Finding the Right Housing for An Aging Loved One

May 31, 2024

Finding the right housing for an aging loved one is a multifaceted process that involves careful consideration of their physical, emotional, and financial needs. Consulting a Long Island elder lawyer can provide valuable guidance to ensure all legal aspects are addressed. Here are some suggestions on how to find the right housing for your aging loved one, with insights into the role an elder lawyer can play.

Assessing the Needs of Your Loved One

In most cases, the first step is to address the physical and mental needs of your loved one. It’s best to start with a thorough health assessment from a medical professional to understand the person’s specific needs. This includes mobility issues, chronic illnesses, medication management, and any special care requirements.

It’s also important to evaluate what are called the “ADLs” or Activities of Daily Living. These include the ability to perform daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and managing medications. These evaluations will be the first step to understanding the level of care required.

An evaluation of your family member’s emotional and social needs is also imperative. Consider the importance of social interactions and community activities. Isolation can negatively impact mental health, so look for housing options that encourage social engagement. Assess cognitive functions to understand if your loved one needs a setting that offers memory care or specialized mental health services.

Exploring Housing Options

There is a wide variety of options, from in-home care, to independent living communities, to assisted living facilities, to memory care units. There can be many variations in each of these options, depending on the geographic location and price range of the housing that you’re evaluating. 

  • In-Home Care  – In-home care allows your loved one to stay in a familiar environment while receiving assistance with daily activities. But it’s important to evaluate the cost, the reliability of caregivers, and the level of care required. Home modifications might be necessary to ensure safety.
  • Independent Living Communities – These communities offer a lifestyle with minimal assistance, suitable for seniors who are largely independent but want a community setting. It’s important to check for amenities that promote socialization, such as communal dining, fitness programs, and group activities.
  • Assisted Living Facilities – Assisted living provides help with daily activities while promoting independence. They offer a balance of care and social interaction. It’s important to review the services provided, the staff-to-resident ratio, and the cost structure. Ensure the facility is equipped to handle increasing care needs.
  • Nursing Homes – Nursing homes offer comprehensive medical care for seniors with significant health issues. Investigate the quality of medical care, the facility’s reputation, and how they handle health emergencies.
  • Memory Care Units – These are designed especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and offer specialized care and a secure environment. Look for staff training in dementia care, safety measures, and therapeutic programs that support cognitive function.

We recommend that you utilize online resources to read reviews and ratings of various facilities. Look for feedback on the quality of care, staff professionalism, and resident satisfaction. Check for state and federal compliance records to ensure the facility meets all regulatory standards. It’s crucial to visit housing options and observe the cleanliness, atmosphere, and interaction between staff and residents. Prepare a list of questions about care services, staff qualifications, emergency protocols, and resident activities.

Engage your loved one in the decision-making process as much as possible. Respect their preferences and concerns. Discuss with other family members in order to reach a consensus. Ensure everyone understands the reasons behind the choice and supports the decision. Some facilities offer trial periods or respite care options. This allows your loved one to experience the environment before making a long-term commitment.

Once you have made a decision and your loved one has moved in, maintain regular communication with your loved one and the facility staff. Address any issues or concerns promptly. Be prepared to make adjustments if the chosen housing no longer meets your loved one’s needs. Flexibility is key to ensuring their well-being.

Financial Considerations

Different housing options come with varying costs. Assisted living and nursing homes can be expensive, while in-home care costs can add up depending on the level of assistance required. Evaluate your loved one’s financial situation, including savings, investments, insurance, and income. Create a budget that aligns with their financial capacity and care needs.

Determine if your loved one has long-term care insurance and understand what it covers. And it’s important to consult a Long Island elder lawyer to navigate the complexities of Medicare and Medicaid. These programs have specific eligibility requirements and coverage limitations for long-term care.

Consult a Long Island Elder Lawyer

It’s important to consult with a Long Island elder lawyer as you assess the right housing for your aging loved one. This is because they offer:

  • Legal Expertise: An elder law attorney specializes in issues affecting seniors, including estate planning, guardianship, and healthcare directives.
  • Medicaid Planning: Elder lawyers can help with planning for Medicaid eligibility, which can be crucial for covering long-term care costs. They assist in protecting assets while meeting eligibility criteria.
  • Estate Planning: Ensure that your loved one’s estate plan is up-to-date. This includes wills, trusts, power of attorney, and healthcare proxies. An elder lawyer can help draft and update these documents to reflect current wishes and legal standards.

Contact Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, LLP

Finding the right housing for your aging loved one involves a thorough assessment, careful consideration of various options, and attention to legal and financial details. Consulting a Long Island elder lawyer can provide crucial support throughout this process, ensuring that all legal matters are properly managed and that your loved one’s rights and needs are protected. By following these steps, you can make an informed decision that prioritizes your loved one’s health, happiness, and peace of mind. 

Here at Davidow, we have over 100 years of experience working with families in the areas of elder care, estate planning, and probate and administration. We care about your family and know how to help you. Contact us today at 631-234-3030.