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Where Should Mom & Dad Live? 

Where should Mom & Dad live? With so many long-term care housing options, how do you choose what's right for your loved one? The right guidance makes all the difference.

When your parents reach a point where you’re concerned about their health and safety, it can be hard to know what to do next. Where should Mom & Dad live? And whom should you trust to help you decide?

These are important questions. Let's start with the basics.

Residential Options

What are the options for senior living? With so many different possibilities, it's easy to get confused.

Think of senior living options as points along a continuum, with each level of care progressively more expensive.

Living at Home. Aging at home is a very real possibility for many seniors, thanks to the many medical and non-medical home care service providers available to fill the gaps. Adult day programs and senior centers are also good options. Medicaid home care benefits vary greatly from state to state.

Independent Living. If a mostly healthy senior doesn’t want to live at home or family members are concerned about their safety, an independent living or continuing care retirement community is an option. Services vary state to state but many facilities offer communal meals and activities. Few accept Medicaid.

Assisted Living. These facilities vary greatly from state to state, with some offering little in the way of services and others offering extensive assistance with activities of daily living. Few accept Medicaid.

Skilled Nursing Care. Doctors, nurses, and other professionals provide round-the-clock care. Nursing home care is expensive, but it is often the only option for elders on Medicaid.

Sources of Guidance

When you're evaluating options, it's important to get objective advice. There is no shortage of people will to help. A Google search on the term "senior living placement" will deliver 163 million results!

Ultimately, if the person offering guidance will make a commission if you choose the facility that person is showing you, that advice may not be 100% objective.

The most unbiased advice will come from advisors with no financial stake in your decision. People who have a Life Care Plan from Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law have access to the services of an elder care coordinator who is able to offer that unbiased advice. Our elder care coordinators are familiar with all the senior living options in Middle Tennessee and will give you the objective advice you need.

Where Should Mom & Dad Live? Watch Out for Land Mines.

What pitfalls await families who don’t have the right guidance when deciding where an elderly loved one will live?

The first is objectivity. It’s often easier if you can bring in a non-family member who can be objective about the situation. Then there’s no baggage. If an unpopular decision must be made, you can always blame the care coordinator.

The second is the “burden factor.” Most seniors don't want to be a burden to their kids. Rather than having a daughter take time off work to research living options, having an elder care coordinator manage the process eliminates that concern.

A third involves choosing a facility based on inaccurate information. For instance, a family may choose an assisted living facility based on the recommendation of a doctor or a friend, sign the admission paperwork, and move the parent in only to discover that that there’s not enough money to cover the costs and the facility doesn’t accept Medicaid. This happens all the time, and it's tragic because the older adult has to be moved again.

The fourth is strong emotions. Guilt and fear can make it difficult for family caregivers to take the right actions, which creates unintentional risk. For instance, a family caregiver who knows that her mom would never allow an outsider into her house might think that having the neighbor check in periodically would be enough. It usually isn't.

That’s where the expert guidance of an elder care coordinator is invaluable. The focus is on prevention. If you assess an elder’s needs early on and get the right services, it is possible to minimize and even eliminate risks. Elder care coordinators working in a Life Care Planning Law Firm like Takacs McGinnis are expert at helping family caregivers get past the guilt and fear so their loved ones can get what they need, and the adult children can go back to being kids.

If you are worried about an older relative's living situation and you're not sure what to do next, Takacs McGinnis can help. Call 615.824.2571 to schedule a family consultation.



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