Posts Tagged ‘senior citizens’

Different Types of Assisted Living Facilities Meet Different Needs

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Assisted living facilities are residences for senior citizens where help is provided with daily living activities, as needed. This can include making doctor’s appointments and taking medication, as well as bathing, dressing and grooming. Meals and housekeeping are also provided at such facilities. In the state of New York, all types of assisted living residences are licensed as adult care facilities by the Department of Health. However, there are different types of adult care facilities, which may also be called enriched housing programs or adult homes.

First, all adult care facilities are distinguished from nursing homes in that they are for people who do not need round-the-clock medical services or skilled nursing. People who need for medical staff to be present on a continuous basis are better served by a nursing home.

The two kinds of adult care facilities in New York, enriched housing programs and adult homes, both offer long-term care in a residential setting, including meals, laundry, housekeeping, supervision and assistance with personal care and medication. One major difference is that the law has stricter supervision requirements for adult homes, although a number of enriched housing programs may offer the same level of supervision. In addition, enriched housing programs usually provide apartment-style residences, while adult homes generally provide private rooms or two-person rooms.

The same types of service provided in enriched housing programs and adult homes may also be provided by assisted living residences and assisted living programs. In order to refer to themselves as providing “assisted living,” these facilities must meet additional requirements of providing certain disclosures and rights for residents. The goal of assisted living facilities is to provide the care necessary to allow individuals to live as independently as possible, emphasizing personal dignity and freedom of choice.

Finally, an assisted living residence that offers aging-in-place services and obtains additional certification may be designated an enhanced assisted living residence. A special needs assisted living residence is an assisted living residence that provides specialized care and meets additional certification requirements.

For more information, refer to the New York State Department of Health’s website on assisted living, available at


How to Become a Caregiver Coach in Westchester County

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Westchester County has introduced a new initiative to train volunteers to become caregiver coaches. This is a unique way to volunteer your time to help local families and contribute to an innovative community project.

Few people are prepared to become caregivers to a disabled or elderly loved one, and people who are thrust into the role of caregiver often feel overwhelmed. A caregiver coach is someone who is trained by professionals to give individual support to family caregivers. This support can be essential to helping caregivers understand their responsibilities and make informed decisions.

The Livable Communities Caregiver Coaching (L3C) Program is an initiative of Westchester County’s Department of Senior Programs and Services. The program aims to form a corps of volunteers who have been trained in caregiver coaching skills and can provide services to family caregivers. The initiative is part of an overall goal of supporting seniors in living with dignity and independence in their own homes.

Westchester’s caregiver coaching program is the most comprehensive in the nation, which is appropriate for the county with the fastest-growing population of seniors in the country. Today one in five Westchester residents is age 60 or older, and the majority of these seniors have a disability of some kind. It is estimated by the Westchester planning department that by 2030, people over the age of 60 will represent 25 percent of the county’s population.

Anyone may volunteer to be a caregiver coach. Experience as a caregiver is helpful but not necessary. The ideal caregiver coach is an empathetic, nonjudgmental person who wishes to help others. Volunteers will receive approximately 12 hours of training spread over three weekly sessions. A one-year commitment is required. Coaches will also participate in a monthly conversation where challenges and information will be shared about caregiver coaching experiences. Coaches will learn about the aging process and the responsibilities that caregivers face, as well as how to convey factual information clearly. As caregiver coaches, volunteers will share information and listen to caregivers’ concerns, while refraining from offering legal or medical advice.

If you are interested in volunteering to become a caregiver coach, contact the Department of Senior Programs and Services at 914-813-6441 or visit their website: