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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As our grandparents and parents grow older, we need to decide how to care for them. None of us would want to place them in a health care facility, under the care of others. However, our hectic schedules, time for kids or our health problems may leave us with no choice but to put them in senior care.
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are also referred to as senior care communities. When you need to place your aging relatives in a senior care community, you'd better make sure that they get the best possible care. Read further to learn some aspects that you should consider before deciding to let your loved ones stay in an assisted living facility.
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When you visit a facility, see how it looks. If it looks uninviting, with its dirt and clutter, just walk away. Use a restroom to see if the toilets, sinks or floor are clean or not. If the toilet is dirty, there is tendency for the other restrooms to be filthy, as well.
If possible, try to have lunch at the cafeteria. Try to observe the way the food tastes, the manner in which service is given and the atmosphere, as a whole. Whatever you feel about the cafeteria indicates how resident seniors also feel.
Lastly, speak with the staff directly to know how the facility is being maintained. It is normal to feel skeptical if any people from the staff act in a rude and unprofessional manner, or if they are not familiar with the facility.
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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.