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Long Term Care - How To Choose The Option That Fits You Best

Although the subject of long term care is not an easy one to discuss, it should not be put off to the last minute either. So if you think that you might need long term personal care at some point in your future, here are some suggestions on how you can choose the option that will best fit your needs.

Many people today who want to remain as independent as they can, are turning to in-home solutions for both personal and health care. Of course, the advantages to you are that you can continue to live on your own with relative independence. The care that you may receive at home can include personal services such as a companion or caretaker, health care provided by nursing services, and perhaps even household assistance as well. You can usually hire each of these individuals yourself, or you may want to contract with a home health agency who will take care of providing caregivers instead.

A second option for long-term care is continuing care retirement communities or CCRCs. You can still maintain a degree of independence in these long term care facilities as they provide housing, meals, social activities, and health care that is appropriate to your health situation. For instance, if you are in relatively good health but suspect that you may need additional health care in the future, this kind of facility can provide a high degree of independence for as long as your health allows, and then can transfer you to the nursing home portion of the facility when it becomes necessary.

The final option for long term care is a nursing home facility. In essence, these only become necessary when you can no longer care for yourself. The biggest advantage of nursing home facilities is their round-the-clock medical attention and care under the supervision of qualified physicians and nurses.

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Something to keep in mind when considering either a CCRC or a nursing home is that it is usually best to visit these kind of facilities in person well in advance to get familiar with their layout, their personnel and their procedures. This will help you decide whether a particular facility will work best for you or not. You may even want to stay in the facility for at least a day or even longer if they will allow it in order to really get familiar with the goings on and be confident in your decision. You want to look for a facility that is clean, professional, with friendly personnel who provide high quality care for their patients.

You'll also want to make sure that any long term care facility that you choose will be able to give you the level of health care that you are going to need in the future, and that the cost of that health care will be included in the contract that you sign with them. So always read the fine print carefully and make sure you that you understand what you are signing. You may also want to contact the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission to be sure that the facility you are choosing is financially stable and appears to be able to remain that way.

Choosing a long term care facility and treatment is something that should be done well ahead while you have time to analyze your options and make good decisions without being under pressure. So don't wait to the last minute to arrange for long term care if you feel that you will need it in the future.

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