NY Elder Law Estate Planning: Alternatives to Nursing Home Care

One of the biggest anxieties many Americans may face is entering into a nursing home or other skilled residential care facility at some point in their lives. Not only does residency in a nursing home mean less autonomy, but also potentially pay a tremendous financial price. Depending on the location, living in a nursing home can cost between $60,000 and $300,000 a year, with the median being $97,455 a year for a private room.


Not surprisingly, studies show that most older Americans prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible and this results in a lot of care being delivered by skilled professionals and family members in the patient’s home. As a result, these caretakers often shoulder the greatest burdens for the patient such as transportation, meal prepping, and household chores, which can quickly monopolize someone’s time.


As a result, families need to be considerate to one individual who may be spending more of his or her time helping to take care of the elder than others and whether his person is properly compensated for all the hard work that goes into that. Furthermore, what may seem like a fair and equitable division of responsibilities at the present can end up anything but in a a few years or even months when major life events happen.


To help alleviate some of these hardships and preserve the wishes of the elder to live in his or her own home as long as possible, family caretakers can seek out state and federal support agencies which can include home meal delivery, transportation, and repair services. One newly available resource for caregivers is respite services that give family caretakers a break by sending a home  health aid to take care of the elder for a few hours a week or month.


Even when it becomes clear that an individual may no longer have the capacity to live alone, there are other options that can help that person maintain his or her independence while still giving the elder the care she or she needs. This can include alternative housing arrangements such as group homes for seniors that provide attentive, around the clock nursing care in a home environment. Whatever direction families decide to go in, they should always keep in mind that their loved one’s situation can change and so to will their plan need to evolve.

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