While it is understandable to want to remain in your home as long as possible, according to some researchers, most people will need some form of long-term care as they age. Planning for this costly contingency can be challenging, and you may already be noticing signs that your parent will need care you cannot provide in the home.

Fortunately, long-term care no longer necessarily means a nursing home, where residents of all levels of health and ability live in the same environment. There are more and more options available, and that means a better chance of meeting your loved one’s personal needs. Understanding the alternatives may help you determine the best way to prepare for this necessary expense.

What are the options?

For the time being, you may be comfortable providing what your parent needs, whether it is preparing meals, helping with laundry or doing the grocery shopping. Eventually, you may consider bringing in a home care provider who can offer more skilled services. However, if you anticipate your parents’ condition deteriorating, you will want to investigate any of these options:

  • Assisted living allows your parent some independence while providing supervision for medication, assistance with personal care and opportunities for social interaction.
  • Continuing care communities offer independent living with options for moving to more supervised settings if your parent’s condition worsens.
  • Residential care places your loved one in a private, non-institutional home with a caregiver who has training and skills.
  • Memory care units are secure facilities with 24-hour supervision and trained assistance if your parent suffers from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
  • Rehabilitation facilities offer skilled nursing care if your loved one is bedridden or requires extensive assistance.

If your parent is relatively independent and does not require supervision or assistance with daily tasks, you may think about a retirement community. Here, your parent may have a room or apartment for independent living with the convenience of community meals or activities.

How to get ready?

None of these options comes with a cheap price tag, and affording quality care for your parent is of the highest importance. Planning to pay for long-term care for your loved one is something you cannot postpone, especially since qualifying for Medicaid and Medicare may take time to avoid losing the assets your parent has carefully preserved.

If you are concerned about your loved one’s future needs, you would be wise to consult a compassionate Colorado elder law attorney who can evaluate your situation and guide you in making appropriate choices for the future.