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Delaying the Need for a Long-Term Care Facility

Delaying the Need for a Long-Term Care Facility

The idea of going to a long-term care facility, particularly a nursing home, does not appeal to most people. The following problems are common reasons for entering a long-term care facility. However, sometimes problems can be solved, and the need for a long-term care facility can be delayed or avoided.

Urinary incontinence: People with urinary incontinence may be hard to care for at home. However, urinary incontinence may be caused by a disorder that can be treated. Treating the disorder may cure the incontinence. People with urinary incontinence, their family members, or their caregivers should talk with a doctor to find out whether treatment is possible.

Problems with doing daily activities: Certain devices can help people function better. A physical or occupational therapist or a home health nurse can observe people in their home and can sometimes help them choose appropriate devices that will enable them to continue to function safely at home.

Dementia: Taking care of people with dementia is difficult and frustrating. However, family members can learn ways of dealing with the behavior. For example, to deal with wandering, family members can place an identification bracelet on the person or purchase or rent a monitoring device. Learning more about how to care for people with dementia may delay the need for a long-term care facility.

Caregiver burnout: Strongly motivated family members can usually provide elaborate and detailed care. However, providing such care can wear them out physically and emotionally. Talking with health care practitioners can help. They can provide information about caregiving support groups and about groups that provide temporary (respite) care.

Financial issues: People can buy long-term care insurance that covers care in the home. This care typically involves helping people with personal care, such as bathing, grooming, and eating. Such insurance may enable people to postpone going to a long-term care facility.