As your loved one ages, it can feel overwhelming to figure out what their next steps should be, especially if they are suffering from physical decline, or mental decline such as Alzheimer’s. Making the decision to alter their living situation involves thorough research, care and communication, and ensuring that they are properly taken care of requires continuous monitoring. Here, qualified elder law attorney Douglas C. Lauenstein discusses how to decide whether your aging parent should be placed in a nursing home, or receive in-home care services, as well as the importance of disability and estate planning.
Determine the Amount of Care Needed
The first step in deciding whether your loved one should receive in-home care or be placed in a nursing home is to determine the extent of care they need on a daily basis. If your loved one only suffers from small physical decline, and is able to take care of the majority of daily tasks on their own, in-home care might be the best option to keep them comfortable and happy with additional help from a caregiver. However, if your loved one suffers from more significant physical or mental decline, and is unable to care for themselves or participate in daily tasks without fear of harm, it may be time to consider placing them in a nursing home. In-home caregivers generally offer a variety of services used to help elderly individuals, such as shopping, companionship and cooking services. Additionally, certain organizations offer assistance to family caregivers by providing relief during the day for caregivers to run errands and stay organized. Nursing home care provides an area where your loved one can be monitored at all hours of the day, helping them stay safe and comfortable as they continue to age.
Consider How Changes May Affect Your Loved One
When discussing in-home or nursing home care, it is important to think about how these changes might affect the cognitive decline of your loved one. Elderly individuals have likely lived in their current home for a long period of time, providing a sense of comfort and familiarity and making it easier to perform daily tasks. Moving to a nursing home, however, can exacerbate feelings of fear, anxiety and frustration for some elderly individuals, and may increase the rate of cognitive decline. As your loved one ages, they may not have taken proper precautions in creating a safe environment to prevent falls or injuries. If in-home care is an option for your family, consider investing in items that provide a sense of safety, such as safety rails in the bathroom, easy access to light switches and up-to-date carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. If your family is considering a nursing home, create a plan to ease the transition, such as visiting the facility ahead of time and familiarizing them with individuals to help during and after the move.
Examine Cost Options and Long-Term Benefit
One of the most important aspects of deciding between a nursing home and in-home care is cost. Because nursing homes provide constant care for your loved one, as well as housing, they will likely be more expensive than an in-home care provider. If your loved one has not seen substantial physical or mental decline, starting with a part-time in-home care provider may be the most financially sound option. When determining cost and creating a long-term care plan, seeking the help of a qualified elder law attorney such as Douglas C. Lauenstein can help guide you through the nursing home and elder care planning process, alleviating stress and confusion for many families. Additionally, use this planning time to help establish power of attorney, medical directives and other estate planning decisions as a proactive effort to ease difficulty as your loved one ages.
See How Elder Law Attorney Douglas C. Lauenstein Can Help You
As your loved one begins to age, determining which course of care is right for them and financially feasible for your family can seem daunting. Working with a qualified attorney can help you work through the planning process with ease and ensure that you have all of the necessary information and documentation to streamline the process for you and your loved one. To discuss your elder law options further, contact The Law Office of Douglas C. Lauenstein, P.A. today.