Life Care Consulting by Barbara Hance - Financial and Personal Management Service for the Elderly, Frail and the Busy
Purpose  Meet Barbara  Services  Family Consulting   Seminars  Links  Testimonials  Articles  Contact Us  Home

Alternatives to Nursing Homes

It wasn't that long ago when there were no alternatives to nursing homes for those who were no longer able to take care of themselves and live independently, or had family to care for them.

Today, there are many possibilities for the elderly and infirm. These include home healthcare, adult daycare, elder foster homes, adult congregate living communities, board care and lifecare communities. The choice depends on the level of care needed, insurance and what is financially feasible.

Sometimes, it's a matter of personal preference, but careful review by the individual and his or her family is necessary.

Regardless of financial or health status, many people who have carefully orchestrated the details of their lives suddenly find themselves unable to manage their financial or personal lives. They need varying amounts of assistance - just a little help with organization and planning, or more help with everyday tasks. Either way, it makes sense for adult children to plan ahead to help ease the transition that may become necessary in their parents' lives.

It is often difficult, however, for adult children, who have their own family and business responsibilities, to take the time to plan for the care of an elderly parent. Even when caring middleaged children want to assist their elders, they may be geographically distanced or they may have difficulty dealing with the myriad of details and paperwork associated with homecare, insurance, financing and everything else that takes time from their own busy lives. There may be some emotional obstacles to overcome as well.

First, be sure you're familiar with your parents' financial, insurance and legal affairs. This is critical because a plan of care must be developed in view of an individual's resources. Provisions of Medicaid homecare, for example, depend an financial status.

Next, be sure you have answers to these questions before making plans for eldercare:

  1. Is there an existing trust? What are its provisions?
  2. Is there an annuity that would increase income and help cover the cost of healthcare?
  3. Are there life insurance policies that have cash surrender value?
  4. Are elderly parents eligible for Social Security disability?
  5. Do they have long term care insurance?
  6. Research whether there are any insurance gaps by comparing a parent's private policies (it any exist) with Medicare. Is it possible to increase or decrease medical benefits in the Medigap Policy? Are they overinsured? What are the conditions of care if covered by an HMO? Is there prescription coverage and, if so, at what cost vs. out-of-pocket prescription costs?

The key to decision making is to know the facts, including state and federal tax laws, personal financial and legal status. Plan ahead and don't be afraid to ask questions. Most important, before making any arrangements, consult with attorneys who specialize in elder law, accountants and other professionals who are experienced in geriatric issues, problems and solutions.

back to Articles by Barbara Hance
Purpose  Meet Barbara  Services  Family Consulting   Seminars  Links  Testimonials  Articles  Contact Us  Home
Barbara Hance Associates - Farmington, CT - 860-675-1484
Property of Barbara H. Hance Associates, LLC
Site Designed and Hosted by
Internet Business Consulting, Inc. All rights Reserved, © 1996-2005.