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55+ Healthcare Needs
Healthcare Needs & Assisted Living
As years pass, even the most independent individuals may need help with basic daily needs. For seniors who are moving into a residence that provides assisted living care, this may not be an issue. However, if a senior decides to remain in their home, or is moving in with a son or daughter, daily caregiving needs can become a major concern.
An adult child living nearby is usually the first among siblings to become aware of an elderly parent’s need for assisted living. There may be more parental requests for help around the house, or a noticeable decline in home maintenance. Perhaps there is a health crisis. Whatever the cause, it may be a good time for the parent and all relevant family members to discuss developing a plan for meeting the senior’s medical and other needs.
Identifying Assisted Living Needs
A care plan should identify what types of assistance are needed, how those needs will be met and by whom. Depending on the living situation, the plan could cover:
- Managing and dispensing medications
- Providing needed in-home medical services
- Transportation to doctor’s and other appointments
- Help understanding doctor’s advice, health conditions, and making healthcare decisions
- Managing and paying bills and filing insurance claims
- Laundry, housekeeping and grocery shopping
- Meal preparation
- Home repair and maintenance
- Pet care
- Emergency response systems, such as a pushbutton bracelet or necklace
- Respite assistance for caregivers
Assisted Living Programs
Determining medical and other in-home care needs and sorting through plan benefits and available programs can be overwhelming. If you need assistance determining what services are available and where to find them, your SRES® may be able to refer you to a local geriatric care manager–professionals who assess and help manage seniors’ needs–as well as groups and agencies within the community that provide in-home assisted living services.
Adult children acting as caregivers may find that they need assistance as well. Caregiving can be especially stressful depending on the level of care needed, and whether or not the daughter or son also works outside the home. Caregiver assistance and respite programs exist to help provide a well-needed break. Information can be found at www.eldercare.gov at Caregiver Resources.
Home and Community-Based Senior Assisted Living Services
The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that finds resources for older adults, caregivers and professionals across a broad array of needs. To find these home and community-based services in your area, contact the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116 or at www.eldercare.gov.
- Adult day care
- Aging and disability resource centers
- Caregiver programs
- Case management service, assessing needs of older adults and arranging for services to keep them independent
- Elder abuse prevention programs
- Emergency response systems allowing homebound persons to summon emergency help
- Employment services
- Financial services, providing counseling on financial management and benefit programs
- Home health services
- Home repair
- Home modification
- Information referral assistance services, specializing in providing linkage to services and resources
- Legal assistance
- Nutrition services
- Personal care
- Respite care
- Senior housing options
- Telephone reassurance and safety checks for homebound seniors
- Volunteer services
Or, just call Joe Peters at 908-238-0118 to discuss your questions and needs. He can refer you to many local resources that can assist you as well.
Copyright © 2009 National Association of Area Agencies on Aging