Individuals who require long-term care may have family members and friends who face this issue for the first time and feel unsure about the future. The National Institute on Aging notes that the purpose of this care is to ensure the patient’s quality of life and safety, no matter his or her malady.
Those planning for a loved one’s long-term care may want to consider several important factors as they formulate a plan of action, as this may help them feel more confident about making choices that benefit the one in need of care.
In-home care versus a nursing facility
One of the most important and sometimes emotional decisions is whether to keep a loved one at home for care or to place him or her in a long-term nursing facility so professionals can see to his or her needs. There are several factors family members might consider when making this choice, including:
- Funding availability
- Local availability of in-home care professionals
- The wishes of the patient, if they are sound
If the individual is not able to make these choices or provide input, then family members might want to consider other factors, such as whether a patient’s grown children want to move a parent into their home for daily care.
Much goes into daily long-term medical care, from ensuring a patient has all the meds he or she needs, is comfortable and has a positive quality of life. This may include helping the individual dress, bathe, eat and move about each day. Family members who want to care for a loved one at home may want to reflect upon which tasks they can handle and which are best left to an in-home care nurse.
At-home caregivers may want to look into meal deliveries and other services that may assist them with seeing to a loved one’s daily care. Depending on eligibility status, some may use these programs free of charge.