Five First Steps for Long-Term Care Planning

Acknowledging that an aging loved one needs additional support, either physically or with simple tasks of daily living, is a significant step for a family. However, it is the next step that can be the most challenging: What do I do now?

Here are five suggestions that can help your family on the road to long-term care planning.

Understand your options.
When it comes to a long-term care plan, there are some basic options with which you should be familiar. Starting a conversation as to which option will be best for your loved one and your entire family can start with understanding the different levels of care available.

  • Aging in Place – where your parents continue to live in their own home;
  • Living with Family, also called Family Care – when either mom and dad move in with you or you move in with them;
  • Retirement and Independent Living Communities – for seniors who are active and able to live without assistance;
  • Assisted Living – for seniors who might need day-to-day help with medication, meals, or companionship; and
  • Skilled Nursing Homes – for those senior loved ones who need round the clock medical care and assistance.

Take advantage of free online resources.
The Internet is full of information on senior care and aging, but sorting through the dense web of resources can be overwhelming. These free, downloadable resources from the book Stages of Senior Care are a good place to start. They cover topics such as senior choices, aging in place, family care and more. Below the downloadable resources available through the link above, you will also find links to multiple senior support organizations that may prove helpful in your research.

Explore local resources.
There is nothing quite as comforting in a difficult situation as speaking face-to-face with someone who truly understands. JFCS offers senior support and caregiver groups throughout Louisville, call to find out all of the programs we offer.

Take a financial inventory.
Perhaps one of the most important first steps in long-term care planning is to assess your family’s financial needs and resources. Long-term care can be quite expensive, but there are options and resources available to help you determine the best course of action for your family’s unique needs.

Get Advice from Others.
You’re not the first person to have aging loved ones, and you won’t be the last. Ask your friends what they’re doing to plan, or start a discussion with caregivers in a support group. You may also consider enlisting the advice of care professionals. If you would like to learn how home care services can be part of your long-term care plan, and the costs involved, please call the Klein Older Adult Services department. Aging can present a wide range of challenges and changes. JFCS geriatric specialists are there to assure that health, social, personal, transportation, housing and safety needs are met. We understand that every situation is unique and work with our clients and families to create individualized care plans that maximize independence, safety, and well-being.

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