; Set a time line Try presenting care, in whatever
form, as something to try
out for a little while.
; Make your relative the
boss Describe care providers as “assistants” to
show that your loved one
is still in charge.
; Tweak your language
Frame help in the way
that will most appeal to
your relative. Maybe it’s a
deserved luxury; maybe
it’s something recommended by a trusted
doctor or friend.
; Don’t command Include
your loved one in any de-
cisions, and avoid telling
her what she “needs to
do”; this usually triggers
resistance, warns Linda
tive director of Eldercare
WHAT IT COSTS
(AND WHO CAN HELP)
; Ease into it If possible,
provide help bit by bit, “in
spoonfuls and not buckets,” recommends Susan
Johnson, former owner
of Care Management
Associates. For example,
start by offering to hire
someone for a task your
relative doesn’t like, such
as cleaning house.
Checking for Quality
People fare better when they live near what’s dear to them—
friends, family, congregation. But once you find a facility in
the right spot, make sure it’s a good one.
To begin evaluating a residential
facility, schedule a tour. Quiz the
manager on how the facility ad-dresses a resident’s specific and
changing needs. Then make unscheduled visits. Ask residents what
they enjoy about the community
and what goes on during the day.
Will your relative fit in?
Most states license residential
facilities. To discover your state’s
licensing requirements, start with
the department of health.
If it’s home health care you’re
seeking, look for an agency that hires
its own employees, rather than using
independent contractors, says Paul
Hogan, chairman of Home Instead
Senior Care and coauthor of Stages
of ;Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step
Guide to Making the Best Decisions.
The going rates for assisted
living vary from state to state.
For information on the rates in
your state, visit longtermcare
.gov. Nationwide, the average an-
nual cost of a private room at a
skilled nursing facility is $90,155.
At an assisted living facility
(ALF), it’s $39,528. The average
hourly rate for home health aides
is $22. That’s a lot of money, but
some programs will help pay it.
1 Medicare pays for short-term
care after an injury or surgery. It
does not cover long-term care.
2 Medicaid helps people with a
low income and few assets pay
for nursing facilities and some
assisted living and in-home care.
3 Some states offer financial
assistance for low-income resi-
dents to live in an ALF. Ask your
Area Agency on Aging.
4 The Department of Veterans
Affairs offers certain veterans
and their spouses long-term-
care benefits. For information
5 A reverse mortgage might
provide income to pay for care.
For info, visit aarp.org/revmort.
6 The National Council on Aging
helps you find government aid.
SCAN THIS NOW
more info on
for your loved one. Scan this code
or visit aarp.org/caregivers.