Long Term Elder Care I: the Basics

Here at The Perrin Law Firm, we care about our elders. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many cases where that vulnerable demographic of our society have been abused, deceived, and simply not given the care they need to continue aging with dignity and respect; therefore, the next posts will focus on preventing the types of cases we’ve seen. The first post will focus on the basics of various options for long term care, and later posts will delve into the the issues of unregulated long term care facilities, and some common pitfalls met when choosing where our elders will be cared for and respected.

The issue of long term care for a loved one, be that a parent, a grandparent, or even of spouse, is a pressing one that many of us will one day face. When faced with this kind of question, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and baffled by the sheer number of options. There are many factors to consider in choosing between those options, which only adds to the level of difficulty. What level of care does your loved one need? How far away are you comfortable having them? Can you keep them in an environment they’re comfortable with? What financial factors are at play? In today’s blog post, we’ll be looking at the different options, identifying if those options are licensed, and some potential issues that can arise.

Here’s a summary list of alternatives (more detail can be found on the link) listed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ booklet “Your guide to Choosing a Nursing Home or Other Long Term Care”:

  • Community services
    • Adult day care
    • Adult day healthcare
    • Meal programs
    • Senior Centers
    • Friendly visitor programs
  • Home care
    • Can include family, friends, volunteer groups, and agencies
  • Accessory Dwelling Units
    • Known sometimes as “in-law” apartment, bringing your aging family member into adjacent housing.
  • Subsidized senior housing
  • Residential care facilities
    • Board and care
    • Assisted living
  • Continuing care retirement communities

Some of these alternatives involve higher levels of care than others, and some involve moving your loved one to a different living situation altogether. Now, as we will get into later, there are many issues that can arise by utilizing unregulated apartments aimed at elderly tenants – an easy way to avoid some of them is by choosing a properly licensed facility. Here in Michigan, we have a database where you can look up whether the homes you’re looking at are licensed, through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/.


-Breana N. Smith


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