Navigating a Loved One’s Care
If you or a loved one is faced with a diagnosis that may require long-term care, the considerations and decisions may feel overwhelming. It is less stressful — and you will be able to make better decisions for yourself — if you research your options and make choices before a crisis develops. You may want to review the legal documents you have in place: revocable living trust, will, durable power of attorney for finances, and advance health care directive. You should have these documents in place and up-to-date. They memorialize your desires and you will be able to name the person you want to advocate for you and manage your affairs if you are no longer able to do so.
If you hope to age in your home, there are numerous resources that can make your home safer and work for you. Amazing assistive technologies have been developed to address those objectives. For example,
- There are pill boxes that sound an alarm when it is time to take medication, and then, to avoid overmedicating, prevent you from opening the next compartment until that dose is due.
- You may also want to talk to a contractor about making your home safer, such as adding handrails in the shower or widening doorways. If you believe an assisted living facility is your preference, visit them before you need one.
- Have a meal and talk to other residents about the facility so you can accurately assess if it might be a good fit for you in the future.
Finally, people are often worried about financing their care. Again, it is best to confront this worry early because estate planning and other strategies can be employed to provide solutions for this issue. People are often surprised that they may qualify for Medi-Cal or VA benefits. There are many support resources available for seniors, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.