Watching a friend or loved one deal with the challenges of aging can be difficult, primarily if that person is used to living independently.
If you're a caregiver for an older person who is transitioning to a more dependent lifestyle, there are several issues that you'll want to consider.
Some of the leading older adult care issues include:
- Whether that person can remain in their home
- Financial or daily activity assistance from family members
- Appropriate assisted living facilities
- Elder abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Combination of at-home and professional services
- What to look for when searching for services or nursing homes
- How to best protect your loved one's medical and financial well-being
- How to handle decisions about health care and finances
- Estate planning documents such as a living will or advance directives
Fortunately, many resources can assist you with this process and the emotional decisions that come with it.
Financial Decisions and Medical Care for Aging Parents
The articles linked on this page will help you find answers. You'll also find questions you can discuss with an older person to determine their personal, housing, medical and financial needs. You can learn about the wide range of providers and care plans to fit those needs.
You will also find information about long-term care options and tips for preventing falls in the home. Unfortunately, falls are the leading cause of all non-fatal and fatal injuries among seniors.
This section also discusses unique factors to consider when dealing with a parent with dementia, Alzheimer's, special needs, or other incapacitating conditions. You can learn more about conservatorship and guardianship in these situations.
If you're concerned about your aging parent's assets and health care costs, you can learn about a power of attorney. Some scammers will target older people with financial scams or financial abuse. Other articles will spell out the differences between Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
You will also learn more about reverse mortgages and whether your parent may qualify for senior tax credits, which can assist in lowering the costs of care.
Assisted Living Facilities
If an older friend or loved one requires assisted living, starting the process of finding an appropriate facility can be a daunting one. You should know what to look for when determining whether a facility would be a good fit, what costs you can expect, and what you should and shouldn't do when signing a nursing home contract.
If you're concerned about how seniors are treated at nursing home facilities, this section also describes their rights as residents. They always have the right to be free from abuse and informed about all aspects of their care.
You will also learn more about their right to raise grievances to a Long-Term Care Ombudsman and to have those grievances resolved quickly.
With the range of care options available for seniors, this section will help you to tailor a care plan for your friend or loved one that meets all of their needs.
Given the many legal issues that can arise when planning for a senior's long-term care, you should also consider speaking with an estate planning or elder law attorney. If so, this section will help you know what issues to raise and questions to ask.