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Elder Medical Care helps to understand and choose among the many health and assisted living options available today. You'll find answers to common questions, support and resources.

Elder Medical Care

If you're here because you need health or living assistance in the US with some of your daily activities or you have a loved one who needs assistance, you're in the right place.  If you're here because someone you love needs assisted living, you're welcome to read along and copy the information for your loved one if they're still able to make these decisions for themselves.  I'm writing to the one who needs the assistance, because you're the one who must make these decisions, as hard as they are.  Speaking of decisions, if you haven't put your legal affairs in order, it's best to get that done before something happens that makes you unable to speak for yourself.  For more information on this, see our pages on  Elderly Health Estate Planning.   The person you choose to manage your affairs when you can't should be assisting you in these important decisions.  In fact, they can do a lot of the leg work for you.  We'll be covering some common questions about assisted living, looking at the various concepts available for assisted living today and discussing the adjustment that you need to make when you need assistance for your daily activities.  I hope you find the information here and on the other pages helpful as you make this transition.  Here are some books on Elder Medical Care that can help. 

Elder Assisted Living Medical Care Questions:

1.  What is assisted living?  This is where we find that our age or illness has diminished enough of our physical or mental ability that we need assistance to live an otherwise independent life.  Most people can maintain themselves quite well even if they need someone to help clean house, drive a car, buy groceries, pay bills...even cook.  Sometimes, even with these few limitations, we find it easier or more reliable to have a formal arrangement for someone to assist.  This could be as simple as a family member assigned the responsibility and scheduling the activities or it could mean you prefer a residential community with people your own age and professionals providing the assistance.
2.  How can I decide between assisted medical care in my home or a residential home?  This isn't really an "either or" situation.  At the beginning, you may be able to take advantage of certain Medicare home heath benefits and spend a little money to have shopping, cooking, house-cleaning, etc. done while you stay in your own home.  See our page Medicare and Medicaid Advantages and Disadvantages for more information.  Later, assisted living will require care available around the clock, making in-home care very expensive.
3.  How do I decide between residential medical care and care in my children's home?   For a limited number of people, this may be an option.  Here are some things to consider:  a. Is there room for me?  b. Are our lifestyles compatible?  c. Do they really want me or do they feel obligated?  d.  Are they able to provide the care I need?  e.  Will my presence and needs make them ignore their children's needs?  f.  Can I afford other assisted living options?  g.  Can I help them with their needs?
Many people who are not qualified or don't have the disposition become in-home caregivers out of a sense of obligation or to save the costs of residential assisted living.  As you'll see in the next section, these reasons are no longer valid.
4.  How do I choose a residential assisted living community?   a.  Decide the level of care you need.  b.  Get referrals from people who's opinion you trust.  c.  Make a list of the referred and un-referred communities in your area (should be close to the person you've designated to manage your affairs when you can't).  d.  Look at the grounds and facilities where the public isn't expected to it well maintained?  e.  Drop in without an appointment and look around.  f.  Do the residents seem happy and friendly?  g.  Inspect several residential rooms, activity rooms, dining room...ask to look at rooms they don't lead you to.  h.  Talk to people they don't introduce you to.  i.  Ask them for their last newsletter to see what activities there are?  j.  Ask them how they hire, manage and fire their employees.  k.  Ask them for a description of their care levels and writing.  l.  Choose the best 3 to verify your research further.  m.  See if they will let you stay a few nights to get the feel of the place.  Interview at least 3 residents at random while you're there.
5.  How do I verify the quality of the elder medical care facility?  Every State should have a licensing board that keeps a record of reported incidents for each assisted living facility.  Review the records of your top 3 facilities to see which one had the fewest incidents per 100 rooms in the last 3 years.  Check out the seriousness of the incidents and how they were resolved.  At this point, you should have enough information to make a decision.
6.  What if I have a problem with the staff once I'm in a facility?  Most of these facilities have a Director and a residents committee to handle routine problems.  If these don't resolve the issue, you can ask the one you've designated to assist you in your affairs.  You can also call the Government Ombudsman (phone number posted in your facility) to help resolve any issue not resolved by the staff.

Concluded at Elder Medical Care-2

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