As I grow older, I think about long-term health care. My genes are stout, my maternal grandmother is nearly 90 and my paternal grandfather 94. Through the years I’ve learned that women tend to live longer than men. My thoughts linger on who then will care for me as my years creep in and leave me unable to fully care for myself.
There’s a great article, Long-Term Care a Woman’s Issue that offers some key points to consider. It factors in net worth, family health history and the reality of how it truly is a woman’s issue.
My maternal grandmother, Charlotte the Great, lives now with my cousin. She is still alert and still agile, however, her feet sometimes shuffle, her knees are worn out and stress seems to be a trigger point for her mind. She’s outlived her husband by thirty years, cared for him through his stages of cancer, lost two adult children and worked full-time into her mid-80s. She is an example of strength and reality. No matter how strong we are, eventually, we need care. Even if it’s just someone to talk to keep our mind alert.
Begin planning and doing research now to make the best decision for your family. Don’t let illness or injury dictate your choice.
Among things to consider when looking at long-term health care are:
- Home care. Offers housekeeping, meals, shopping dressing and basic medical health care at home.
- Day program. Activities like art, music, games and exercise. It’s a great outing for adults who don’t need constant care. Transportation may be provided as well as blood-pressure check and certain medical services.
- Senior housing. A community of older adults, similar to rental apartments. Many offer transportation, activities, meal service and housekeeping.
- Assisted living. A staff typically organizes activities, monitors medication, many offer transportation, housekeeping, social activities and even on-site amenities like beauty parlors.
- Continuing-care retirement community. This is a retirement community where several levels of care are provided. Activities for those who are able as well as round-the-clock nursing care for those no longer dependent.
- Nursing home. 24-hour nursing care for those recovering from illness or injury and serve as long-term residences for people who are unable to care for themselves. Rehabilitative therapy and help eating, bathing and wound care are part of this program.
Long term health care helps extend the quality of life and will ease the burden of family that may be far away. It’s something to consider now to give you a peace of mind.