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Steps to Choosing Long-Term Care
There are many types of long-term care and living choices for older
people. Long-term care is not only nursing home care. The different
ways to pay for long-term care are listed in the
Paying for Long-Term Care (note: should go to financing options overview
chart) section. Some of the most common living choices are listed in the
Types of Long-Term Care section. Here are some ways to learn what
long-term care choices are available in your area:
- Talk with your doctor or someone in your doctor’s office. Ask him or
her what long-term care choices and services are available to help meet
your needs, now and in the future.
- Talk with your financial advisor about the costs of your current and
future long-term care needs. Ask him or her what long-term care
financing options are available to help you pay for your long-term care
- Look at the Home Health Compare
and Nursing Home Compare
databases on this website to locate information about
agencies and facilities that are in your area. In addition, use the
Nursing Home Checklist
that is on this website.
This checklist will give you an idea about the kinds of questions to ask
and what you should look for as you tour the facility and see the staff
and the residents. Some of the questions may be more personally
important to you and your family, and some are important for finding out
about the quality of care the residents get.
Use your completed checklist with the quality information on Nursing Home
Compare to help you compare the nursing homes you are interested in.
- Visit or call your local social service agency or hospital. Ask to
speak to a social worker or care manager who can help you with locating
and coordinating different kinds of long-term care choices and services.
- Call your Area Agency on Aging or the Eldercare Locator. Area Agencies
on Aging are local level organizations that coordinate a comprehensive
range of services to promote the independence and dignity of older
adults. Older adults and their caregivers can contact their local Area
Agency on Aging to receive help in accessing services in their community
that include in-home supportive services, nutrition services,
transportation, elder rights and protection assistance, and caregiver
support services. You can find the telephone number in the
Helpful Contacts section of this website.
Eldercare Locator is an online service
that helps older adults and their caregivers find home and
community-based services in their communities. The Eldercare Locator
can also link you to your local Area Agency on Aging.
In some areas, especially rural areas, there may be only one or two kinds
of long-term care choices. Most areas, however, have more options.
- Talk with your family and others you trust about your personal
and health care needs. Ask them to help you learn about long-term
care choices and services where you live or where you want to retire.
Page Last Updated: March 27, 2008
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