Elder Law in Arizona - long empty highway with open space on both sides

Home Care Vs. Long-Term Care Facility in Phoenix

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These days, estate planning must include being financially prepared for the possibility that you or your spouse could require help as you age. In a society where husbands and wives are both typically part of the workforce, your busy family members may not be able to give the time and attention needed to care for you as you grow older. That’s when outside help may be necessary for daily tasks of living, or more. Phelps LaClair, serving the Phoenix Valley, is proficient in Elder Law in Arizona. As a firm that has given counsel to many families through the years, we’d like to present to you the pros and cons of choosing to live at home with in-home care, or moving to a Long-Term Care facility (LTC).

Home Care

Most seniors would prefer to stay at home. After all, it’s where memories were created, and it’s a familiar, comfortable place. At home, you’ve got privacy and autonomy. You are your own boss. You choose your activities; your meal preferences; even your decorations. But weighing all the options, staying home as you age could be less advantageous, especially if medical care is needed.

Pros and cons of staying at home with home care:

If a person needs help with daily living skills like bathing, dressing, or cooking meals, it’s possible to hire in-home care. Depending on their training, in-home caregivers may or may not be able to help with making sure you take your medications, or with other medical needs. Here are some pros and cons of hiring in-home care:

PROS:

  • You’re able to stay in your own comfortable, home environment.
  • In-home caregivers can carry out the functions you’re unable to perform, like those mentioned above, and even grocery shopping, taking you to doctor appointments, and more. That means your family can be free to visit, rather than being encumbered with various care tasks.
  • You maintain your privacy, rather than being in a more community-oriented atmosphere of assisted living or a nursing facility.
  • With the help of an in-home caregiver, you are able to maintain your independence.
  • You can build relationships with one or two primary caregivers, rather than interacting with many different caregivers as you would in a Long-Term Care facility.

CONS:

  • If you become less mobile and unable to get out much, being at home could become a major source of loneliness.
  • If you continue to need increasing care, in order for you to be able to remain there, your home may need to be outfitted to provide ramps, railings, chair lifts for stairs, etc.
  • As you age, 24-hour care may be required. At that point, you could be paying the same fees as you would for a Long-Term Care facility.

Long-Term Care Facility

There are many different types of Long-Term Care Facilities, including assisted living homes, skilled nursing facilities, and retirement communities that have medical facilities on site. Depending on your personality, a Long-Term Care Facility just might be a good fit for you.

Pros and cons of a Long-Term Care Facility:

 

PROS:

  • In most long-term care facilities, there are daily activities available for the residents. If you’re a social person, the daily interactions at mealtimes and throughout the day could be invigorating and satisfying.
  • You don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning or housekeeping duties.
  • Medical care is always immediately available.
  • If married, you and your spouse can arrange to live there together.
  • Long-term care facilities usually provide transportation for day trips to shopping venues and/or regional entertainment.

CONS:

  • The cost of Long-Term Care can be prohibitive if plans haven’t been set in place to prepare financially for LTC. Medicaid could help, but only after a spend-down of your personal resources.
  • Your caregivers will rotate in and out, rather than having one or two personal caregivers.
  • The LTC facility could be further away from your family members, making it harder for them to visit regularly.
  • If you’re a private person, the social atmosphere of a LTC facility could be difficult to handle.
  • You won’t be able to choose your own menu, and the meals may not be to your liking.

Being Prepared

Planning ahead is the best option for quality living during your golden years. If you’re looking for help in preparing for your future, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney or law firm that is familiar with estate planning, tax law, and elder law. Phelps LaClair, with offices in Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa, is a second generation estate planning firm with strength in tax law and elder law in Arizona.  We invite you to contact any of our offices. We’ll be glad to sit down with you and discuss your financial portfolio and your options for the future.

Images used under creative commons license (Commercial Use) (9/27/18) Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst

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