Watching a friend or loved one deal with the challenges of aging can be difficult, especially if that person is used to living independently. If you're in a position to care for a senior transitioning to a more dependent lifestyle, there are a number of issues that you'll want to consider, such as whether that person can remain in his or her home or whether an assisted living facility would be more appropriate. If moving to an assisted living facility would better serve his or her needs, you will also want to know what to look for in finding the right one. Another concern would be how to best protect that senior’s medical and financial well-being, and how to handle decisions that will need to be made with regard to both. Fortunately, there are a number of resources that can assist you with this process.
Caring for Aging Parents
In this section, you will find specific questions that you can discuss with an aging parent to determine his or her personal, housing, medical and financial needs and you will learn more about the wide range of care plans to fit those needs. You will find information about long-term care options as well as tips for preventing falls in the home, which unfortunately are the leading cause of all non-fatal and fatal injuries among seniors. This section also discusses special factors to consider when dealing with a parent who has dementia, Alzheimer's, or some other incapacitating condition.
If you’re concerned about your aging parent's assets and health care costs, this section also discusses the role that a power of attorney can play as well as 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 defraying the costs of care.
If an older friend or loved one requires assisted living, starting the process of finding an appropriate facility can be a daunting one. This section will help you to 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 provides a description of their rights as residents, such as the right to be free from abuse and to be 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 his or her 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 to know what issues to raise and what questions to ask.