The aging of the population both in our state and throughout the country is leading many community members to re-think the best way to provide long-term care for seniors when they reach their golden years. In the past, options for seniors were few and far between. In most cases a senior lived on their own for as long as they could. When extra care was needed it was provided by a close relative if possible. If no relative was able to provide the care, or the senior’s needs were more than a relative could handle, then the individual ended up in a nursing home. Most seniors in our area were unable to pay for that nursing home care on their own, and so it was paid for by New York Medicaid programs. However, most of the seniors’ assets built up over a lifetime were lost to pay for the care or to qualify for Medicaid participation.
Recently, there has been an explosion in new options available to area seniors and their families, particularly for those families that take the time to visit with a New York elder law attorney to plan ahead for this stage in life. For example, many assisted-living facilities have been built which allow seniors to receive day-to-day aid from professionals while keeping much more independence than that found in traditional nursing homes. Other services are popping up which allow seniors to receive extra care without leaving their home at all.
For example, this week Bright Days Home Care, a new “senior companion” service announced that it was opening its doors to provide assistance for local residents. The New York elder care service provides companions to visit the homes of seniors on a particular schedule to provide any manner of aid necessary. This new service provides non-medical care, which may include anything from buying groceries and making dinner to cleaning the house and chatting with the senior about their day. In addition, the company’s founder explains that the at-home service also helps local families find other resources. She notes that they “are committed to ensuring that people are aware of the plethora of options that are available.”
Many local seniors may be able to live at home longer by utilizing this or similar services. At-home companion care can also compliment medically-based at-home assistance to provide even more comprehensive support for the resident. That medical assistance could include home nurse visits or installation of technologically advanced tools that allow medical caregivers to monitor a senior from afar. Whatever combination is ultimately best for you or your loved one, the first step is ensuring that you will have the resources necessary to pay for this care when it is needed.
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