The Thoughtful Way to Make Long-Term Care Decisions for a Loved One

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Family is all about taking care of each other, especially loved ones who are unable to look after themselves. Unfortunately, unless you’re doing it full-time, the care you provide to a senior or disabled loved one may not be adequate, despite your best efforts. This is particularly true for those whose care and assistance needs are increasing because of medical concerns. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting vulnerable loved ones in more danger, which could mean that they may not be in the safest situation at present.

For this reason, you might be facing a need to make alternative long-term arrangements for the sake of your loved one’s safety and comfort. This is, however, a delicate situation, so the following considerations can be taken to determine how to move forward with their best interests in mind.

Take stock of the situation: Is it time for a long-term care facility?

First thing’s first—before any critical decisions are made, it’s important to evaluate your senior or disabled loved one’s specific situation. This will entail taking into account several factors. No doubt, the most important consideration is your loved one’s medical needs. It’s a good idea to work with their doctor to determine what they need and the best possible place to get it.

There’s also the question of whether in-home care is an option, which can be made more feasible with home adaptations and lifestyle choices. For instance, moving the bedroom to the ground floor, implementing a bathroom remodel, and exploring grocery shopping alternatives might be all that’s needed to keep a senior safe and comfortable in their current abode.

Otherwise, a long-term care facility may be more ideal. In most cases, the latter is often the better choice as your loved one will be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of professionals. But of course, choosing a long-term facility also has its own considerations, too, such as the setup, personnel credentials, and what kind of care they’ll require. For instance, if they’ll need skilled nursing care and constant supervision, then a nursing home may be their best option. Be sure to carefully weigh reviews and compare costs before choosing a facility, such as reviews within the Pennsylvania area. The COVID-19 measures these facilities are taking are also essential to ensuring your loved one stays safe and healthy.

Sort out the financial kinks: How do we budget for long-term care?

There’s no other way to say it—the cost of long-term care can be higher than you may think. With this in mind, you’ll definitely need to help your loved one work out the financial aspects of this transition.

One way to ensure that your loved one is able to get and afford the long-term care they deserve is by selling their home. Of course, selling in a pandemic can be fraught with challenges, especially with social distancing rules making it difficult to stage showings and open houses. It’s a good idea, therefore, to make use of tech tools like video-chat tours, virtual open houses, and 3D walkthroughs to sell your loved one’s home at this time.

While this might sound difficult at best, these technological answers like 3D walkthroughs offer many opportunities to experience properties. From viewing in a “measurement mode”—which allows viewers to measure various components in a room, such as a kitchen island or shower stall—to viewing the floor plan, home buying and selling is made efficient and safe for everyone involved.

Look into available benefits: What is my loved one eligible for?

Finally, get to know the benefits and options available for your senior loved one’s healthcare needs. Doing so will help alleviate the financial burden of medical bills and care in leaps and bounds, so this is definitely something you shouldn’t overlook.

Medicare is, by and large, the most valuable and helpful asset your senior loved one could ever have to stay healthy, so it’s more than wise for you to know what it entails. The most important thing you should know is that you need to stay on top of your loved one’s yearly coverage, and that Medicare’s AEP, or Annual Election Period, which starts on October 15 and closes on December 7, is the only time that coverage changes can be made. It’s also important to ensure that your loved one gets the right coverage, so do your due diligence in selecting the plan the works best for them. At the very least, you’ll need your loved one’s Medicare card, last year’s healthcare bills, current medications, and diagnoses on hand.

There’s no denying that getting the best possible care and assistance for your loved one is crucial. Ultimately, ensuring that your loved one receives the best care possible as necessitated by their medical needs and the current pandemic is the best gift you can ever give them.

Look to Caregiver Corner for additional information to help you and your loved ones live fuller, healthier, and happier lives.

Post contributed by Karen Weeks at elderwellness.net

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