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7 Sites on Caring for Older Adults

January 30, 2009
by Lindsey Chapman
Deciding whether to place a loved one into a long-term care facility is a choice facing many families in the United States. The matter can be one that’s filled with both logistical and emotional hurdles. FindingDulcinea recommends some of the best Web sites to learn about caring for senior adults.

Selecting a Long-Term Care Option

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Choosing the right care option depends on a person’s physical and emotional needs. LongTermCareLiving.com offers how-to manuals for understanding what those needs are and helping a senior citizen cope with a new style of life. Families can find advice sorting out the myths and realities of nursing homes and caring for a person with Alzheimer’s. You'll also learn how to write an advance directive, which is broken down into living wills and a medical power of attorney. An advance directive allows people to dictate their wishes in the event that they become unable to make decisions themselves.

Paying for Long-Term Care

Costs can be a major factor in the type of long-term care people are able to obtain for themselves or others. Medicare.gov, the official Web site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, explains a variety of things about nursing homes and long-term care, including the types of care Medicare will cover. A PDF booklet about Medigap, which pays for aspects of health care that Medicare does not, is also available.

Adjusting to Long-Term Care

Moving to a long-term care facility can be difficult for people leaving home, and for their family members. To learn more about what medical professionals can do to ease a senior adult’s transition to nursing home care, read the information available at Encyclopedia.com. The site has a Nursing Homes magazine article that explains how the elderly receive the comfort they need while living in a nursing home. A free trial registration is required to read the entire article.

If you’re faced with placing a parent in a long-term care facility and need support resources, Answers4Families.org offers, "When You are Faced with the Nursing Home Decision." The article provides caregivers with advice and support to help them through the transition, and discusses the emotions caregivers might experience when their responsibilities change. The article particularly emphasizes that caregiving changes when someone enters a nursing home, but the responsibility is never completely gone.

Home Care

Assisted living facilities and nursing homes aren’t right for everyone. For those who have decided to help a senior citizen stay at home, CarePathways.com directs caregivers to the information they need to make this a feasible option. The site is maintained by registered nurses who provide care to senior citizens and their families. Helpful hints and resources about meeting the demands of home care, finding and hiring professional caregivers, obtaining home care supplies and convincing parents they should obtain home help are discussed here.

To Plan Ahead

The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information is primarily a source for those who are planning for their future long-term care needs. Check this resource for help understanding the benefits of planning ahead for your care, and what arrangements to make while you are still able. Although it’s hard to anticipate how much care a person could require years from now, the National Clearinghouse provides estimates to help you anticipate what you might need in terms of assistive services.

Insurance coverage can also be a tremendous asset in shouldering the expenses of long-term care. For help obtaining insurance benefits, review the information available at BenefitsCheckUp, an online service of the National Council on Aging. The site helps you search for and enroll in insurance programs on the federal, state and local levels to secure help paying for prescription drugs, health care and other necessities. There are more than 250 forms and fact sheets available to help you find the programs that are right for you.
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