As people age they often require increased assistance in everyday activities. Decisions on what is the best type of care for a senior can be difficult and often complicated. Here is help on how to decide between assisted living or senior care in their home.
The choices between assisted living professionally at a nursing home or relying on care in the home can be an agonizing choice for the family of a senior. There are pros and cons to both options and they should be carefully considered before an arrangement is in place.
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Senior Services - a Need Filled for the Elderly
Life expectancy has increased, and the senior citizenry will make up a larger percentage of the population for a longer period of time in the near future. More than 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring daily and eventually will need senior care services due to acute or chronic health issues. It is widely accepted that nearly 90 percent of elderly people prefer to live independently.
Senior care services become increasingly necessary within the community when an elderly person's independence is interrupted either temporarily or by long-term needs. As an elderly person's physical capabilities diminish, ordinary tasks such as driving, cooking, housekeeping, and other daily activities are also affected. These everyday functions can be aided by the introduction of a home health care professional. Many people do not know that this type of assistance is often available and funded by local, state, and federal sources supplemented by Medicare. In-home care could be the answer to maintaining independence and living at home. Local agencies provide information to connect older people to these senior care services.
Senior care services are designed to offer assistance in developing the best and most practical personal plan for each individual. Collaborations are formed between medical teams, concerned family members, and social advocates to find the best solutions for an older adult to maintain his or her independence. Each case is handled with respect and compassion. The safety of the elderly person is always of primary importance and should take precedence to independence when physical conditions warrant.
Budgeting For Senior Care - How Much Does Elder Care Cost?
Many of us will gladly take Mom to her doctor's appointments, administer medications, and check in if the need arises without a second thought. But with millions of loyal children caring for aging parents out of their own pockets, a little financial relief is welcome. Few family caregivers are aware that you can get paid - however small the amount may be - to care for Mom and provide homecare services. Due to the long working hours, however, some adult children caregivers have been forced to leave their full-time jobs or even scale back their hours spent on the clock, leading to a significantly reduced cash flow. Fortunately, if being a caregiver is causing a noticeable financial strain, there are homecare reimbursement programs that can help alleviate some of the burden. Keep in mind, however, that you must practice patience when applying for these programs - make sure that your application is up-to-date and all the necessary attachments are included before you send it so that delays aren't any longer than necessary.
Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI)
Long-term care insurance, which functions as an indemnity program, only pays the insured the amount that was contracted at the outset, and regardless of homecare services that are received, will only pay that specified amount.
Making the Arrangement with Mom Official
Since money is involved, it's recommended that family caregivers draw up some sort of short, typewritten contract that outlines the terms of the caregiving situation in depth, including the pay rate and frequency, job description and homecare services that will be provided, and how various expenses will be reimbursed (if applicable). Hiring an attorney or other legal professional will help all family caregivers involved create a legal document that prevents sticky situations from arising.
It's also important to remember that this payment is viewed as income by the government, so all family caregivers must report their earnings each year as taxable income. Though the money received for providing homecare services is negligible, it will help to offset many of the costs associated with providing Mom (or Dad) with a loving, stable, and comfortable home.