Seniors can avoid having to move into a nursing home unnecessarily by making use of the support available in the local community. Home and Community Based Services waivers for low-income, homebound seniors can help older adults access in-home care or get extra care while at an assisted living facility. This can include the kind of medical care and supervision offered at a nursing home.

Not all assisted living facilities offer full skilled nursing services, but seniors who don’t require 24/7 support from a nurse may be able to continue living in a community setting, even if they require some skilled nursing care, by taking advantage of care coordination services, home modifications and visiting health care professionals.

Consider In-Home Care or Assisted Living

Many homebound seniors require some medical care and are unable to travel to receive that care. In some cases, moving into an assisted living facility or receiving regular visits from a home health care service may provide a way of receiving necessary care without requiring a move into a nursing home. These can be effective options for seniors who require help with the activities of daily living and a moderate amount of skilled nursing care, such as wound care, diabetes management or catheter care. Visits from physical therapists and other specialists can also be scheduled.

Invest in Home Modifications and Assistive Devices

Many seniors find it possible to remain independent long into their retirement years by taking advantage of home modifications and assistive devices. Walk-in showers with chairs and grab rails may make it easier for a less-mobile senior to maintain their personal hygiene. Ramps and stairlifts reduce the burden of getting around, and even simple changes, such as re-arranging furniture to make the home more accessible for wheelchair users, can make the difference between a senior staying at home or having to move to a long-term care facility. Your local area agency on aging can offer advice about financial support available in your state and local companies that can assist with home modifications.