This article was written by guest writer June Duncan.
If you are a caregiver to a senior loved one, there may come a time when you can no longer meet their needs on your own. This is a sign that’s time to make some long-term care decisions. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic will complicate things to some degree. Will your loved one be safe in assisted living? Will they still be able to age-in-place if they can’t leave the house? Is it okay to have nurses visit their home during the pandemic? Keep reading to find answers to your pressing questions and ensure your loved one gets the care they need for many years to come.
Moving to Assisted Living
Moving to assisted living is one option for seniors who need a little help with the activities of daily living. In an assisted living facility, your loved one will receive support with everything from eating to bathing. Not only that, but assisted living facilities offer excellent socialization and recreational opportunities for seniors who have become socially isolated or homebound due to age-related decline. Just make sure the assisted living facility you choose is following the CDC-recommended guidelines to keep residents safe and healthy during the pandemic.
Of course, moving a loved one to assisted living is not an easy decision. Besides coping with the emotional toll involved in this move, you’ll also have to figure out the financial details. A room or apartment in an assisted living facility can be very expensive! Find out whether or not your loved one’s existing insurance will cover any of the costs. Keep in mind that Medicare only pays for short-term skilled nursing care, not long-term stays in assisted living, so you will not be able to rely on your loved one’s health insurance for funding.
It’s common for seniors to pay for assisted living by selling their home. This could be a viable option for your loved one as well! To find out whether or not this would be a good decision, start by researching your local real estate market and evaluating the home prices in your area. Homes in Scottsdale, for example, have sold for an average of $545K over the last month. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic may have affected your local market, so it’s a good idea to speak to an experienced real estate agent who can help you make the best decision.
Assisted living isn’t your only option. Your loved one may also be able to thrive while remaining in their own home. Companions for Seniors explains that aging-in-place has several benefits for seniors, including greater independence, comfort, and cost savings. If your loved one’s home isn’t ideal for aging-in-place, help them downsize into an accessible condo or apartment. Alternatively, you may be able to modify your loved one’s home with accessibility upgrades to make their daily life easier.
Staying healthy is key to aging-in-place successfully, so make sure your loved one has everything they need to maintain their health. If they don’t feel comfortable leaving the house during the pandemic, organize errand services to help them with things like grocery shopping and prescription refills. If you want to ensure that your senior loved one’s health is on the right track, you can contact Wisdom and Wellness for micronutrient testing and wellness care.
Hiring In-Home Care
If your loved one needs care help, hiring in-home care could help you avoid the cost of assisted living. But with social distancing recommendations in place, receiving in-home care has become challenging. In-home care requires close contact, especially during intimate activities like bathing and feeding, and family members are concerned about their senior loved ones getting sick. Check that the caregivers you hire are taking extra safety precautions to keep your senior loved one safe, including self-monitoring their health and implementing additional cleaning practices.
Managing a role as a family caregiver can be overwhelming, especially when a global pandemic threatens the health of our vulnerable loved ones. If the pandemic prompts you to make some long-term care decisions for your loved one, think through your decision carefully. Weighing the pros and cons of each option—and considering the coronavirus risks involved—will help you make the best possible decision for your loved one.