Believe it or not, as people age, there is a strong chance that some kind of long-term care will be needed. Individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime.”
So, knowing that your parent, loved one or spouse will probably need some sort of care at home, in assisted living or the less likelihood of nursing care, it important to have open conversations about the possibility and the type of environment they are seeking.
Most of us think, ”my parents aren’t going anywhere, they said they’re just going to stay home and they are way too healthy they have many more years ahead”. That is the case with practically some seniors, but that may not be reality. Unfortunate circumstances are unexpected which leads to being unprepared. Here are a couple of typical comments that may lead your loved one not being properly cared for:
“I promised my wife I would never put her in a convalescent home,” said a caring husband about his wife with Alzheimer’s who is also a fall and wander risk. NOTE: The home is not safe for someone in her condition. NOTE: The husband is in poor health and all three children live out of state and have jobs and their own children to care for.
“I gave my word to my father that he would not go to a nursing home, and if needed, I would make sure he gets the proper care at his home. He has lived in this home for the last 50 years.” NOTE: Because of the father’s condition, he cannot be left alone, so in order to live at home, he needs 24-hour assistance, 7 days per week. Due to the high cost for this, the father’s money will be depleted in less than one year. Whereas his income, perhaps renting his home, and saving on other expenses that homes incur, he would be able to maintain his safety and care in a community appropriate for his needs.
There are two misconceptions that many have regarding long-term care:
1. “If I don’t stay home, I’ll need to go to a Nursing Home”
There was a time when nursing homes were the main type of facility for long-term care. Many of us remember going to visit loves ones at these locations with horrible smells and less than adequate care. Today, nursing homes are mainly set up for short-term stays after being hospitalized for recovery and strengthening. Those who need to be in nursing homes for long-term care are either on Medi-Cal in California or need medical care (i.e. – IV’s, feeding tubes, wound care, coma care, quadriplegics). Most people still believe that if they are not taken care of at their own home, they will have to go to a Nursing or Convalescent Home. That is simply not true.
2. “Assisted Living is another name for a Nursing Home”
Nursing homes are an exception rather than the rule. Many more seniors who need assistance reside in assisted living versus skilled nursing. Assisted Living options range from small, family Residential Care Homes to larger, full-service communities with hundreds of residents. The smaller locations are similar to living in someone’s home with live-in caregivers who provide assistance. The larger locations (communities) are more like Senior Apartments with caregivers providing 24/7 assistance. Most that have cognitive issues like dementia can reside in these type of environments versus a nursing home.
Many client’s want to maintain their independence as long as possible which some may only require housekeeping, transportation and meals prepared. There are many communities that offer these accommodations including activities along with daily exercise programs that are reasonably priced compared to the expenses of staying at home.
Talk to your parents…it’s essential to plan before a crisis occurs.