Frequently Asked Questions on Dec 19th 2010 12:00 am

1. When is it time for a nursing home?The time is different for each family, but any increasing signs of physical or mental health loss might mean it’s time to consider addressing the issue. If an elderly family member is unable to perform the tasks necessary for daily health (such as taking medicines or moving about the home), it’s a good time to seek out a nursing home, care center, or other care options.2. Who can assist the transition to elderly care?A good first step is to have an assessment by a social worker who will observe the circumstances of the elderly individual and offer recommendations. However, this analysis should be done with the consent of the individual in question.3. What services does a nursing home offer?The most basic nursing home should offer accommodations, meals, supervision, medical care, and social activities. Supervision should be provided 24 hours a day by an on-site staff. More advanced nursing homes may offer rehabilitation services, on-site pharmacies and laboratories, dental services, and/or included personal care items.4. What are some of the common signs of Alzheimer’s and/or dementia?Common symptoms include:

  • Memory loss that affects daily activities
  • Challenges when planning or working with numbers
  • Confusing time or place
  • Difficulty with perception and understanding visual images
  • Withdrawing from common social activities
  • Unnatural shifts in mood or personality

5. What legal options are available for the elderly?There are a number of programs across the country which provide assistance or information to elderly Americans. These include:

  • American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
  • American Bar Association Consumer’s Guide to Legal Help on the Internet
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
  • National Senior Citizens Law Center

6. What are a family member’s options if they observe caregivers taking advantage of the elderly?If you suspect mistreatment by a caregiver or nursing home worker, contact the employee’s administrator. If this does not offer results, bring your concerns to your local protective services or to the police. Everybody has a responsibility to report their concerns, whether they are a victim or an observer of mistreatment.7. How can elderly parents and their children maintain a positive relationship?Both parents and children must be knowledgeable about the changes that are taking place. Identify areas of strength in your relationship and do not ignore areas of conflictinstead, work to turn them into productive bonds that help to secure the relationship rather than hurt it. Every relationship is different, and the most positive relationship for one family might not be the same as it is for another.

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