It’s a common question I hear….is home care going to be the best choice for my parent or my grandparent or my spouse?

Although a 2009 AARP article reports that a vast majority (89%) of Americans age 50+ prefer to remain in their own homes as long as they can, it’s never easy to navigate the daunting choices of long-term care.

Here are a few questions to consider when looking at home care as a long-term care option:

  1. What is the culture of the care recipient? Does that culture value family and elders, and will that culture rally around the frail person to assist with care needs?
  2. What is the financial situation of the care recipient? Can he or she afford to pay out of pocket for care? Is there a family member or friend who might want to assume the responsibility for paying for care at home?
  3. What are the formal and informal support systems of the care recipient?
  4. What is the level of care needed now and what is the prognosis for future care needs?
  5. What is the mental status of the care recipient? (It is easier to care for an alert but frail person at home than it is to care for a cognitively impaired but physically active person.)
  6. Can the frail person get up and down out of a chair or bed? (Needing assistance in toileting means that care is needed constantly and will be charged hourly, 24/7. However, if the person is able to get out of a chair or bed, then the care needed is sporadic and home care should be considered first.)

Considering these questions will give you a head start in determining whether home care can be a viable solution for your situation; however, it’s usually best to also consult a professional for further advice. You can also check out the links on this page for more information.