Elder Care Options for Your Loved One

| August 3, 2012

elder care optionsAs your loved ones age and become less independent, good caregivers become crucial to maintaining a high quality of life. Here are some of the elder care options.

In-home nurse

If your loved one is in fairly good physical and mental health and wishes to remain at home, a certified nursing assistant can visit a few times a week, once a day or even twice a day to help with dressing, bathing, preparing meals and administering medications.

Assisted living community

Also called independent living communities, these apartment or condominium-style homes are a good option for seniors in fairly good health who no longer drive, struggle with home upkeep or simply want increased companionship. Residents have private apartments and access to onsite services such as communal meals, housekeeping and drugstores. Many assisted living communities also have doctors and nurses onsite.

Nursing home

If your loved one requires regular medical monitoring, has a chronic health issue or needs help bathing, eating or using the restroom, a nursing home or skilled nursing facility is likely your best option. Most nursing homes cater to different levels of wellness, so that residents with greater mobility can enjoy social activities and group dining.

Hospice care

A hospice, also known as end-of-life care, focuses on pain management and comfort, as well as emotional and spiritual support for family members. Hospice workers can visit the patient in the home or be part of freestanding centers. The caregivers may also work with assisted living or nursing homes.

Here are some things to consider:

  • If you plan to have an elderly relative move in with you, make sure you set up a bedroom on the first floor and install mobility rails to help him or her get around.
  • If you’re looking for care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, Memory Care facilities are secured nursing homes whose staff are specially trained to treat cognitive issues.
  • Quality assisted living and nursing homes can be expensive. Discuss your options with your accountant to ensure that your family will be able to afford the facility you choose for the long term.
  • Check into what is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance plans or HMOs.
  • Spend adequate time visiting different facilities before choosing one. Stay for a meal and a group activity, and converse with staff and residents to ensure a potential home is a good match.
  • Choose a living facility that is state licensed and conducts background checks on all employees.
  • Include your loved one in the decision-making process if he is able to participate. Many elderly people have trouble adjusting to their new surroundings if they feel they were “forced” out of their homes.

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Category: Elder Care, Professional, Services