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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, February 13, 2020

8 Signs You Should be Exploring Long-Term Care Facilities

Eventually, most of us wonder whether we should be exploring long-term care facilities for a spouse or parent. This decision can be emotionally charged. You might feel guilty and ambivalent with either conclusion. A California long term care planning attorney can help you evaluate the situation objectively and develop appropriate legal documents.

Should You Look Into Long-Term Care Options?

Here are 8 signs that you should be exploring long-term care facilities for your loved one.

1. Caregiver burnout

If family members are exhausted from providing the care that your loved one needs, it might be time to have a family meeting to discuss if the current level of caregiving is sustainable. The best time to make the move to assisted living is before the people providing care start to resent the situation. Your loved one might feel as if he is a burden, and welcome the opportunity to make the change.

2. Care needs exceed the family’s ability

Many people need ongoing medical treatments as they age. If your loved one cannot afford home health care, the family might be trying to provide the required assistance. If your relative is eligible for Medicaid, the government can pay for his long-term care. An estate planning lawyer has several options to help your loved one qualify for Medicaid.

3. Safety issues being alone in the home

Sometimes an aging couple can squeak by together, but when one of them dies, the surviving spouse often finds it challenging to live alone. You might worry about whether she is locking the doors at night or turning off the stove burners. She might have health issues that require 24-hour supervision. Before a preventable tragedy happens, consider long-term care.

4. Wandering and “sundowning.”

If your loved one wanders out of the house or gets agitated and restless in the evening, he might have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. We see heartbreaking stories on the news all the time of what happens to seniors who wander outside at night. Help your relative avoid this outcome if safety is a concern.

5. Change in behavior – aggression, anger, social isolation

Your loved one might begin to seem like a different person than before. She might suddenly become aggressive or angry. She might no longer come to events with family or friends. The appropriate long-term care facility can help her avoid social isolation and evaluate her for dementia and other issues that could underlie the anger or aggression.

6. Distorted perception of reality

If your relative is losing her grip on reality, con artists and other criminals might target her for financial exploitation or other criminal activity. Crooks know that a person who cannot describe reality reliably is unlikely to get taken seriously by law enforcement.

7. Falls, burns, and other injuries

Failing eyesight, balance and coordination issues, and inattention can lead to injuries from tripping and falling around the house. Fall injuries are a leading cause of fatal injuries in older adults. It might be time for him to stop preparing his meals if you discover burns on his hands and arms.

8. Visible signs that he is “letting himself go”

If he has dirty clothes, is not showering or shaving, or is losing weight, it could be time to look into long-term care. Whether he can no longer take care of himself or he is not eating nutritious meals and keeping himself clean because of self-neglect, a long-term care facility can provide the assistance to keep him healthy.

Contact Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. Today

If you feel your aging parent or loved one would benefit from some early long-term care planning, contact the experienced elder law attorneys at Horizon Law today.


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