Online elder care resources
Making arrangements for eldercare is easier to describe than to do. The job has three basic parts:
- Determining what services are needed
- Finding the best facilities and providers for those services
- Figuring out how the services will be paid for
Online resources are available to help with all of this. In the past, it may have been hard to find eldercare resources online, but that's no longer true. In fact, the problem now is the reverse. So much information is available that it can be hard to sort it out. A Google search on the words "nursing homes," for example, produces more than four million results! With that much information to deal with, you won't get anywhere unless you get organized.
What Services are Needed?
Generally speaking, eldercare services consist of supports and supplements to home care and the various levels and gradations of assisted living and skilled nursing care. In identifying necessary services, you should take your own needs into account along with the needs of the person who is or will be receiving care. Remember that medical needs aren't the whole story here. Eldercare also includes legal, financial, personal, social, spiritual and psychological needs for the elder and for you, as well other family members who may be involved in providing and supporting the care.
There is a lot to consider. Every family's situation is unique in some way, and this is why eldercare providers offer such a wide range of services.
Talk to family members, neighbors and friends along with doctors, social workers and clergy for insight into your elder's condition and needs. Take advantage of needs assessment checklists and inventories available online. When you're clear about what you need, you're ready to look for service providers.
Who are the Best Providers?
The options you have for providers depends upon what your elder needs and what is available in your area. Wherever you are, however, you can use the same basic tools and techniques to make the best possible arrangements for your elder.
Begin by making a list of providers who offer the services you need. Gather this information from the local telephone directory, from local doctors, social workers and clergy, and from online sources. Using closely targeted internet searches (for example, "assisted living in Gary, Indiana") rather than general searches ("assisted living facilities") will save a lot of time and help you find what you're looking for.
You can get a list of good local providers by using a service like ElderCarelink.com's free care needs survey. In the survey, you specify your eldercare needs. When you have completed the survey, you get a list of reputable local providers who offer appropriate services.
How Will Services Be Paid For?
Eldercare services are most commonly paid for privately, through Medicare or other government assistance programs, or through insurance. Explanations of most government programs and types of insurance are available online. Just remember that most eldercare is paid for privately.