Many Options Are Available for Elder Care

When an older person becomes unable to live alone without additional care, it is often unclear to both the older person and family members just what should be done.  Thankfully, there are many options available to meet the unique needs of each person needing care and each family’s budget.

The option that most older people prefer is to stay in their home, and this may be possible depending on the level of care the individual needs.  If a parent has recently fallen ill, you may not have a good sense of how much additional care is needed.  You may wish to consider hiring a geriatric care manager to help you assess what type of day-to-day care is needed, from occasional assistance to full-time care.  A care manager can also tell you about any changes that may be necessary to the person’s home for safety and/or wheelchair access.

An assisted living facility is an option that sometimes becomes necessary either for the older person’s health or because of the family’s budget.  An assisted living residence is generally less expensive than full-time at-home care, and the level of care can be adjusted as the person’s needs change.  Although some older people are trepidatious about entering such a facility, many find that the activities and the sense of community with other residents add to their happiness and mental health.

When a parent or other loved one needs care that is simply not available in an assisted living facility, then the task becomes choosing a good nursing home.  You want a nursing home that provides a safe and caring environment and all the medical care that your loved one needs.  Plan to invest time in doing your research to find the right facility.  Cost is another concern, but Medicare pays for medically necessary care and Medicaid can help with the other costs if the patient qualifies.  To help determine the best way to meet the cost, consult with an elder law attorney.

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