As people live longer and the cost of medical care increases, understanding the types of long term care available is important for families. It is both an emotional and financial decision that does not come easy. Below is an overview of the major types of long term care and what families should know about each.
1 – Home Care
Home care is an option that many prefer simply because nothing can replace the comforts of home. This option is feasible if extensive medical care is not required and family or friends are able to assist with daily needs. Families can supplement with visiting nurses and assistance with routine tasks such as housekeeping and meal preparation. In many cases, renovations are also needed to make the home suitable for home care. When considering this option, families should understand the full scope of what is required in terms of time as well as the emotional and financial resources needed to accomodate care at home.
2 – Assisted Living Facilities
Another option is an assisted living facility. These facilities allow seniors to maintain some independence while still receiving 24-hour access to care and basic services, such as meal preparation and housekeeping. Many facilities also provide enrichment activities such as social events. Assisted living facilities alleviate the burden of full-time home care while still allowing seniors to maintain a somewhat active lifestyle.
3 – Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are often the most difficult type of long term care for families to accept, but it may be the most feasible solution when constant medical and personal care is needed. As you might expect, this option is also the most expensive. Given past incidents of nursing home abuse, fully vetting all the options is critical to alleviating concerns.
Selecting Among the Different Types of Long Term Care
As you sit down to discuss the types of long term care and which option is the best fit for your family, consider the following.
- How involved can your family be in the care of your loved one?
- Do you and your family have the emotional and physical capability to provide needed care?
- Is the home suitable for your aging loved one?
- What financial resources are available to cover long term care costs?
- Do you qualify for any assistance programs?
- What are the preferences of your aging loved one?
- Does your loved one have a long term care plan in place?
It is important to evaluate all information and options before making a decision. Consult with a financial advisor if you are unsure of any financial aspects on the types of long term care. As you and your family consider options and make a decision together, remember to communicate honestly and openly with one another,…and to work together, rather than against each other, in selecting an appropriate solution.