With the baby boomer generation reaching the age of 65 at nearly 10,000 a day, many Americans over the next two decades will be helping our parents transition to assisted living and elder care. With this transition usually comes a great deal of consideration and thoughtfulness in terms of the medical and emotional needs of the adult in transition. Finding the right elder care facility can be a difficult and stressful process for families, especially when the need to move a parent to a more comprehensive living situation happens suddenly due to a critical health condition. While there was not a great deal of information available to assist families during this very important process, with our country’s senior population on the rise and living well into their 90’s there are now a growing number of supportive resources available to help families in this transition.
A good place to start when beginning the process is to gather information about your family member’s health insurance and benefits. This information will be critical when determining the medical needs of your parent, what costs are covered by insurance or Medicare, and what benefits are available. If your parent is under Medicare, Medicare Advocacy is a great place to start to discover what is covered and what additional help might be available. When searching beyond Medicare for assistance with prescription drugs and other needs, Benefits Check Up can help locate unknown benefits to assist with medical costs.
Once you have a better idea of what care might be available for your parent, a good step toward finding the right facility for your parent should involve hiring a Geriatric Care Manager. Geriatric Care Mangers are health and social science service providers who assist in assessing the health and independent living skills of the elderly. They provide expert support and guidance in finding the right match of care and assistance for their clients. Often times there can be waiting periods along with lots of paper work when applying for residency at a facility. Geriatric Care Managers know how to best work the system and can communicate with colleagues at different facilities to find the best possible match for your parent. They also can act as a family coach, keeping emotional spirits high during the process.
When searching for facilities near you, or close to other family members, there are some wonderful online resources to guide your search. Get Care, A Place for Mom, and Elder Care Locator offer searches by location as well as specific medical needs. Simply type in a zip code, add some details to act a filters, and you will be directed to nearby facilities.
The process of finding an elder care facility for an aging parent can be stressful for the family. Getting the support you need during this time is an important part of the process. Children of Aging Parents is a great resource not only for caregivers, but also for families needing emotional support around the needs of their aging parents.
Finding a good elder care facility match for an aging parent can be a difficult process, but with a growing number of helpful and supportive resources available, every family can get through the process well supported and with a good deal of know how.