This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
Whether it comes up quickly as result of a sudden injury or quietly surfaces after many concerns and conversations, long-term care planning for a loved one can be overwhelming. With this in mind, we have developed a detailed guide to simplify a complex decision in the lives of many families.
The first step highlighted in our long-term care planning guide is to carefully consider individual needs of seniors. This is a solid starting point and after all, the needs of your loved one will ultimately guide and shape your final choices.
In general, long-term care is a good option for a senior, who because of chronic illness or disability that interferes with daily living, needs care 24 hours a day. Usually, seniors in need of long-term care are experiencing serious problems in the areas of mobility, acute pain, memory loss and confusion. It’s important to evaluate your loved one’s needs because services at long-term care facilities vary, and you want to be comfortable with the level of care they receive.
Our guide has families consider if loved ones need help with everything from physical conditions and cognitive skills to eating and medications. We also encourage families to rate the seriousness of these issues, which will ultimately prioritize the services needed in a long-term setting.
After a loved one’s needs are carefully evaluated, our guide can help families continue on in the process with the following topics and prepared check-lists:
- Strategies to communicate long-term care planning issues with your loved one
- Suggested resources for long-term care planning
- Comparison of types of long-term care facilities
- What to look for in specific facilities
- Quality issues and safety ratings
- Observation and first impression check-lists
- Staffing and additional questions check-lists