Important Long-Term Care Decisions to Consider for Your Loved One
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Important Long-Term Care Decisions to Consider for Your Loved One

Alyssa Strickland, Gracefully Greying Contributing Writer 

Caregiving is the biggest act of love and compassion there is but at some point, an increased level of care will be required. For seniors who are infirm, aged, or disabled, helping to determine the right long-term care options can be a heartbreaking and mammoth task because of the sheer amount of decisions that need to be made. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine points out that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the pains and worries that come with caregiving. The increasing concerns about contamination amongst seniors have caused families across the country to grapple with fears of virus spread, lack of access and visits, and questions about where the loved one will be safest. 

If you’re worried about your loved ones and their well-being during the pandemic, we  hope this article will provide some guidance on key decisions you’ll need to watch out for. 

Treat in Place: Aging With Ease

If your loved one’s condition has been stable or static, you will have to decide how they will age in place. This concept also holds true for seniors that are not burdened with any conditions or disability but have reduced mobility and increased frailty due to age. This living arrangement is often augmented with volunteers or service professionals to help tend to home maintenance tasks, whether minor or major projects. It’s never been easier to find pros online. If gutter cleaning is needed, for example, simply search for “gutter cleaning in my area” in the search bar and visit Angi to see who the contractors are near you.

If health issues are holding back your loved one from doing more mundane, daily activities like laundry or the dishes, it’s time to look outside the home for living arrangements. You will need to decide whether your loved one will be happier in an independent living community, or if the care they need can be provided at home. 

Although the severity of the pandemic has been curbed, seniors are still the most susceptible age demographic. In this case, you may decide that assisted living will be the best option to keep your loved one safe. In the event that they need to be moved to a long-term care facility, it will be your responsibility to manage their affairs and assets. 

Escalate Care: Provide Treatment

When it comes to long-term care living, the goal of this level of care is to extend life and provide relief. This could be a preventative measure brought on by worsening conditions or the need for ongoing treatment. 

However, long-term care is incredibly expensive, especially considering that Medicare doesn’t cover LTC. If your loved one has diminished retirement savings but isn’t eligible for Medicaid, selling their home can be a viable solution. If there is enough equity in the home, the profits could cover living expenses for many years to come, and ensure they get the necessary care they need. 

When considering a home sale, be sure to research listing prices for comparable homes in your loved one’s neighborhood, as this will help estimate how much you can expect to receive after the sale. While home trends are a reliable measure of return, do keep in mind that the pandemic has affected the housing market, leading to fluctuations and some anomalies. 

End of Life: Prioritize Comfort Care

In cases where the end of life is imminent, the ultimate goal is to provide the best experience and maximum comfort for your loved one. Depending on the quality of life and severity of their condition, they may have limited time left. According to Verywell Health, choosing a setting that will present the opportunity for a comfortable death, whether it is in assisted living, a nursing home, hospital, or at home is of the utmost importance. Ensure that your loved one is surrounded by their friends and family and that you are prepared for any sudden issues or scares.

The care your loved one receives is the highest priority. While making decisions about their care can be difficult and stressful, it is important for you to consider all the information so that you are equipped to make the right decisions. While the pandemic has made care a little bit more difficult to provide, remember that you are not alone.

- Alyssa Strickland, Gracefully Greying Contributing Writer 

Image from Unsplash

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