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Ensuring an Easy Transition

Last week, we discussed the importance of creating a Life Care Plan to assist families in finding an appropriate Long Term Care solution for their loved one. This week, we will begin to explore some of the things you may want to consider when examining a transition to long term care.

When researching housing options for older individuals, there are several steps involved in finding a good match. The first step in this process is often dictated by the health of the prospective resident(s), and will determine the type of living arrangement that is most suitable. There are many different types of housing options to choose from ranging from no assistance at all (Independent Living); to varying degrees of assistance (Home with home care agency assistance, adult day care and/or respite care, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Assisted Living, and Memory Care); to the highest level of assistance (Skilled Nursing Care and Rehab); and finally end of life care (Palliative Care, Hospice Care and Respite Care). We will discuss each of these options in more detail next week.

Just as there are various considerations when looking for your first home (neighborhood, schools, friends, family, etc.), there are also important considerations to be examined when choosing what may be you or your loved one’s last residence. One issue to be weighed is whether it is best to remain close to one’s current hometown and friends or to relocate to be close to family. For some seniors, their children have remained close to home so this is a non-issue. However, when children have moved away, this may become one of the more difficult choices to be made and will very likely affect a person’s transition into a new residence. Many seniors have formed close bonds with longtime friends and taking them away from that support and continuity may have a detrimental effect. However, if many of their friends have moved or passed away, it may in fact help their transition to be closer to the love and support of their children and grandchildren.

If a loved one is still in relatively good health and they do not require skilled nursing care, other personal preferences that can be taken into account are meals, transportation and activities. Some seniors are very social and will enjoy participating in trips, group activities and mealtimes. Others may prefer a quieter environment where they are left to form their own friendships, cook their meals and socialize at their own pace. Choosing an environment that does not fit with one’s personality may result in a tough transition and an additional move. The best way to determine if a residence is a good fit is to visit the community on several occasions and ask plenty of questions.

Finally, the most important step in starting this process is to contact Zacharia Brown and meet with a knowledgeable Elder Law Attorney and our experienced Elder Care Coordinator. We work closely together as a team to educate and guide you through the legal, financial and personal considerations to ensure the best transition possible for you and your family. Please contact us at 724.942.6200 or visit PittsburghElderLaw.com  to make an appointment today.

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