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How Do I Know If I Need Residential Care?
What Are the Alternatives?


Most elderly persons want to be independent and remain in their homes and communities as long as possible. However, this fierce sense of independence sometimes gets in the way of asking family and friends for help and/or seeking help from agencies and organizations that provide services in a person’s home.

The Self-Assessment Guide provides a framework to evaluate a person’s needs and the effectiveness of one’s informal supports (e.g., family, friends, volunteers from a church, etc.) and formal supports (e.g., In Home Supportive Services, case management, etc.). The Guide can be a tool for the elder and family and friends to have an open and honest discussion about needs and how to most creatively meet those needs.

The accompanying Community-Based Services for Seniors and the In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Fact Sheets provide information on the most common services available, and how to find out about eligibility and where to apply for each type of service.

By acting early, an elderly person can engage community-based services and help prevent informal support system burnout and crisis situations (e.g., fall resulting in a broken hip) that can often lead to hospitalization and nursing home care.