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Older Adults and Care Options

older adults and care optionsOften clients are faced with making a decision about finding the best care for themselves or their older loved ones when they are not aware of all of the options available to meet their increasing needs.  Many times our Elder Care Specialists will receive a call from someone stating that their loved one needs skilled nursing home placement when, in fact,  that is not the most appropriate level of care.   

The majority of older adults prefer to age in place, and are able to do so safely as their needs increase with the addition of in home supports such as personal care assistance, homemaker services, escort services, meal delivery, etc.   In other cases, a move to residential community may be a safer option and fortunately today there is a spectrum of residential care including Independent senior living, Assisted Living Facilities, and Skilled Nursing Care designed to meet those needs.  There is a growing trend towards Continuum of Care Retirement Communities, where you can find all levels of care available on one campus, providing an easier transition from one level of care to the next if necessary. 

There is a lot to think about when determining what is most appropriate and this can be overwhelming and stressful to address with a family member when you are unsure of where to begin.  To help with this matter, ElderCare Link has a list of six things to consider when making the decision about care options:

  1. Care Needs.  Is there a medical condition that will lead to an increased need for care now or in the near future?

  2. Accessibility. Is your loved one currently safe in their own environment, or do they have issues with moving around the house and their community?

  3. Socialization.  What type of organized activities and social support system does your loved one currently have access to?

  4. Caregiving. Are the supports and services currently available or being utilized going to realistically meet future needs?

  5. Finances.  Understand your loved ones budget and know the resources available at the federal, state, and local level that may help supplement the cost of their care.

  6. Professional Assessment.  If the situation is unclear and you may benefit from outside assistance in determining the best options and the level of care needed, consider turning to an elder care professional for guidance.

If you would like additional information or assistance in determining the most appropriate options for your family, your Elder Care Specialist is available to help with this process.  Remember you are not alone and sometimes an outside perspective is extremely valuable if you are unsure of the exact level of need and the resources available.  Contact Heather Spindler, MSW, at 314-802-5106 toll free at 1-888-388-1930 or via email at hspindler@seniorsolutions-stl.com to get started today.