What are the advantages and disadvantages of at-home care?
With community-based, at-home care, you can stay in your own home and out of an impersonal, institutional setting. Depending on what your community offers, you can get help for many necessary activities. You can arrange for help with bathing and dressing. Or, if dementia is a concern, you can have full time supervision in your home.
It’s an excellent option for many people. The sheer variety of services and providers, however, can make organizing your care challenging. If you’re dealing with dementia or other cognitive impairment, the responsibility for managing everything may fall on your adult children. But even if they’ve outsourced much of the heavy lifting, it’s still difficult to care for ailing parents while working full-time. Your point-person needs to spend a lot of time co-ordinating and trouble-shooting. That could mean:
- Setting up schedules, sorting out conflicts and plugging last-minute holes.
- Finding ways to supervise and evaluate services provided.
- Doing the laundry and grocery-shopping.
- Keeping track of and driving you to doctors’ appointments.
- Making sure the bills get paid for services you must pay for. (That’s most of them, including meals, transportation and personal care above the regulatory minimum.)
Sometimes, you can spend a whole morning on the phone putting out fires.
Wouldn’t it be great to have one, single person whose main job was looking after you? Someone with a car? Long-term care insurance can help make that possible.