If you are facing the challenge of choosing elder care for your aging parents, relatives or acquaintances, you have to decide if the person needs long-term care, home care, assisted living or disability services. With so many kinds of elder care, it is hard to determine which one is right for the aging person. Following are some considerations to keep in mind when making this choice.
1.Talk to the elderly person. Even if elderly people are sick, they are not children and deserve to be consulted about decisions that affect them. They may have certain criteria that they expect of the people who will be caring for them.
2.Evaluate the individual needs of the person before choosing elder care. Elderly people who have a few health problems but are generally independent may only need a nurse to check on them from time to time; they may also be able to dwell in an assisted living facility. A person with serious health problems, however, may need 24-hour care at a nursing home or in his residence.
3.Determine how much elder care costs. Prices vary depending on the type of elder care a person is choosing; some or all expenses may be covered by insurance or Medicare. Family and friends need to know how much they can afford for whatever service they are planning to use.
4.Check the licensure of the company or facility providing elder care services. Make sure that they meet all state and federal guidelines for caring for the needs of elderly people. This includes assuring that all staff are trained and certified for their duties. Checking licensure reduces the chance that an elderly loved one will be injured or placed in an unsafe environment.
5.Research the services and ask for references. Even if the facility is licensed, talk to people who’ve used the company or facility to find out if service is satisfactory, and check online to view the nature of any complaints. The U.S. Administration on Aging National Center on Elder Abuse provides hotline information for each state’s adult protective service agencies. These agencies have statistics concerning elder neglect and abuse.
6.Visit the company or facility before making a final decision. You and your elderly loved one both should visit the facility, checking for cleanliness, the staff members’ attitudes, and the morale of the residents.