Some people swear that they will never send a loved one to a nursing home. Then one day a doctor tells them there’s no alternative to long-term nursing care for their family member. Does “long-term nursing care” always mean “nursing home” or are there reasonable nursing home alternatives?
Nursing Care Is Expensive.
Our first consideration is always going to be finding the best care possible for a loved one. The second consideration is probably how to pay for that care.
Genworth 2016 survey of care costs (monthly):
- Semi-private room in Nursing Home: $6,083. Private Room: $6,464
- Assisted Living: $3,057
- Homemaker Services/Home Health Aide: $3,213
- Adult Day Care: $563
But there are levels of care that correlate with levels of need. The type of assistance your loved one receives should match the level of care needed.
Types of Nursing Care.
Other names for nursing home:
- skilled nursing unit (SNU)
- care home
- rest home
- intermediate care
- nursing center
- convalescent home
Alternatives to Residential Care
Depending on the level of care your loved one needs, there may be better solutions than heading to the nearest nursing home:
- Community Services. Seek out community services in your area. Volunteer groups may be available to help with errands or trips to the doctor. Adult day care, meal programs like Meals-on-Wheels, charitable organizations, and senior centers may provide the assistance you need.
- In-home care a/k/a home health. Staying in the comfort of your home is preferable to many people. It’s also much less expensive than institutional long-term care. Consider home health care as long as the patient will be safe and receive the appropriate level of medical care.
- Independent Living and Assisted Living Facilities. Some seniors enjoy moving to these facilities for the activities and levels of independence to match their abilities. Typically, a nurse or health care worker is available to help with monitoring medications if needed.
Where to Go for Help.
Talk to social workers in hospitals and nursing homes. Try contacting some reputable, licensed home health agencies. The Alabama Medicaid website has information about Medicaid benefits that cover nursing care.
Planning ahead for potential incapacity is critical. It may seem silly to set up a plan for incapacity since you never plan to be incapacitated. If that time comes, though, your plans will ease the transition to the form of assistance best for you.
Schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Adams & Miller, P.C. We know how to help people with their estate planning. Just give us a call at 256-251-2137 or use our Contact Form to set up an appointment. Serving clients in the greater Anniston and Birmingham areas.