Long-term care is a continuum; people with Parkinson’s disease do not immediately require care at a skilled nursing facility where the average monthly care cost could be around $8,000. Care usually begins with family resources – a spouse or child helping in the home – and may gradually increase to incorporate adult day care, in-home care services through a care agency, care at an assisted living facility, skilled nursing care to hospice care. It is important to identify what your care goals are and what resources are available to you to meet these care goals. This can be done by assembling your care team and having discussion about how your changing needs can be met at each progressive stage of Parkinson’s disease. This will look different over time and the level of supports needed to maintain quality of life will increase. By identifying goals early, you and your family can work to locate appropriate resources in your community to meet your care needs at the time planning arises.
Accessing Quality Care
One major goal of creating a care plan is ensuring that you have the ability to access quality care. If you wait until there is an accident or incident that requires your family to scramble to get care in place, the provider you connect with may not be the provider you would choose if you have time to research and vet them in advance. There are many different types of home care providers, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. By working in advance to determine which providers reflect your values and goals in receiving care, you can ensure that your family will be able to connect with these providers when they are needed.
There are many different organizations that assist with identifying care resources. Support groups will typically have materials available or personal recommendations from group members. There are also businesses that specialize in placing individuals in assisted living or other long-term care facilities. It is important to be careful when working with these organizations that the recommended facility fits with your goals. Many organizations have arrangements with the long-term care facilities to bring more residents to their facility. Unscrupulous organizations may not be looking for the best fit for your family, but rather the best fit for their bottom line in the referral payment.
Recognizing that a care plan requires coordination with your legal and financial plan to pay for care, Maser, Amundson & Boggio, P.A. has an Elder Care Coordinator on our staff. Our Elder Care Coordinator is a licensed social worker who can assist your family in the creation of a plan to access care. The advantage of working with our Elder Care Coordinator is that we can ensure that the care plan you’ve implemented will align with the legal and financial plans we have put in place. In this way, when you need to access long-term care you will not encounter any road bumps in paying for care.