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One of the toughest choices many of us face in life is whether or when to place elderly family in a nursing home, or other assisted living facility. In fact some elderly individuals do not require a facility to reside in, just a little help around the house. The fact remains that at some point, most elderly individuals will require assistance with their daily lives. For some elderly persons an assisted living facility is suitable. Others simply need help remembering to take pills, getting dressed, et cetera. Choosing care for these individuals should be carefully planned out.
The first thing to do is to consult with the elderly individual. Just because they're getting up there in age doesn't mean they don't have feelings. They're most likely going to need some convincing, but if you can show them they really need the help, your job will become a lot easier. Show them that they are forgetting certain crucial things, or remind them that they have trouble with ordinarily simple tasks, such as getting dressed. Once they agree to receiving care, ask them what type of care they would like. Chances are that you already will be able to tell if they need a nurse living in their home with them or if they should be placed in an assisted living facility, such as a nursing or retirement home. If the elderly person is too sick or immobile to even respond to your or decide for themselves, then you may need to go ahead and make the decision. Again though, you should carefully evaluate their specific needs. Chances are good that if they cannot decide for themselves due to illness or immobility, then they will need an live-in facility; not always though. You'll be able to tell based on the individual.
Once you choose a care option decide how to pay for it. Medicare and most insurance companies cover most elderly care options, so that should be the first place you look for a payment option. You may have to pay a small co-payment but the majority of the payment should be covered either by insurance or Medicare.
This should go without saying but before you actually decide on a care facility or individual to care for the elderly person, you need to conduct thorough research on that respective institution or individual. Make sure they have all the proper licenses and permits to care for the elderly. The last thing you want is to place you loved one in the hands of an unqualified or untrustworthy person(s). It's also a good idea to conduct an interview with any person who will be living in the house with your loved one. Prepare thorough and inquisitive questions to ask. Don't be afraid to make a long list of questions. Remember, this is your loved one we're talking about, not some dog you found on the street.
Lastly, both you and your loved one should visit the facility before deciding on it. Again, this should be a mutual decision, not just one you make for them. They have earned the right to have a choice in how they live out the rest of their life and they should be able to do so comfortably and relatively happily.