Finding The Right Long Term Care

Whether you’re acting on behalf of aging parents or another relative or loved one, navigating the search for the right long-term care facility can be difficult. It can be challenging to balance the needs of your loved one with your budget. Fortunately, a myriad of websites and agencies can help you navigate the maze of options and help you find a long-term care option that fits your needs and budget.

Local Resources for Finding Long-Term Care

As you begin your search, check the Yellow Pages to see what senior care options are available in your area. You may have a senior center relatively close to you. If so, ask if they’d be willing to sit down for a consultation with you to discuss your options. They may offer interviews, consultations or open houses for potential clients. If so, visit and collect any information that you can.

Your public library can be another good source of information. Many libraries keep local medical information available in a specific area, allowing patients to find referrals quickly. You might be able to save some legwork if your library already has already compiled a file or database of local senior centers, retirement homes and assisted living facilities.

Hospital social workers and discharge coordinators are often in charge of placing senior patients in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. If your loved one is being discharged from a hospital after medical care, be sure to ask for a consultation with the discharge coordinator—information from a professional that understands your needs and particular situation can be invaluable when choosing long-term care.

Government Resources for Finding Long-Term Care

You may also consider visiting your local Department of Health and Human resources (DHHR) office or Social Security Administration building. These agencies may be able to refer you to other local agencies to help you acquire the services you need for your aging parent, particularly if you have an urgent or emergency need that isn’t being met. They may also have a resource list of elder care agencies in your area, or offer referrals to these agencies.

Online Resources for Finding Long-Term Care

For further assistance, visit the website for your state’s Department of Aging and Adult Services. There, you’ll find resources for finding long-term care in your area, as well as other resources for seniors. Many state websites also have an elder care locator.

Resources

National Association of Social Workers. (2010). About residential long-term care. Retrieved October 22, 2010, from http://www.helpstartshere.org/seniors-and-aging/residential-and-long-term-care-introduction.html

State of Maine. (2010). Elder services. Retrieved October 22, 2010, from http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oes/

University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging. (2010). Older adults: Resources for finding long-term care. Retrieved October 22, 2010, from http://www.aging.pitt.edu/seniors/resources/long-term.asp