(Administration on Aging) In general, planning for long-term care is like planning for dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. While many of the same planning steps apply, certain steps take on added importance. The loss of executive function associated withdementia can create hardships for caregivers in arranging or paying for care. The ability to comprehend finances and care choices is often among the first signs of dementia. To avoid problems in planning, the following steps can be taken:
- Advanced Care Directive — to make sure care choices reflect preferences
- Medical Power of Attorney — to make sure decisions can be made for persons no longer able to communicate their wishes
- Power of Attorney — to make sure financial and estate decisions can be made to pay for care, apply for assistance (i.e. Medicaid, state based programs) or for the ongoing management of an estate.
Once symptoms appear, dementia makes the long-term careplanning process more complex. It causes a specific set of challenges that also must be considered when deciding what your next steps will be. Among these are:
- Safety issues specific to people with Alzheimer’s
- Working with caregivers that understand the symptoms of dementia and how to respond effectively
- Medical specialists and products that may add to the cost of care, especially in regards to drugs specifically tailored to your loved one’s needs
- Adult day services that provide socialization and activities in a safe environment to both provide a break to the caregiver as well as giving the people with Alzheimer’s positive stimulus
While people with dementia can stay in the home for some time, for most there will come a time when professional help, or living in a facility, becomes necessary. Today’s options for facility care may include assisted-living arrangements that specialize in care for people withdementia. Here are just a few of the possibilities commonly available:
- To learn more about general assisted-living facilitiesfollow the link here
- Specialized dementia care facilities, also known as “memory care” assisted living, generally offer supports and protections that go beyond traditional assisted living communities. For example, having specialized staff training, secured exits, and enhanced visual cues to help residents feel more at ease in unfamiliar surroundings can be part of one of these facilities*
- Nursing homes include all the services of an assisted living facility with the added service of full-time nursing care, 24-hours a day. Some are designed specifically for people with Alzheimer’s*
Finding Local Services
The Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services, including Area Agencies on Aging. This is a government website.
Home Health Compare
Home Health Care includes skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, medical social services and home health aide services. This is a government website.
Assisted Living Data
The directory on this site allows for a search of residential facilities by Zip Code or State and does not require personal information. This is NOT a government website.
SHIP programs provide volunteers to help consumers understand various types of insurance for older persons. They are located in every state, and your local office can be found here. This is NOT a government website.
State Insurance Divisions
This website contains a directory of the agencies responsible for insurance regulation in every state. This is NOT a government website.
*source – Mayo clinic
Administration on Aging