What is Available for Help?
When the need for long term care becomes necessary one of the most asked questions is, “What is available for help?”
In much the same way that a three legged stool needs all three legs to be useful, the care planning approach needs at least three key entities in order to be successful.
- Yourself or Caregiver
- Community and Government Long Term Care Programs
- Long Term Care Professionals
Yourself or Caregiver
Long term care refers to a broad range of supportive medical, personal, and social services needed by people who are unable to meet their basic living needs for an extended period of time. This need for care may be caused by an accident, illness, or frailty. Such conditions may require help with the ability to move about, dress, bathe, eat, use a toilet, medicate, and avoid incontinence.
Community & Government Long Term Care Programs
There are many private, religious and government organizations across the country that provide supportive services for older people. Many of these services center around helping people stay in their homes and avoid having to go to live in a care center or nursing home.
National service that links older adults and their caregivers to community-based aging resources. 800-677-1116
Government services through the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging http://www.n4a.org/
Services are numerous but concentrate primarily on helping elderly people remain independent in the community, delaying the possibility that they will need help in a facility. Area agencies also support caregivers and coordinate Medicaid programs for home care and assisted living.
National institute of senior centers http://www.noca.org/
Long Term Care Professionals
Long term care professionals range from elder law attorneys, estate planners, relocation specialists down to funeral pre-planning. It’s best to talk about long term care early. If you wait, an injury or illness may lead to hasty decisions you may regret later. Planning early affords you the time to evaluate options with your loved ones.