Does My Parent Need Assisted Living or Long-Term Care?

Author: Maine Veterans' Homes
Posted: October 24, 2017

 

When your parent’s health and safety are at risk when living alone, you know it’s time to consider care for your parent. But how do you know what kind of care? Do they need assisted living care or long-term care?

Assisted Living Vs. Long-Term Care

There are two main factors in making the determination between assisted living and long-term care:

  1. How much assistance does your parent need throughout the day?
  2. How much management is needed for medical care?

 

At Maine Veterans’ Homes, we conduct an assessment before admission to ensure appropriate placement for all our residents. We also guide family members through the steps to aligning care to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

When Is Assisted Living Right for My Parent?

Assisted living is typically the right fit for:

  • Seniors who do not require a high level of care but no longer are able to live on their own.
  • Seniors who may need assistance with medications, activities of daily living, meals and housekeeping, but they do not need care available 24/7.
  • Seniors who could still live alone in a private apartment with assistance scheduled as needed.

When Is Long-Term Care Right for My Parent?

Long-term care, also known as nursing home care, is typically the right fit for:

  • Seniors who have medical conditions that would benefit from having licensed nursing care available 24/7.
  • Seniors who need access to around-the-clock care.
  • Seniors who have complex or multiple medical conditions.

 

Learn more about long term care specifically for the veterans of Maine here.

6 Signs It May Be Time for Nursing Home Care

  1. Increasing care needs. Your loved one is requiring increased medical attention throughout the day and possibly 24/7 care.
  2. Staying inside. He or she is not getting around as freely. Have you noticed your loved one is no longer getting the mail in or going out for activities he or she once looked forward to? These are all signs it simply may be too difficult for them to get out, which puts them at risks for becoming isolated, depressed and physically inactive.
  3. Weight loss. Is he or she losing weight from skipping meals, not having food in the house, no longer wanting to cook or unable to cook. It may even be unsafe for them to be cooking.
  4. Hygiene concerns. Is your parent no longer brushing teeth, bathing, doing laundry and other personal care as he or she once did? These could all lead to health problems and may indicate a need for greater care on a daily basis.
  5. Medication concerns. If your loved one often forgets whether he or she has taken medication or you notice doses are being missed or repeated, this is definitely a concern. Medication needs to be managed on a daily basis.
  6. In need of specialized care. Your loved one needs frequent specialists care. Skilled nursing facilities provide access to specialists, such as physical therapists, social workers, geriatric dieticians and others who are often difficult to align when living at home.

If you notice these signs that suggest a need for skilled nursing care, talk with a medical professional or a nursing home representative to get a professional assessment. This is often a difficult decision for a family. Explore your options, gather the necessary information and begin the conversation.

Be Proactive with Long-Term Care

It may be difficult for your parent to hear he needs assistance on a daily basis or to even consider moving from his home. However, when his health and safety are a concern, you don’t want to wait until an accident or crisis happens.

It is always best to be proactive. The more time you have, the more opportunity you have to fully compare nursing homes to find the right fit for your parent’s need, comfort, lifestyle and affordability.

Maine Veterans’ Homes is an independent nonprofit organization with six locations throughout Maine, each providing compassionate care to our honored veterans. For more information, contact Maine Veterans’ Homes online or give us a call at 800-278-9494.