Table of contents:
Did you know? People turning 65 years and above have an approximate 70% chance of needing long-term care services for their remaining years. At the same time, Medicaid requires a lot of resources to qualify for, and Medicare does not cover long-term care at all.
Although people take their elderly loved ones back home for various reasons, we cannot blame the financial shortage only. The COVID-19 pandemic has also hit hard, with total cases rising by 440% between July and August 2021. But that’s not all. Elderly abuse is another issue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2 in 3 care staff admitted to having abused seniors in nursing homes and long-term health care facilities.
Are you about to bring a relative back from a long-term health care facility? Learn how to get the necessary support and what is long-term care in general here.
Living an everyday life at a young age is all fun and games. Young people have a high immunity against diseases and more than enough physical and mental strength to take care of themselves. As the years go by, the natural immunity and health weaken, often leaving seniors exposed to long-term illnesses and unable to perform their daily duties.
That said, what is long-term care?
Long-term care is an umbrella term for a broad scope of services that help the elderly live a normal life. Care providers help the people in need with daily living activities like eating, cleaning, cooking, taking medication, bathing, dressing, and moving around the house.
Often with age, an underlying health issue, a disability, a sudden stroke/heart attack, or a previous accident may render a person unable to perform basic activities independently. A long-term health care professional provides long-term or short-term care services to help the person with daily routines.
Long-term care service providers offer personalized home-based care services. LTC is also available in nursing homes, adult day care facilities, and other long-term care facilities. These services are tailored to the specific needs of the patient and are provided by unpaid relatives and friends, or paid nurses and caregivers.
According to the National Institute on Aging, there are five types of home-based long-term care services, namely:
Home health care
Homemaker and personal care
Friendly visitor and senior companion
Emergency medical alert systems
Note: Long-term care facilities are NOT the same as nursing homes. We won’t get into the details, but you can check the differences between a long-term care facility vs. nursing home if you are interested.
Skilled nurses or paid home health aides from Medicare-approved agencies provide home health care services to help the people in need recover from an injury, accident, or illness. The provider can offer to stay at the senior’s home for a few hours a day or 24/7. Home health care is rather medical and should be recommended by a physician.
Homemaker and personal care services revolve around basic housekeeping, chores, cooking, grooming, and shopping. They can be provided by trained health service personnel or home health aides. Since these services are not medical, the caregiver does not have to be approved by Medicare.
Social engagement for elderlies can be challenging, especially when recovering from a surgery, illness, or accident in the recent past. Volunteers pay short visits to the seniors, enjoy fun activities together, revisit old memories, and do anything else that provides a positive social experience.
Seniors require special transport to medical appointments, social parks, shopping malls, and pretty much wherever they want to go. With the evolving modern transport facilities, this can be a bigger challenge. Caregivers may use family cars, taxis, Uber, or low-cost public transport.
An emergency alert system is an automatic system that sends out notifications to emergency contacts in an unforeseen accident. Modern emergency response systems use smartphones and monitoring apps that frequently check for inactivity. Others rely on wearable technology (e.g., necklaces and bracelets) with a panic button to enable seniors to push in times of an emergency.
With age, most people today will require some assistance. There’s no better time to plan for long-term health care while you still can. Generally, three major factors come into play when making long-term health care decisions:
Existing medical conditions/illnesses
For obvious reasons, people living with chronic conditions, terminal illnesses, dementia, heart disease, or stroke will require some form of help sooner or later. When making decisions for long-term health care, involve the health professionals for a deeper analysis of what level of care the patient needs.
Age, gender, and marital status are key pointers of the level of service a person may need. For instance, as people get older, they require long-term health care services. When it comes to gender, women live longer than men hence may require more care in the long run. Lastly, seniors living alone are more likely to require high-level care services than married couples.
Marketwatch states that nursing homes charge $255 per day for semi-private rooms and $293 for private rooms. The cost of long-term care at home is also on the rise as we learn how to live with the COVID-19 pandemic. A home health aide charges $150 per day. Hence, get ready to use affordable health monitoring solutions, like personal emergency apps, instead.
Besides, when making financial decisions for long-term care at home, consider your financial capacity to pay for the services. Most people rely on personal savings and private financing for home-based care. If these options are off the table, you might want to consider Medicaid. Medicaid pays for nursing home care provided that you meet its financial eligibility requirements.
While bringing a relative home from long-term care may not be easy, keeping them safe and comfortable without invading their privacy is much more complicated.
The AllsWell Alert app is a cutting-edge solution to unobtrusive monitoring for your family. What makes this app unique is its ability to detect emergencies correctly and send alerts to emergency contacts and first responders without the people in need having to push the panic button. Here are some features you might find useful:
Around-the-clock inactivity monitoring
Built-in panic button
Emergency contacts of your choice
Text and email alerts with GPS location
We know how much family means to you and that keeping them safe at all times is paramount to achieving a long, happy life. That’s why we built the AllsWell Alert app. If you have any questions or need our help, we’d love to hear from you soon. Get in touch with the AllsWell team today!
Leaving a nursing home can be more challenging than it looks. For starters, the elderly relative may get more comfortable with their caregivers than the people at home. Other times, the medical considerations might make it hard to leave. So make sure to plan everything and get the necessary support, be it a qualified nurse or an emergency alerts app.