When to Decide When It's Time for Long Term CareDeciding when to seek long-term care can be one of the most challenging decisions a person will ever have to make. It would help if you took your time and carefully considered your options, whether you are the one who requires care or someone making this decision on behalf of another. All of the information you need about determining when it is time for the Long Term Care facility will be provided in this blog post, so read on!
What is long-term care?
Long-term care provides quality nursing and personal support services, center, or social setting for older adults who cannot live independently. It usually includes food and lodging, health monitoring, one-on-one attention, medications, and durable medical equipment.
This could include anyone from a few hours a day to 24-hour care. As we age, our own individual needs will change. Often, family members will need to reduce their time spent caring for their loved ones simply because it's too much work at once to do both jobs well. Suppose your loved one has trouble feeding themselves, getting to the bathroom on their own, or suffers from any form of dementia. In that case, long-term care may be necessary.
How do you know when it's time for Long Term Care Facility?
Many factors decide if a loved one is ready to live in the Long Term Care facility. Here are some of the major indicators:
What should you expect when choosing the best facility?
Suppose it's time for your loved one to move into an assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing home. In that case, you'll need to do some research before making any decisions. There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the best facility for your loved one, so here is a list of what you need to do before making this life-changing decision:
Why do people need long-term care?
There are many reasons why a senior might need assistance from Long Term Care facilities: trauma or surgery that limits daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Chronic conditions like diabetes require monitoring medications and insulin injections, mild cognitive impairment due to dementia/Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease symptoms such as tremors, slow movement speed, muscle stiffness, etc., depression or anxiety affecting their quality of life. These difficulties may happen suddenly after an accident or illness. Still, they could also result from a gradual loss of function over time due to the aging process. Suppose a senior is unable to care for themselves due to a physical or mental disability. In that case, they may need Long Term Care services.
Pros and Cons of long term care
There are many benefits to Long Term Care, but there are also a few disadvantages. Here is a list of the pros and cons:
Pros of Long-term Care Include:
There is no right or wrong answer as it depends upon your loved one's specific needs, but here are a few things that might help with this decision:
Home care: This type of care allows seniors to stay in their own homes while getting assistance from caregivers who come in during certain hours, usually three times per week. A caregiver will do basic activities that your loved one cannot do anymore, such as administering medications, bathing, cooking meals, etc. If you are looking for something less time-consuming but still want to give your loved one assistance with daily activities, this might be the best option.
Assisted Living: Assisted living allows people with Alzheimer's disease more freedom than nursing homes while still receiving 24-hour care from trained professionals. Most assisted living facilities to allow seniors to move around freely within their apartments and often offer common areas where people can socialize together. These communities also provide housekeeping services, so they don't have to worry about cleaning everything up each day. When choosing between an independent senior community vs. a memory care unit, you should consider how much assistance your loved one needs. Suppose they need help with common activities such as dressing or bathing. In that case, the assisted living community may not be for them, but if their mental health is stable. They can function on their own most of the time yet still require some supervision when confusion might get in the way (such as medication management). An independent senior residence could work.
Nursing Homes: Nursing homes are only recommended when seniors cannot live by themselves anymore because of severe medical issues that limit daily routines. You generally don't see nursing facilities offering Alzheimer's disease-specific programs, so this type of environment would benefit people who experience mild to moderate cognitive impairment due to other causes like Parkinson's Disease or dementia due to another medical condition such as a stroke.
When is the best time to search for a nursing home or other long-term care option?
Right now! Don't wait for a medical emergency because it could be too late by the time you find your loved one a spot. You should start looking at nursing homes or other long-term care facilities as soon as you suspect that they might need more assistance from others rather than living on their own. Don't forget that you are not alone in this process since professionals can help with matching your loved one to the best possible facility.
Long Term Care is an important decision for senior care. It should be discussed with family members/caregivers as soon as it's needed. When choosing between Home Care vs. Assisted Living, consider seniors' specific needs, budget and location. There is no right or wrong answer as it depends upon your loved one's specific needs. Still, you should at least start looking into options early on to give yourself enough time to review each community carefully before making a final selection.
Who is responsible for long-term care expenses?
The primary source of payment is the person who needs care. Medicare/Medicaid will pay for some of the services. Still, they are not meant to cover all expenses, so supplemental insurance or long-term care insurance might be necessary if your budget doesn't allow you to cover everything on your own. This type of coverage can also help with future costs that could arise from nursing homes, home health aides, and other types of assisted living facilities since it's difficult for seniors to predict their exact needs when considering which community would work best in terms of medical support.
How can I make sure that my family will afford the cost of a nursing home stay?
It's important to keep the cost of long-term care in mind before choosing a facility since it can be expensive. If you're concerned about financing your loved one's expenses, look into various financing options such as Medicaid and Medicare. Sometimes seniors qualify for assistance from the government, so don't give up if they don't seem eligible at first glance - eligibility requirements often change depending upon individual circumstances. Your best bet is to contact elder law attorneys who specialize in this area and will help you understand what programs are available and how much each program would cover. They could also advise on other ways that might work better than insurance coverage (such as certain types of trusts) or additional funding sources like loans/bonds that may allow you to pay for your loved one's care without draining all of your savings.
Long-term care insurance is another resource that works well if you can afford it but be aware that there are many different policies with various coverage amounts and exclusions/limitations, so make sure to do some research before investing in a Long Term care plan. You should also speak with a financial planner since they might help you get the most out of this policy by maximizing its value while minimizing any possible risks (such as exhausting the entire premium during the first year, etc.).
Long Term Care insurance can be expensive, but it's important to consider what other options are available if you don't have enough money on your own. If you need help with covering the cost of long-term care, review different types of financial aid and speak with a trusted specialist who will explain all options so that you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed in terms of financing. The earlier you start planning for this type of expense, the better since costs only grow over time, which might become more difficult to cover later on. You should also keep in mind that seniors tend to underestimate their future needs when selecting a community, so there is no harm in choosing one where the price seems higher than just because it offers additional services or a higher standard of living.