Types of Senior Care Services
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Whether your loved one needs skilled medical care or just a little help in a home-like setting, there are several options when it comes to long-term care.
Types of Senior Care Services
If your loved one has complex medical conditions – or needs a lot of help with mobility – a nursing home (or skilled nursing facility) may be the only place that can meet their needs. It’s also easier for those who are eligible to arrange for Medicaid to cover nursing home costs than other long-term care options.
Independent living can be a good choice for seniors who are mostly independent but would benefit from a friendly, supportive neighborhood and a little help with yard work and home maintenance.
Seniors who can manage fairly well on their own with a little help with meals, dressing, bathing, housekeeping, shopping, and companionship often do well in an assisted living apartment.
Residential Care Group Homes
Residential care comes in a variety of sizes and setups, such as adult foster homes, group homes, and facility settings. They tend to emphasize a home-like environment and offer assistance with personal care, meals and housekeeping. Some homes are designated for special populations, like LGBTQ+, or those who share particular languages, cultures, or religions. This can make a big difference in your loved one’s sense of belonging.
Memory care offers special programming for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. They’re especially suited to seniors who are at risk for wandering. Some focus on helping your loved one function at their best despite their challenges.
Life Care Community
Life care communities (also called continuing care retirement communities or CCRCs) typically offer independent living, assisted living, a nursing home, and sometimes memory care on the same campus so that as your loved one’s needs change they can remain part of the same community.
Home care services can assist with personal care, housekeeping, laundry, shopping, transportation, pet care, meal preparation, and other tasks that can help them live independently with the proper support and supervision.
Home health features licensed healthcare professionals, such as nurses and therapists, who can tend to wounds or perform other medical care in the home. Physical or occupational therapists can help modify the home for safety and independence, and help your loved one function at their best.
Palliative care helps minimize suffering and symptoms for people who live with chronic diseases. They work to stabilize conditions such as pain, shortness of breath, and other issues that make living independently a challenge. They focus on quality of life, so if your loved one wants to stay at home, they can help identify resources to support that goal. Palliative care can be provided in a home or facility setting.
People who are expected to live less than six more months are generally eligible for hospice care, which can be provided in the home or a facility. With hospice support, it’s sometimes possible to remain in the home. There are also specialized hospice group homes in some areas. These can be perfect for those who need more help than they can get at home but want to remain in a peaceful, home-like environment.
DIY Estate Planning and Online Legal Documents
There’s been an influx in online do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning services popping up over the last few years. Promising a quick, easy and inexpensive alternative to exorbitant attorney fees, it’s easy to understand their draw.
In some cases, DIY estate planning software can be a good option. For example, individuals with very simple estates – and very simple family dynamics – who wish to leave everything to their next of kin can often get by with an online will-maker service.
However, individuals who own real property, have complicated estates, dependents, or complex family systems should consult with an attorney.
Using a DIY Service as a Starting Place Can be a Smart Approach
If you decide to opt for a DIY approach to estate planning, it’s a good idea to run the completed documents by a local lawyer to ensure they’re compliant with state law and that they reflect your loved one’s wishes accurately.
Although DIY will makers typically claim that their forms are legally binding in all states, it’s not always the case. An overlooked change in law, a typo, or small detail can end up costing the estate thousands of dollars – much more than was ever saved in attorney fees in the first place.
Furthermore, a living lawyer knows which questions to ask and can offer customized guidance throughout the process, which can really impact the estate’s value (and minimize potential future headaches) when compared to an automated one-size-fits-all approach.
Starting the will online can be smart though – it can save you valuable time in the lawyer’s office, which will minimize any hourly fees.
Some DIY sites (such as LegalZoom or RocketLawyer) include a consultation with an attorney in your state as part of an estate-planning package. This can be a good compromise that minimizes risk while keeping costs down.
Legal insurance companies also tend to cover estate planning and include consultation with legal counsel, so signing up for a month of service (or a free trial) can be a financially savvy move.
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