While an unforeseen stroke, heart attack, fall or other debilitating incident will surely send your aging parent to the hospital, beyond that his or her long-term care needs are uncertain. Best-case-secenario, your parent swiftly recovers and goes on living independently with little or no help. More realistically, he or she will require substantial care at home or in a facility for the best chance at recovery. With this in mind, a USA Today article encourages those with aging parents to be prepared for their parents’ future needs, because the results of being caught off guard could be devastating — both emotionally and financially.
Below are some tips from the article, from what paperwork you’ll need to get started to the ins and outs of long-term care to the role family caregivers play throughout the journey.
All that paperwork
The most basic and important step your parent can take is creating an advance care directive, according to the article. The directive includes creating important designations likeÂ who will be the power of attorney and your loved one’s health care proxy.
Without this advance directive, family members will have to petition the court to be appointed as the legal guardian of their loved one — not a fun or easy undertaking, to say the least. That’s why talking long-term care with your parent in advance will make the process easier for all involved, especially since everyone will know the preferences of the senior, AARP caregiving expert Lynn Feinberg told USA Today.
The long-term care system
The long-term care options are many and, far and wide, expensive. In the article Feinberg notes that many families are unprepared to make quick decisions once they find out Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care. Remember, health care professionals are there to help a family make the proper decisions for their aging loved one’s care, whether in the form of in-home care, a nursing home or another option.
Whatever option is best, however, may not be your parent’s preference, as AARP research found that 90 percent of elderly parents prefer to stay at home as long as possible. And, no matter what, long-term care is not cheap. The article reported that the national median cost of long-term care was nearly $40,000 in 2011.
The responsibilities of family caregivers are many, from overseeing day-to-day care to managing a parent’s finances. In some cases, a family member may even take a substantial amount of time off from work (or even quit) to take on full-time caregiving duties.
Physicians Choice Private Duty “ currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa ” provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.
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