We often don’t think about care options until we need them.  This is particularly true regarding the care options for our parents.  When their health starts to decline and they need help, then care options become important to understand (immediately).  Hopefully you will take some time to consider these choices. Understand them, research them more, discuss them with your family and choose the best course of action before you need them.  Some of the typical choices are:

  1. Home care – Our parents have been at our home for their whole life and expect to continue to be at home for the rest of their life. However, when they experience a sudden health decline and you need to make quick decisions. It sometimes sends the whole family into a panic.  At the initial stage of a health decline. The family members make may be able to check in on a declining parent a few times a day to make sure that things are going okay. When health declines even more, it often requires non-medical home care. In our part of the country the cost for non-medical home care is usually around $20 per hour. Most people can handle paying a few hours a week of non-medical home care. But when it gets to the point that many hours are needed, then this can become a financial strain. Non-medical Home Care is usually paid privately, however some care providers accept Medicaid as payment.
  2. Assisted Living Facilities (ALF’s) – Assisted living facilities provide assistance with residents who need help performing one or more activity of daily living. This is often a good choice for individuals who don’t want to be home alone but prefer socialization with others. Those who need help with one or more activities of daily living, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, toileting, transferring etc. They may find an assisted living facility to be a good fit.  Some ALF’s provide a room and meals and very few other activities. However other ALF’s have a full-time activities director and provide many activities in house and off-campus. A resident can choose to participate in any or all of the activities or just stay at home and relax.  Most assisted living facilities provides transportation to doctors, local shopping centers and other local venues. Resident and some residents maintain their cars and are free to drive. But most find the facility transportation to be very convenient.
  3. Skilled care facilities / Nursing Homes. When a person’s health declines, to the point where they need a skilled level of care. Then a nursing home is a viable option. A nursing home is stuffed with nurses, therapist, and other trained medical personnel that can provide medical assistance needed by a Resident that require a greater level of care. Most people pay for nursing home care out of pocket much longer than necessary.  When they spend down to a certain level, Medicaid will pay.  To avoid unnecessary spend down, it is critical to meet with an Elder Law Attorney as soon as you see that your Loved One will require a nursing home level of care.  Effective planning will help you protect as many of your assets as possible.

These are just a few of the caregiver options, with many variations of each. Whatever type of care you choose, it is important to think this through carefully, look at the finances that you have available, and discuss the choices with your family so as to come up with a plan that will work best for you and any involved family members.  If you have a Loved One going to a Nursing Home soon or that is in a Nursing Home now paying out of pocket, consider taking the following two actions:  

(1)  Download our Barraged Boomer’s Guidebook on How to Pay for a Nursing Home Stay from our web-site at www.arkelderlaw.com.  This book has an example of a couple who have a Loved One going to a nursing home.  It shows what happens to their family with and without planning.  Then it gives you the opportunity to work through the same exercise so you can see whether this type of planning is beneficial for your loved One.

(2) Give us a call at (501) 843-9014 to set a time for a Free Initial Consultation.  We look forward to meeting with you soon!