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Long-term care is a phrase used to describe a variety of services that include medical and nonmedical care. Most assisted living, or long-term care, programs focus on helping the patient with basic care needs, such as bathing, dressing, grooming and using the bathroom. Assisted living facilities provide these services to people in a residential, institutional setting. Assisted living is ideal for those who may need help with basic daily tasks, but do not necessarily need medical care. Unfortunately, assisted living facilities can be expensive, costing on average up to $3,000 month. This can be a strain on an elderly person's wallet. However, many facilities now accept Medicaid, a government-sponsored health-care program available to low-income individuals.
Decide whether assisted living is the best choice for you or your loved one. Making this decision is often difficult and can be draining emotionally.Further Reading: Medicaid Trusts, Assisted Living, Insurance, Applying for Medicaid, Spend Down, Death Tax.
Contact your county human services department. They will determine if you or your loved one is eligible for Medicaid based on income and assets, if you or your family member don't already receive it.
Determine which type of assisted living facilities will be needed. Will the resident need round-the-clock medical care? Will he or she like to participate in a variety of social activities? Facilities vary widely in their standard of care and the programs that they offer.
Gather a list of names of facilities that you would like to visit or contact. You can conduct research online or ask your doctor for recommendations. Additionally, sites like Assisted Living Info host a database of facilities to help you with the selection process.
Finally, determine whether the state in which you or your loved one live accepts Medicaid. Not all states have Medicaid programs that will cover assisted living care. Contact the facilities and ask if they accept Medicaid if you or your family member live in an eligible state.
For many of us there it becomes difficult to physically and mentally take care of our loved one. When that time comes it signifies that it is time to explore different long-term options and see which one would be best for them. Many people feel frustrated and confused because they are not aware of what sort of options are available for their loved one. This is why they continue with the hardship of taking care of the need of their loved one. I have come up with some long-term care options that can help a person decide.
Assisted living facilities are an option that many people select. What's great is that you have the choice of either hiring someone to come into the home and help take care of your loved one or you can place him or her at the facility. You can find facilities that would provide a clean, safe and fun environment for your loved one. I have been to many of these facilities and they provide different activities and even entertainment throughout the day. For example, once I saw a group of people doing different types of artwork such as painting and pottery work. Assisted living facilities are great for someone who is still able to go to the bathroom, dress and eat on their own.
Respite care units are a temporary place that your loved one can stay and be taken care of. Respite care units are wonderful for anyone who doesn't mind usually taking care of their loved one by is unable to for a short period of time due to vacation, work or family situation.
Subacute care unit is a facility that is similar to a hospital setting. Your loved one is provided care throughout the day. For example, medication, food, therapy and constant supervision is given. This is a good place for a loved one who basically can do everything on his or her own but has a condition where attention from a medical professional is needed.
Rehabilitation facility is a place that provides different types of therapy. What types of therapy depends on the condition of your loved one. For example, if your loved one has trouble walking because of recent surgery the rehabilitation therapist will help them regain strength and the ability to walk again. A rehabilitation facility is often temporary till your loved one gets better then other options can be looked at.
Nursing homes is often for patients with severe conditions and need assistance in varies areas. A nursing home would be appropriate for someone who can eat, go to the bathroom, dress and walk on his or her own. This place is often for someone who is near death and needs 24-hour supervision.
These are the different long-term treatment options that are available for your loved one. Make sure before selecting a facility that you check it out first. Evaluate the environment, staff and the different services that they provide. This is important because I have seen some facilities where the conditions are dirty, the staff is unfriendly and the patient is lucky if they get any attention at all.
Nursing home care is a necessity for many people around the globe. However, with funding shortages many nursing home facilities have cut corners that not only reduce the quality of care being delivered but that also put the lives of their residents at risk. Before you make plans to put a loved one in a nursing home, or before you decide that is the option you want when you get older, you need to understand the disadvantages of nursing homes.
Perhaps the number one disadvantage of nursing home care is the cost. The average cost of a basic nursing home room that is shared is about $150 a day. This means that a one year stay in a basic shared room will run you about $54,750. If both you and your spouse are required to stay in a nursing home this can put your annual expenses at well over $100,000. This is more than most people in the United States make with dual incomes and working full time. The problem with this cost is that it is expected to nearly double within the next 20 years, making it difficult if not impossible for many older people to afford nursing home care without supplemental or long term care insurance.
Another drawback of living in a nursing home is that you lose a lot of your independence. Even though you have certain rights and privileges, you are still forced to live within an institutionalized environment. You have to conform your schedule and lifestyle to the schedules, food choices and activities that the nursing home offers.
The third drawback of living in a nursing home is that you have to deal with the noises and problems of the other residents in the home. You have to listen to them talk, scream, moan and you have to deal with their invading your privacy. This can be a hard fact of life to deal with when first moving to a nursing home.
While there are some top notch nursing homes in the country, many nursing homes are forced to meet the needs of far more residents than they have the funding for. This means that in some cases care is less than perfect. The cleanliness of the facility can be lax, the food can be subpar, mistakes can be made in regards to the distribution of medications and residents can be left alone for long stretches of time.
All too often we tend to so tangled up in the mash up of the holidays to stop and wonder what our loved ones in long term care facilities will do for these magical times. Some families choose to bring their loved home from the nursing home, yet others simply cannot due to distance or medical complications. Taking the patient home can be the most beneficial for the patient and the family but if medical or other issues place constraints on how you celebrate the holidays with your loved one you may decide to bring the happiness to them on Christmas day.
First things first check with the administrator at the facility to see how many guests they will allow for you bring with you to the nursing home. Most nursing centers will only allow a few visitors at a time, however for special occasions they may become more lenient. They most likely will not allow any family members to stay past normal visiting hours even at Christmas but if you arrive early will be able to spend plenty of quality time with you loved one. Most facilities will allow you to bring food into your patient's room if their diet allows. Always check with the centers dietitian and dietary staff to explain to you and your family, your loved ones dietary needs. The nursing home will have a holiday meal prepared but they may allow you to serve your very own home cooked meal to your family member. Remember just check and with the staff to see if they allow this and if they do see what foods you can or cannot bring.
Several days before you have your holiday with you loved one, check with administrators to see if they will allow you to place a few decorations around the room. Some facilities will allow you to place holiday garland and lights around the room and they most likely will allow you to place a small table top Christmas tree in the room next to the patient. This will always bring the holiday spirit to your loved one. Now as you could imagine most nursing facilities will not allow candles or other décor in which could be lit. Other things they may not allow you to use may be hard rock candy, items with long cords, glass ornaments and so forth. I would suggest asking the administrator if they have a list of items families can bring to the nursing home as decorations.
With some strong planning you will find you can bring the holiday spirit to your loved one and make the holidays much more enjoyable. You can decorate, bring food and bring love and happiness wherever your loved ones are. Just be certain to work with the facility and ask questions so you know what you can do and cannot do. If you cannot bring your loved one home for the holiday season bring the holiday season home to your loved one. Merry Christmas!