Read these 21 Long Term Care Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Elder Care tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you suspect an elderly person needs help, do not ignore the warning signs.
Look for signs of memory loss.
Is the speech slurred?
Does the person start a sentence, only to pause and stop mid sentence, as if confused, or unable to communicate for a moment.
Is the person eating properly?
What about grooming?
Is the laundry caught up?
Has the elderly person fallen recently?
Warning signs are everywhere. Keep your eyes open, and look for them!
Senior Care Review (SCR) assists seniors in the screening, evaluation process of care facilities.
Senior Care Review provides personalized emphasis for a senior's needs.
Evaluates the needs.
Provides updated, current information.
All information is confidential!
Many assisted living communities are private pay. Private pay is defined as payment received from an individual.
No insurance...no Medicaid...no Medicare...
In other words, private pay comes from the party who is admitted, or the family or caregiver who is responsible for the financial concerns.
In the area where I reside, Assisted Living averages to be approximately $3500.00 monthly.
Assisted Living is defined simply as someone assisting with living conditions, usually someone with a medical background who will 'assist' with living arrangements.
Long term care can break a pocketbook, especially if you do not plan appropriately. Now, you are asking, what about Medicare. It covers everything.
Medicare does not cover long term care.
Now, you are wondering --- how to pay for long term care.
I recommend meeting with your insurance company, discussing long term care. Also, meet with your loved one to find out what assets are available, along with insurance policies, and to discuss how to pay for the long term care.
Long Term Care can be expensive, and many health insurance plans (including Medicare) do not cover it fully.
When researching long term care, be sure to check with your medical insurance provider to see if long term care is provided.
When the need for long term care arrives, it might be necessary to file for Medicaid, or to pay privately for the long term care.
Long term care effects approximately 57% of households in America, and is expected to increase, as baby boomers age.
Medicaid is different from Medicare. How?
Medicare is paid into by Social Security benefits.
Medicaid --- you must prove the need for!
To file for Medicaid, you will make an appointment with a social worker and complete the twelve page document.
Medicaid approval could take a few months to be approved.
Medicaid will cover medical benefits, however, consult your social worker to discuss what benefits will be included.
While serving as a caregiver, you will observe times when it is necessary for someone to act as Power of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a signed and witnessed document providing the authority for the "agent" (the party assigned as Power of Attorney) to perform or act on the elderly person's behalf.
Acting as the assigned Power of Attorney does not mean that the elderly person can no longer make his or her decisions. Power of Attorney allows the party assigned to act on the elderly person's behalf, by making bank deposits, or caring for the finances.
If the elderly person feels that the Power of Attorney is not acting in his or her best interest, the Power of Attorney can be relinquished.
The party designated as the Power of Attorney must perform the duties and responsibilities with the best interest of the elderly person in mind.
When an elderly person designates a Power of Attorney, he or she must consider the following concerns:
Is the person I want to designate responsible? Can I trust him, or her?
Does the person have my best interest in mind?
Is the person assigned willing to face the responsibilities, without complaint or persuasion?
Does the person I want to designate visit me on a regular basis?
Is the person I am ready to assign understand my finances, and the decisions made on my behalf?
What happens to me if I decide to change my Power of Attorney?
How do I legally create a Power of Attorney?
Be certain to check the State you live in to inquire about the legal issues of a Power of Attorney.
During my father's illness my dad assigned me as his Power of Attorney. All I had to do was get the legal document kit and get it signed by him, witnessed and dated by two witnesses, and register it at the court house.
I am listing below what actions I took on my father's behalf to complete the Power of Attorney:
I bought a Power of Attorney kit at Office Depot.
Dad completed it, with two witnesses present. He signed it, getting the two witnesses to observe our legal signatures.
A Notary Public attended this action, and notarized the signatures.
I contacted the courthouse, paid a small fee, and registered the document.
I encourage every caregiver to get a Power of Attorney assigned. This document can help to finalize some of the concerns and business matters in the event the elderly person becomes mentally incapacitated, or physically unable to take care of all business, financial and final matters.
Long term care is easily defined as medical care either in the home, at a nursing facility. During my father's battle with cancer, he became so weak and frail that he required long term care. Many of these services, are of a medical nature, consisting of meals, nursing care, bathing and meeting the special needs of the person. Long term care is sometimes referred to as "skilled care" (requiring the assistance of a medical professional; or "intermediate care" (needs assistance, but is able to do some things on his or her own).
Over the holidays you visited your relatives, noticing a slight decline in an elderly person's behavior, or actions. What do you do?
Discuss the elderly person's situation.
See if a family member can oversee the care of the person.
Don't be shy. Speak up.
Check with the Elder Care Locator, a service offered from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They can refer local resources.
Contact them at:
Long term care is expensive and is paid by state MedicAid, after the elderly person is approved for MedicAid benefits.
Otherwise, long term care is paid for by private agencies, including insurance companies who offer long term care insurance. Another party who pays for long term care is the private pay person...
Private pay is paid out of your pocket to the facility providing long term care services.
Be sure to check to see who is responsible for long term care.
Finances for senior citizens can be devastating. I encourage anyone I advise to speak to the elderly senior before something happens, so plans can be made.
The Social Security Administration has a toll free number for you to contact them.
The toll free number is:
When and if you phone them, do not expect a quick answer. You will need to have the Social Security Number of the person available, and due to privacy concerns, you may not get your answer on the telephone.
The Social Security Administration strives to protect all citizens privacy.
You've probably heard the term "living will" before, especially if you have been involved with the care of someone critically, or terminally ill.
To simplify the definition of a living will, I will explain it briefly. A living will is a signed document confirming a loved one's wishes, in the event he or she becomes incapacitated and is unable to express how he or she wants to be treated medically. Living wills are used to disallow extra medical treatments, including feedings - to include intravenous feedings or G-tube feedings, respirators and other medical treatments that might prolong death.
Sometimes family members can challenge a living will. Based on my experience with living wills, care giving, and elderly care; I encourage you to check with the laws where you reside to see the legal ramifications of Living Wills.
You might discuss Living Wills with your elderly loved one, to find out how they believe.
If your elderly loved one believes in Living Wills, accept and honor their belief.
Although serving as a caregiver is a life changing experience, do not hesitate to assist and make some decisions. If you see warning signs, offer assistance.
Observe the following:
Is the elderly person unsociable now?
Unable to communicate?
Does the person wander off and cannot be found?
Does he or she know the day of the week?
Ask questions. If the elderly person appears to be confused, meet with family members and discuss the caregiving situation.
Although it is an uncomfortable situation, let your elderly loved one discuss final wishes, including a living will, Do Not Resuscitate orders, along with his or her final wishes. Find out how he or she prefers to be treated during this time. Grant those wishes, when the time comes.
Most people are misinformed about Medicare, thinking everyone can get it. This is not true.
Another misconception about Medicare is the belief that Medicare will take care of the elderly. This is NOT TRUE at all!
Another misconception --- Medicare will pay for long term care. NOT TRUE!