Guest Post by Sasha
In my last post I noted some startling statistics about the number of Americans who will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Common medical crisis such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and arthritis can certainly affect your quality of life in profound ways. Something as unpredictable as a car accident can turn life as you knew it upside down. Injury or disease can hamper your ability to perform daily activities that we often take for granted such as eating, dressing ourselves, or getting in and out of bed and can necessitate some form of long-term care.
None of this is to say that we should maintain a bleak outlook for the future it just means that we should think early on about the kind of life we’d like the future to hold. If any kind of support is going to be necessary on a long-term basis, then it behooves us all to consider our options.
There are generally two kinds of care to look for: in-home and in a facility, and there are various options within each.
In-Home Long Term Care Options
Personal Care Assistants or Companions can aid with household care like cleaning and cooking, as well as provide a conduit to the outside world by running errands. Home Health Aides have a more personal role in care and are able to provide bathing and dressing assistance. For those people with serious physical conditions, nurses can help with IVs, administer medications, and provide solutions to more complex health issues.
Facility Care Options
If home care isn’t an option, there are a range of assisted care facilities, and it’s vital to choose the one that best suits your or your loved one’s needs. For some people who are in fact able to live at home but still require some sort of support, an adult day health care center will be able to provide daytime social and therapeutic activities. Some individuals prefer to live independently with on-site support for daily activities in an assisted living facility. If skilled and intense care is needed, then a Nursing Home is the best option for skilled supervision, medication administration, therapies, and rehabilitation.
Long-term care is obviously a private matter. Perhaps there are loved ones available to help make decisions. It makes sense to gather enough information on your own so that you can view the long-term care landscape with an educated eye. There are some free resources at Genworth Financial about the kinds of care and associated costs by state, via their Cost of Care Map. Once you’ve surveyed your options, look to speak with an agent who will work with you to design the kind of plan you need.