Long Term Care ~ TLC for Aging Elders

Long-term care is a topic no one wants to broach, even when things occur like senior moments that we find comical at times.

Long Term Care ~ TLC for Aging Elders
Long term care for seniors

Long-term care is a topic no one wants to broach, even when things occur like senior moments that we find comical at times.  

Realistically though, it is a subject that needs to be discussed well before someone can not dress alone, go to the bathroom, prepare their meals or, move about without falling and needing assistance.

When a loved one or family member needs help consistently, for an extended period of time, or until the end of their life span, it's natural to want to assume the responsibility of their care because we care and love them. No one can do it better than us. No one can provide the Tender Loving Care they deserve and we want them to have. No one wants to remove them from the comfort of their home into a strange environment.

Long-term care is a family issue that needs addressing, long before the need arises. It will impact the entire family no matter how hard you try to keep some sense of normalcy in your decisions. Being a caregiver is a daunting task, no matter how much love goes into it.   For someone to be totally dependent upon you for their very existence is exhausting, heart-wrenching, and mentally fatiguing. When a loved one is injured or becomes ill unexpectedly, being forced to make hasty decisions can be an extreme detriment to all involved. Children living a long distance from elderly parents have to contend with the frustration and guilt of not being nearby. If you need to coordinate child care and schedules along with the care of a parent at home this is a decision that should be well thought out, not made under the gun.

One main objective every family should consider is planning ahead for long-term health care and whether or not, it will include selecting a facility that will provide the quality of care and quality of life your loved one desires, expects, and deserves in a safe and secure environment.

Many Americans do not plan ahead financially for their long-term care needs. Others wrongly assume that Medicare, Medicare supplemental policies, or standard health insurance policies will cover the costs of long-term care services provided in settings such as nursing facilities or assisted-living residences.

Long-term care insurance is an excellent way to protect yourself from these expenses and finding a policy geared toward your needs should not be made overnight.  Four steps to consider when choosing a long-term care facility for a loved one are:

  • Do a Google search for facilities nearest you and check their reviews
  • Determine in advance what your senior's special needs may be i.e. Alzheimer's, Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living to help with daily activities and living
  • Determine your ability to pay.  Regular health insurance and Medicare do not cover long-term care.  Medicaid does, but it varies by state and your loved one has to deplete all their assets to become eligible. Helpful websites are:
  • Knowing if a facility is right for your loved one is best learned when you visit firsthand.  Don't be afraid to walk around, talk with the residents in their rooms and definitely during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Make your visit impromptu when administrators aren't there. That's when you'll truly determine how well residents are treated and whether employees enjoy their jobs, work well with the elders and are engaging.