Trying to find a nursing home or assisted living facility where your parents can thrive is a daunting task. You know that you need to practice due diligence, but how can you be sure you’re on the right track? How do you guarantee that your loved ones won’t have their health and happiness compromised? Before you panic, take a breath and follow these three tips on how to choose a long-term care facility.
Treat Your Parents Like Independent Adults
As people age, they may require more physical assistance in everyday life. About 8,000,000 people in the U.S. have balance issues that can lead to serious falls. For the elderly, a fall can cause hip fractures and spinal cord injuries.
Despite the need for physical assistance, remember that your loved one is still an adult with a personality and preferences. As you research long-term care facilities, consider the types of activities they would appreciate.
Look for establishments that will treat your loved one with the dignity that he or she deserves. Unfortunately, many infantilize the elderly. You should not treat him or her as a child. Instead, include them in the conversation.
Having these conversations can be tricky to navigate. Some important things to keep in mind when having these discussions are to be patient and act with empathy. There may never be a perfect time to talk about senior care, but don’t put pressure on them if they aren’t immediately interested in talking to you. Give it time.
Outline Your Loved One’s Medical History
Your choice depends on your loved one’s medical history and current circumstances. There are a variety of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A nursing home provides 24/7 care, whereas an assisted living facility offers a range of services dependent on the patient’s condition.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, different facilities cater to a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Those in the early stages of the disease might thrive in retirement housing or assisted living with limited intervention. Patients who cannot care for themselves independently require more hands-on assistance from the staff in a 24/7 nursing home facility.
If your loved one has incontinence issues, find a facility with incontinence care. Write down the illnesses, conditions, and even allergies. Find out how many meals the patients receive, whether they cook together or receive their kitchen staff meals.
Examine Your Funding Options
If you are like most, you want the best care facility possible, regardless of money. Unfortunately, the cost is still an important consideration. You may choose to pay for the facility via:
- Personal funds
- Private funding
- Public funding
The median cost of a nursing home room is about $7,441 per month. Most people don’t have the personal funds to cover years of living in an assisted care facility. Fortunately, there are government programs available. Medicare is for anyone over the age of 65 or with late-stage kidney failure and can cover the costs of hospice care or nursing care for up to 100 days. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federal and state program for low-income persons that may be able to provide more coverage for long-term care.
There are other means of paying for long-term care. Some patients may choose to sell their homes as a means to fund a care facility. Before the sale, help your loved one conduct market research. Researching the prices of homes provides an idea of what houses sell for in that area. You can also use a home proceeds calculator to estimate how much you can make from a sale.
When finding a nursing home or assisted living facility for your parents, you have to consider where they would be happiest and which place is the most affordable. The main priority is to ensure that seniors receive the best possible care.
Thank you to guest blogger Suzie Wilson for sharing these tips with us on caring for our parents as they age and need to find Senior Care.
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2 Responses to “Help Your Parents Age Gracefully: Tips for Finding Senior Care”
Great article on finding senior care. I would like to make another recommendation that many are choosing today. This is hiring a personal care provider to come into the home. Whether it be for a few hours to assist with dressing, grooming, activities of daily living, meal preparation, house cleaning etc. to extended stays in the home. This can be more affordable than a nursing home facility and it allows them to remain in their homes where they are most comfortable. If the older person requires some medical assistance as well, there are some home care agencies that can provide routine and weekly nursing and CNA visits. These would be covered by Medicare. Hiring a personal caretaker would not be covered by insurance and would require paying out-of-pocket. However, paying a personal caretaker is generally much less than paying a government funded facility or agency.
Since the onset of Covid and the strict mandates and requirements placed on healthcare providers, many have left their jobs and they are opting to care for people in these situations. Also, with nursing facilities restricting visitation of family members, many are choosing to keep their aging parents at home. You can often find reputable caregivers through word of mouth, through churches, and in the community.
Thank you for your additional insights!