Long Term Care Options

Chances are, if you are approaching your 50s, you might have parents around their 70s who may be at risk of requiring eventual long-term care. If you are like most people, you’d probably delay any thoughts about imagining them needing long-term care sometime in the future. That is, until one day, you could see one of your parents gradually beginning to become more and more dependent on his equally aged spouse.  At that point, the spouse can become too frail to be his caregiver.

Without a long-term care plan, you might have to help out yourself, or even take early retirement to take care of them on a full-time basis.

This is a stark reality.  More than half of everyone over 85 is receiving long-term care, and as medicine and lifestyles improve, making it past 85 gets easier.

Long-term care is very expensive too. A private room in a nursing home is about ninety thousand dollars annually; the average total costs running almost $250,000 for about three years. Homecare can cost even more at $22 an hour. Assisted living can also cost about $3,000 monthly.

How To Prepare:

Get familiar with your ADLs.  They are the ABCs of how to know where your parents stand in the scale of their independence.

If you spend even a day with your parents, you can get a good idea of where they stand using the following chart.  Some feel the left side of the chart are more important factors, which is a personal call. Do any of your parents have any deficiencies here:


Activities of Daily Living

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Instrumental Activities of Daily Living  (IADLs)
Eating Shopping  /Cooking
Bathing Cleaning
Dressing Using Telephone
Getting up and back from chair and bed Managing Money
Toileting Managing Medication
Walking or moving around Outdoor transportation


Have you noticed your father losing his balance when he gets in and out of his chair?  Can your mother bathe and dress herself without assistance? Can your parents both eat and cook without help?  Some feel an ADL “litmus” test is whether they can go to the bathroom without help.

Tally your results. Using the following, you can get a rough idea of whether your parents may need assistance with their ADLs, and at what level.

1. Family Member care: Typically getting a family member to take care of your parent is free, that is, they usually don’t directly charge their own parents, though the parents may chip in. Still, there are hidden costs, not just for the family caregiver (losing their job in many cases), but also for the parents, as they still have to keep up with the ownership and maintenance of their homes.

2. Remote Care and Adult Daycare:

In this setting your parents can be monitored by the unique services of the EldercareChannel thanks to technology that allows them to be monitored from their homes, while participating with a caregiver along with other senior members.  This also frees the adult children of having to assume the role as caregiver.

Adult day care is another option, skilled care can be offered.  Higher levels of care or optional as well.

3. Home Care Services

This is another way in which your parents can still stay home.  Generally  having more ADL deficiencies will lead to requiring home care where remote care or adult daycare isn’t adequate.

4. Independent Living

This is the first level of community care.  Though many residents are completely independent, some residents may need assistance with a few activities of daily living and can obtain third-party home health care services such as remote care.

5. Assisted Living :

A higher level of residential care is offered in this setting where they demonstrate cognitive problems, are have ADL deficits such as the inability to bathe.  24-hour care is a feature of assisted living facilities.  Memory care is also a definite hallmark, helpful for those with dementia.

6. Nursing Homes

Senior nursing facilities are necessary when continuous staff care is needed, especially when not having this level of assistance would result in being dangerous to them.

The level of ADL deficiencies for each level of care is not written in stone.  However, we hope we were able to give you a rough idea as a starting point to consider the level of care your parents may need.  Give us a call at the Elder Care Channel at (636) 245-1252 for more information.

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