How to Decide if Someone You Love Needs Long Term Care
The decision to seek long term care for a loved one is a difficult one to make. Perhaps you are afraid of
hurting your family member’s feelings by suggesting they are no longer capable. Or maybe your family
member isn’t ready to admit the need for help. Despite the difficulty of broaching this touchy subject,
you must do so for the health and safety of your loved one. The good news is you don’t have to do it
Speak with Professionals
If you suspect an elderly family member needs long term care, you should speak with a professional who
can help you evaluate capabilities and determine what type of care may be needed. Start by talking with
your loved one’s primary doctor. This doctor will already be familiar with past abilities and can assess if
extra care is needed.
Evaluate Daily Abilities
With the help of a physician, you and your family can determine what daily activities have been affected.
Is the person you are worried about able to cook and clean his or her own home? Does your family
member have difficulty bathing or climbing stairs? You must also consider mental capability. Sometimes
Alzheimer’s patients may be physically able to perform activities, but may be forgetful and leave the
stove on or water running.
Determine the Level of Care Needed
With a doctor’s help, determine what, if any, level of long term care your family member needs. Long
term care is a broad category. For those who wish to remain in their own home, you can hire an aide to
help with cooking and cleaning. If your loved one opts for home care, over time you may have to
increase the level of help provided or seek another option. If your family member needs constant care
and is willing, nursing homes provide full time assistance, socialization opportunities and activities for
those who are able to participate. There are even special facilities that deal with a primary ailment such
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