~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Everyone has loved ones that eventually get to the point where they need assistance to live their daily lives.
There are a number of services out there that offer assistance to elderly citizens and the number of organizations is growing as more and more “baby boomers” reach retirement age.
When seeking assistance for yourself or a loved one, there are many different types of organizations that offer various services for the elderly. When you or a loved one has health problems the first step is to go to the doctor or hospital. Once released from the hospital there are a number of services that can continue to offer assistance after release.
If the patient still needs 24-hour care after they are released from the hospital, then the best facility to go to next is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. Skilled nursing facilities or SNF’s keep the patient in-house and give them 24-hour care as needed. Sometimes people stay in these facilities until they either get worse and are referred to a hospice or get better and released. In most cases, SNF and rehab facilities are covered by Medicare or health insurance.
Teller County is now the home to two skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities. Cripple Creek Care Center has been in business for decades and used to offer both drug rehabilitation and skilled nursing services. Now the facility only offers skilled nursing for anyone who may need 24-hour assistance.
A couple years ago, the city of Woodland Park also gained their own skilled nursing facility. Forest Ridge Senior Living is located next to Pikes Peak Regional Hospital just west of Woodland Park off of Highway 24. The new facility has had a few issues finding qualified workers to staff the entire facility. Soon though, the senior living operation plans to have their entire building utilized and filled with patients.
Sometimes if people are released from the hospital and still need medical attention, they choose not to go to a skilled nursing facility. In these situations, home care is a better option so that the patients can stay in their own homes. Homecare is often covered by health insurance and Medicare.
Prospect Hospice and Home Care is currently the only organization in Teller County that offers home services, hospice and physical therapy. The organization has been around for decades and serves the entire county including some areas outside of the county. They will come to a patient’s home and take care of their home care or physical therapy needs until service is no longer required.
Sometimes a patient’s health continues to decline and they decide to spend their final days inside their own home. In this case, a patient may be transferred from either a skilled nursing facility or home care services to the hospice program. When this happens, Prospect Hospice services come out to the patient’s home and make them comfortable during their last days.
Starting in April, Teller County is going to gain another option for elderly citizens. Currently, Aspen Assisted Living is building their facility at a location near Walmart on the east side of Woodland Park just off of Highway 24. Assisted living facilities differ from SNF’s and rehab facilities in a few ways.
Unlike skilled nursing facilities, assisted living programs are not funded by health insurance or Medicare. In order to make Aspen Assisted Living a person’s new home they must be willing to dish out the cost out of their own pockets. People that go to assisted living facilities do not necessarily need 24-hour assistance. Many people choose to go to assisted living homes for a number of reasons other than poor health.
Assisted living centers offer more freedom to their customers than SNF’s. The rooms are equipped with kitchens giving residents the option to cook their own food instead of eating at the cafeteria. Assisted living homes do offer nursing care if the resident needs it. However, many times people may start at an assisted living home and move to a skilled nursing facility or hospice when their health declines.