are responsible for the additional cost. This contract is the middle-priced one, with medium risk.
  • Fee-For-Service Contract: requires that residents pay separately for all health and medical services and for long-term care. This is the least expensive, but most risky, contract. If you need more extensive care later on, the cost can be very high.

Hebrew Seniolife sponsors continuing care retirement communities at Orchard Cove and NewBridge on the Charles.

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