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Housing Crisis Affects Seniors Needing Care
Date:1/15/2009

Unable to sell homes, seniors increasingly turning to home care vs. assisted living

GLEN ELLYN, Ill., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The national real estate crisis has affected all aspects of life, and long term care is no exception. For many seniors unable to sell their homes, moving to an assisted living facility is no longer financially possible. For this reason, the option of aging-in-place with retrofits is growing in popularity along with utilizing home care assistance. By using caregivers and modifying homes to be friendlier to the aging process, many seniors will be able to remain in their homes for as long as possible - which, according to an AARP housing research report, is exactly what 83 percent of older Americans would choose to do when given a choice.

Always There Resources knows there's no place like home and would like to educate the local community about how aging in place with home care can be a viable option. About.com Senior Health reports that seniors who go to nursing homes or other assisted type facilities are usually not in need of complex medical care, but rather are having difficulty taking care of their personal needs. Additionally, when faced with making a choice for care, oftentimes home care can be more affordable than moving to a care facility.

Staying in their own homes as long as is possible can mean a great deal to many seniors. Familiar surroundings can be therapeutic. When faced with recuperative needs and considering in-home services, here are some important factors to consider:

  • Culture of the care recipient
  • Current financial situation of the care recipient
  • Formal/informal support system of the care recipient
  • Current level of care required; future level of care prognosis
  • Mental status of the care recipient
  • Ability to get up and down out of a chair or a bed

Because it is not always clear to the average person whether an ailing senior can use care at home or when it is more appropriate to move elsewhere, it is usually best to consult a professional for advice. Understand that making a decision to move into a facility and sell a home is an unalterable decision, once completed. Prior to making any formal recommendation for long term care that involves a move away from home, available home care options should be fully explored.

Look at Activities of Daily Living needs when choosing care. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are simply activities in which people engage on a day-to-day basis. These activities are fundamental to caring for oneself and maintaining independence. Why is it important to be aware of a person's limitations with Activities of Daily Living when choosing care?

  • Determining the type of ADL care that is needed enables a clear idea of whether or not staying at home with care is an option.
  • Recognizing a person's limitations is the first step in developing a care plan to provide the appropriate type and level of assistance.
  • Admission policies for adult day services, care communities and institutions often reflect on ADLs to determine eligibility for care and placement for a certain type of care.
  • Long-term care insurance policies/programs often rely on ADL measures (the inability to perform a certain number of ADLs) to determine whether or not an individual qualifies for benefits.

In addition to long-term care insurance, there are many ways to pay for in-home care, including private funds, family funds, Veteran's benefits, worker's compensation, Medicaid waivers, and grants from some charitable organizations or religious organizations. Generally, it is less expensive to stay at home with 8 hours of care or less per day than it is to move to another location.

When grappling with long-term care decisions, the National Institute on Aging recommends checking with your insurance provider - there is a chance that paying just a few services out of pocket could cost less in the long run than moving into an independent living, assisted living or long-term care facility.

Navigating long-term care in today's economic climate can be a stressful ride, but there are many resources available to aid in the decision. It is a good idea to talk with friends, neighbors and trusted advisors or professionals to learn more about the in-home care options available. For more information about in-home care services in our local community, please contact Always There Resources.

About Always There Resources, Inc.

Always There Resources is committed to helping seniors live better at home. We believe that each and every senior deserves the best quality of life possible. A team approach is the only way this can be accomplished that is why each family works closely with a professional care manager who uses their expertise to ensure the senior's needs are being met. Services include: Philips Lifeline medical alarms, medication dispensing equipment, live-in care, and hourly homemaker and transportations services. Please visit www.AlwaysThere.com.


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SOURCE Always There Resources, Inc.
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