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  • Writer's picturePatrick Mish

Home for the Holidays: Navigating Long-Term Care Conversations with Loved Ones

The holiday season is a time for joy, warmth, and family gatherings. However, it can also be a poignant moment to broach important conversations about the well-being of our aging loved ones. For those facing the challenging decision of long-term care, mainly when staying at home becomes impractical due to medically complex issues, the options of nursing homes and assisted living come into focus. In this blog post, we'll guide you through discussing assisted living with your loved ones during the holidays, emphasizing the benefits and considerations when choosing the right long-term care solution.

Assessing the Options:

The first step in this journey is to assess whether staying at home is a viable option. Consider factors such as the need for in-home caregivers, required home modifications, and the feasibility of creating a safe environment. If staying at home is possible and resources are available, implementing a caregiving plan might be the ideal solution. However, if home won't work for medical, practical, or financial reasons, it's time to explore alternatives – namely, nursing homes or assisted living.

Introducing Assisted Living:

Assisted living offers a middle ground, providing a home-like environment with the necessary support for daily activities, meals, medication management, and transportation. The resident pays for the stay, as these accommodations are not typically covered by health insurance plans such as Medicare. 

When introducing this option, initiate a conversation with your loved one. For those open to considering assisted living, arranging a community tour or viewing informational videos can be beneficial. For more resistant individuals, share success stories of individuals and couples similar to your loved one who thrive in assisted living, emphasizing the positive aspects and the potential for enhanced well-being.

Introducing Nursing Homes:

Nursing homes, also called long-term care facilities, provide various health and personal care services for medically complex individuals who are generally Medicaid eligible. Services include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, meals, assistance with daily activities, and rehabilitation services. Medicare and private insurance do not pay for nursing homes but for Medicaid-eligible individuals, the expense is covered. 

Overcoming Resistance:

Conversations about assisted living may take time, especially with loved ones who are experiencing medical challenges that impact their decision-making and for those resistant to change. Utilize a gentle approach, highlighting the positive aspects and expressing concerns about potential risks if they continue to live independently. Patience is vital; sometimes, the realization comes after an acute event, such as a hospitalization. Plant seeds, focus on the upside, and remain persistent – change of this magnitude requires time and understanding.

Finding the Right Assisted Living or Nursing Home:

With thousands of assisted living and nursing home operations available, finding the right one for your family can be challenging. Ask essential questions, such as how they are compensated, their track record, and if you can speak to current residents. If you need help streamlining the process, you can engage with organizations like SilverStay that are skilled in matching medically complex individuals with high-performing assisted living or nursing home options. When assessing, organizations like SilverStay inquire about their approach to matching residents with appropriate communities, outcome data on recommended and high-performing communities, and the case management support they provide during and after the transition. 

Ensuring a Smooth Transition:

Going on tours is a crucial step in the decision-making process. It provides firsthand insight into the atmosphere and quality of care offered. Encourage your loved ones to be involved in touring and decision-making, fostering a sense of control and familiarity. Additionally, inquire about employee credentials, cost assessments, and contracts. A reputable placement partner, like SilverStay, will guide you through these aspects and be prepared to address any issues that may arise pre- and post-placement.

As you embark on this journey of discussing long-term care during the holidays, remember that the gift of care is immeasurable. Approach the conversation with empathy, understanding, and a focus on the positive aspects of assisted living. With the proper support, resources, and information, you can navigate this transition smoothly, ensuring a safe and comfortable home for your aging loved ones with the assistance of SilverStay.

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