NY Times: Avoid Assisted Living Pitfalls

From the benefits of long term care insurance to the best solutions for couples who are seeking senior living options where they can age together, the third part in a New York Times series on assisted living addresses reader questions spanning how to find the right community and how to pay for care.

“There are several good resources about various aspects of assisted living arrangements, including sites for Assisted Living Federation of America, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, AARP and National Institute on Aging,” writes “Ask the Expert” columnist Debra Drelich, a geriatric care specialist. Further, Drelich recommends, some communities will allow short-term stays where potential residents can try communities without the commitment.

“Planning ahead is the best option that people have. Visit places before needing to move in, and try to avoid making a permanent decision right away.,” she writes. “…see if the facility you are interested in offers a trial stay. This is the best way to avoid the pitfall of making an irreversible decision.”


In response to a question about whether assisted living can provide specialized care, the column gives an overview of assisted living options that are available, as well as home care options that may be suitable, depending on the situation.

“…finding the right facility, perhaps that offers “enhanced assisted living services,” could offer a environment that could meet these needs,” Drelich writes. “Conversely, if the person were to stay at home, a paid caregiver, with the support of a certified home health care agency that sends visiting nurses, could also be an option. You can hire a care manager to help coordinate and monitor services.”

The column also addresses cultural differences that exist between the U.S. and other countries and present additional challenges to long term care solutions, as well as the distinction between an assisted living community and Continuing Care Retirement Community and possible financial aid for certain aging populations, such as veterans.


View the column at NY Times.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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