Aging in your own home feels like it is preferred and comfortable. When you need help, family and friends usually offer to help. Much help is undoubtedly delivered with great love and compassion. But, sadly, it many times is also provided by family members who have no caregiving skills.
By Stephen K Lehnardt
Deciding on medical care you or a loved one may require later in life, or setting it up for a loved one, is a difficult process that should be thoroughly evaluated. While there are many options available, the main determining decision is whether to receive care at home or in a facility.
For those considering home-based care, the next big question is: Is the quality of care comparable?
The answer seems to range from “we don’t know” to an unhelpful “it depends.” With so many people receiving care at home, either by default or by design, it is an important option to understand. A recent article in Forbes, titled “We All Want To Live At Home In Old Age, But Know Nothing About the Quality of Care We'll Get There,” took a look under the hood on this subject and identified several troubling points.
The main problem is a knowledge-vacuum. There are many levels of oversight for skilled nursing homes or other care facilities. On the other hand, there is little effective oversight for care received in the home.
In-home care may be delivered by a loved one, but it may also be delivered by a paid aide through Medicare home-based long-term services or some other program. Community-based services are growing rapidly. While there now exist many kinds of services available, most of us have a hard time figuring out the quality of care available.
As you plan for future in-home care, if you are facing this challenge now, be sure to consult an experienced elder law attorney who is “plugged into” the network of care providers for guidance and assistance.
For more information in Liberty, MO and the Kansas City Area about effective planning for aging, long-term care and estate planning, and to access free information and tools to organize your estate, visit our elder law and estate planning website.
Reference: Forbes (March 19, 2014) “We All Want To Live At Home In Old Age, But Know Nothing About the Quality of Care We'll Get There”