Is It Time?
As a family member of a senior, it can be hard to talk about when it’s time to move your loved one into a long-term care home. It’s a difficult conversation, but a necessary one. To get a sense of where your loved one is at mentally and physically, ask yourself the questions below.
What Signs Should I Look For?
- Do you notice changes in physical appearance or a decline in personal hygiene?
Do you notice either significant weight loss or weight gain? Do you notice any bumps or bruises that may indicate they have had falls? Are they wearing dirty clothing, and have they quit bathing?
- Are they less mobile?
Are they experiencing any increased difficulty in walking or getting in and out of chairs/sofas? Do they appear less steady on their feet?
- Is there a decline in home cleanliness and repair?
Does their home look clean and well maintained or is it in need of cleaning and/or repairs? Is trash and/or clutter accumulating? Does it smell of urine or feces? Is the yard being maintained in a consistent manner?
- Are they not as able to prepare healthy meals?
Do you notice a change in the kinds of foods they have? Are their appliances in working order? Is there adequate food? Spoiled food?
- Have you noticed changes in mood, memory or behavior?
Do you notice your loved one constantly repeating things? Are you noticing increased confusion? Are you hearing from their friends that something has changed in their mood or behavior? Are they having difficulty carrying on an extended conversation? Are they showing irritability or apathy? Are they reporting more difficulty sleeping? Are they isolating themselves from social situations?
- Are they changing their routine?
Do you notice stacks of unopened mail? Are bills not getting paid? Are medications being taken?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it could be time to look into long-term care for your loved one.
The emotional strain of preparing a loved one for long-term care can be huge, but so can the financial strain. To help you plan, we’re linking you to a few financial tools:
Use this tool to figure out whether you or your loved one has enough saved in retirement to cover long-term care costs.
Social Security Benefits Calculator
Use this calculator to determine what age you or your loved one should claim social security if you haven’t already.
Figure out how much your 401(k) can contribute to you or your loved one’s needs.
For the Community MaineCare or Long-Term Care MaineCare application, see our Forms & Applications page.