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Many families choose to care for aging or sick loved ones. Are you a family caregiver or have a loved one who is? It may come to a point where the loved one you are caring for has needs or medical condition(s) that exceed your ability to provide for him or her. If so, you may need to consider nursing home care.

If you or your family member is a caregiver, consider the following:

  • Does your loved one need trained care or specialized supervision?
  • Can your loved one function independently, or do they need constant support?
  • Could your loved one pose a danger to themselves or others, especially if unattended?
  • Do you or your family find it difficult to continue providing direct care?

If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may want to find a safe and healthy location for your loved one.

There are a number of different long-term care facilities. They vary by costs, type of residents (such as temporary or permanent), and level of care provided. Board or care homes offer limited nursing care within a residential home setting. Assisted living communities can offer amenities, housekeeping, and varying levels of personal care.

In comparison, nursing homes offer a range of services, such as: 24-hour supervision; on site staff and security; three meals a day; personal care assistance; housekeeping; and social and recreational activities. Most nursing home residents live there permanently, especially if they need constant supervision and/or care.

Besides evaluating the home, there may be other planning tips to keep in mind. If possible, ask for your loved one’s input about what kind of care and setting he or she wants to have. Perhaps ask family members, other loved ones, or even an independent advisor to give input. Find out if Medicaid funding or other resources are available to cover costs.