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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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.
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The Costs of Senior Care Options
When planning for our retirement, most of us allocate money into a 401K or another savings program to take advantage of tax write-offs and to make sure we will be able to enjoy a nice lifestyle when we are no longer working from 9 to 5. We imagine using the money to supplement our monthly social security checks to enjoy vacations and other leisure activities while taking advantage of all those senior discounts.
The financial company advertisements assist us with the visions of enjoying gardening, sailing and relaxing during our retirement years. They don't show the other side of the reality which includes health problems which accompany aging. Along with a longer life comes an increased chance for developing an age-related disease, such as Alzheimer's Disease or Parkinson's Disease. Alzheimer's Disease is now the sixth leading cause of death, according to the Alzheimer's Association. As we all witnessed from watching former President Ronald Reagan battle the disease, a senior with Alzheimer's Disease can live for many years, while requiring a caregiver to assist with their daily living. As Medicare does not pay for long-term senior care (only stays of 100 days or less in a nursing home for rehabilitation after a hospital stay, with doctor pre-approval, with only the first 20 days paid at 100% by Medicare), the costs can quickly add-up.
Remember, Medicare does not pay for long-term care, which means to effectively plan for your senior care needs, you must plan for where you want to receive the care and save to pay for the care services either in a nursing home or in your home. While less than 7% of Americans over the age of 70 currently have long-term care insurance, it is predicted that more than 50% of Americans will have long-term care insurance in twenty years, as people witness their parents burn through their life savings to pay for their senior care needs. Research the options and manage your investments to allow you to choose your preferred senior care and look for unbiased, third-party information as a credible senior care resource