Most people prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible and may dread the idea of a nursing home – even though many long-term care facilities are excellent. If you notice changes in lifestyle, abilities, or personal care, it may be time to consider getting help.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is a set of services designed for people who could use a helping hand. Long-term care refers to care provided in the home, with another person providing personal services, including shopping, bathing, and other personal care, such as dressing, housekeeping, and meals. Many people need long-term care due to illness, a health condition, disabilities, or cognitive decline. Generally healthy, independent adults may find long-term care hard to accept, but once in place, they can enjoy a greatly improved quality of life.
Long-Term Care in a Nursing Facility
An older adult may need more care than a family can provide. Even the most loving families may be unable to provide support and care for an elderly adult who may need 24-hour care, whether in the home or a long-term care facility. Nursing homes provide medical care, regular meals, bathing, and all other services for those who can no longer care for themselves.
Signs That it is Time for Long-Term Care
If you notice any of the following situations, it may be time to arrange long-term care:
- Fall risks: For older adults who lack good balance, find it challenging to move around, or have suffered a fall, it may be time to consider in-home long-term care or a nursing home. Unfortunately, falls are very common in older adults. The CDC reports that one out of four adults suffers a fall, with about 3 million being treated in the ER after a fall and 32,000 deaths.
- Lack of hygiene: If an older adult is no longer caring for themselves, regarding bathing, dressing, cleaning hair and body, or other hygienic concerns, it may be time to organize long-term care.
- Lack of nutritious meals: Many older adults lose the inclination to shop for food or cook nutritious meals and turn to less healthy foods and snacks when hungry. Fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy proteins are critical to overall health and can be provided either in a nursing home or in meals provided by an in-home caregiver.
- Medication management: Many older adults are on several medications, which are difficult to manage. Taking too much, too little, or forgetting medications can be dangerous. If you see this occurring, it may be time to consider long-term care.
Your Medicare Plan and Long-Term Care
Your Medicare plan does not provide long-term care. However, many local and state programs offer services to seniors in need. However, Medicare covers the cost of doctors, surgeons, and other specialists while living in a long-term care facility or an in-home care provider. Some people are eligible for Medicaid, a program that helps cover the cost of long-term care for people on a limited budget.
If you need help with Medicare, we invite you to meet with one of our friendly local agents to help you choose the right plan or change your plan. You have several options, and it can be beneficial to have professional guidance – which doesn’t cost anything!