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Protect your elderly parent by choosing the right long-term care

As your parents age, you may take on more responsibility for their care and well-being. In doing so, it may be up to you to choose the right long-term care for him or her. You may find this a daunting task due to the stories and media coverage you may have heard or seen regarding elder abuse and neglect.

In making your decision, it may help to understand what choices you have. The type of facility your parent ends up in largely depends on the level of care he or she needs.

What care do nursing homes provide?

In a nursing home, your parent would receive the following types of care:

  • Around the clock supervision
  • Medical care
  • Assistance with daily activities
  • Three meals a day

Some nursing homes also provide rehabilitation services such as physical therapy, occupational services and speech therapy.

What care do board and care homes provide?

Board and care homes provide residents with meals and personal care from staff who are available and on site 24-hours a day. These facilities often do not provide medical or nursing care. This is the primary issue separating them from nursing homes.

What care do assisted living centers provide?

These facilities provide daily care, but not to the same extent as nursing homes. Residents usually live in their own rooms or apartments where they retain some autonomy. Even so, your parent may have access to the following services if he or she lives in an assisted living center:

  • Help with medications
  • Three meals a day
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Help with laundry and housekeeping
  • Security
  • On-site staff
  • Around the clock supervision
  • Recreational and social activities

If your parent remains mobile and does not suffer from a condition that could jeopardize his or her health or safety by living more independently, then this may be a good choice.

What care do continuing care retirement communities provide?

These communities offer a variety of services. Some people may live in a house or apartment with only minimal assistance. Others may live in the assisted living area of the community where they can receive more care than those living independently. Others live in the nursing home section of the community where they can receive the full range of care they need.

This type of community often provides recreation programs and health care services for its residents. Your parent may benefit from living in a continuing care retirement community so that he or she can progress to greater care when needed without having to move to another facility. This could also be beneficial if he or she makes friends and builds relationships with the staff.

Regardless of the type of facility you choose, the potential for abuse and neglect exists. It may be up to you to protect your parent, and having a legal advocate as a partner in this endeavor could prove invaluable.

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