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Long-term care: Early planning pays off



Long-term care is a term used for domestic and community-based services for adults who need help to take care of themselves.

If you are considering long-term care options for yourself, a parent, or another lover, start early with the research and discussions. If you wait, an injury or illness could force your hand, leading to a premature decision that might not be the best in the long run.

Here you can familiarize yourself with the possibilities of long-term care.

Long-Term Care

Understanding the different levels of long-term care allows you to choose the type most appropriate for you or your loved one. For example:

  • Home care. Personal or domestic helpers can help with bathing, dressing and other personal needs at home as well as housekeeping, eating and shopping. Nurses at home provide basic medical care at home, eg. B. when taking medication.
  • day program. Adult Day Programs offer social interaction, meals and activities – often exercises, games, field trips, art and art music – for adults who do not need 24/7 care. Some programs offer transportation to and from the care center as well as certain medical services, such as help with taking medication or controlling blood pressure.
  • retirement home. Many communities offer rental housing for older adults. Some senior citizen residences offer meals, transportation, housekeeping and activities.
  • Assisted living. These facilities provide staff to assist with activities such as taking medication, bathing and dressing, meals, transportation and housekeeping, and social activities. Some assisted living facilities have beauty salons and other amenities.
  • This age community includes multiple levels of care in one facility – such as senior housing for the healthy and cared for, those who need help with their daily activities, and 24/7 care for those who are no longer independent. Residents can switch between different levels of care as needed.
  • nursing home. Nursing homes provide 24×7 care for those recovering from illness or injury, and serve as long-term care for people who are unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes also provide end-of-life care. Services typically include food, dressing, bathing and restroom, as well as wound care and rehabilitation therapy.

Choosing the right long-term care facility

Choosing a long-term care facility can be overwhelming. Ask these questions to simplify the process:

  • What service level do you need? Do you need or need help from your relatives in everyday activities, such as: B. when dressing or going to the bathroom? Maintenance? What about body or occupational therapy? What does the doctor say? By determining the need for care, you can decide what kind of facility you should consider.

  • What personal preferences do you have? Do you or your family want to prefer a smaller facility or specific living arrangements such as a single room? Would you prefer to eat your meals in a cafeteria or in your own room? Which amenities are most important?

    Also note the rules. Can the residents choose when they want to get up and go to bed? When are visitors allowed and what social activities are offered? Can residents continue to see their personal doctors?

  • What can you afford? Find out about prices, fees and services. Know what is included in the monthly fee and which incurs additional costs.

  • What's Nearby Proximity to friends and family can ease the transition to long-term care. If job vacancies are a problem, ask for waiting lists.

  • What is your first impression? Plan a visit to the facility. Does the facility seem secure and are the residents treated respectfully? Do you seem happy?

    Does the plant smell good and is the temperature pleasant? Are there enough supervisors in the staff? Make unplanned visits later to make sure your first impression is accurate.

  • How is the device comparable to others? What did you hear about the facility? Contact your local Better Business Bureau for a complaint against the organization and use online applications such as the Nursing Home Compare tool on the Medicare website.

    Ask an Ombudsman for Long-term Care – an official investigating complaints against long-term care facilities – about the strengths and weaknesses of certain facilities. To find a local ombudsman, use the Eldercare Locator, an online service of the US Administration for Aging.

Get opinions from friends and family members who have nursing home experience. Ask your doctor for a recommendation and ask if he sees patients in nursing homes. Social workers, hospital dismissal planners, and local aging officials can also make suggestions.

Paying Long Term Care

Long term care can be expensive – and usually it's cost

Medicare, a federal program for people over 65 and people with certain disabilities, generally does not pay for long term care. Medicaid, a joint federal government program for people who meet certain income requirements, could be an option for adults who have limited assets or for those who have almost used up their assets. Who is eligible for Medicaid and which benefits are used, varies from state to state.

If you do not expect personal savings to cover the cost of long-term care, you may be able to fund long-term care over the long term care insurance. In return for monthly premiums, long-term care insurance covers the care of nursing homes or other nursing services.

The premiums generally increase with the age of the person and the coverage varies considerably. If you are considering long-term care insurance, make sure the insurance covers all pre-existing conditions and conditions that could develop later, such as dementia. Also check if you can reduce coverage if the premiums become too expensive.

Other options include a reverse mortgage, in which you convert some of the equity in your household into cash, or selling a life insurance policy for the present value of life settlement.

Be wary of risks and fees. Discuss the options with a lawyer or an accountant. You can also contact a social worker or the local agency on aging.

Discussion of Long-Term Care with a Loved One

If you are looking for long-term care options for a parent or other relative, include your loved one in the process as much as possible. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Plan ahead. Do not wait until a loved one needs a long-term care facility. Start planning early, so you have time to evaluate the options together.
  • Work in daily conversation with long-term care. If your mom mentions a problem with turning on the faucet, you might ask if she could use it to help you bathe or handle other aspects of personal care.
  • Listen to the preferences and concerns of your loved ones. If your loved ones are mentally competent, you recognize their right to make decisions about long-term care. Stay positive when reminding your loved one that his or her safety is your primary concern.
  • Explain the need for caring. Let your loved one know why he or she needs long-term care. Is security around the clock a problem? Is it difficult to bring medical care to your family from home? These questions can help guide your conversation and help your relative understand why long-term care is needed.
  • Include others. If your relative does not respond well to your efforts to talk about lengthy conversations? Long-term care with trusted contacts – such as other family members, clergy, a doctor, or a lawyer – could help.

The idea of ​​leaving home or getting help at home can be uncomfortable. The more you know about the options, the better decisions you can make.

Updated: 2015-03-20

Release date: 2004-01-15


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