Even under the best circumstances, caring for an aging loved one can be challenging. So what happens when you need to find care fast?
First, take a deep breath. Second, realize that there are resources that can help you move quickly to arrange the care your loved one needs. When faced with a “Care 911” scenario – such as an unexpectedly early hospital discharge or a sudden illness – remember these five things:
- Seek out professionals who can help you. Specialists like geriatric care managers can assess your needs, make referrals and even arrange care center visits.
- Be cautious of free placement services. These services are incentivized to make a placement, which can lead to a conflict of interest.
- Find out if you have access to eldercare specialists through your employer. Many organizations offer employee assistance programs and other work/life benefits that connect you to specialists free of charge.
- Go step by step. Follow a process to make your decision, even if it must be made quickly. For example: research first, then consider, then select.
- Prepare for the transition. If you have decided that your loved one needs skilled nursing care, prepare for their transition to a care center. Think carefully about what will happen during the first day, week and month. Care Conversation provides tips for making the transition.
You can find more information about dealing with a “Care 911” situation here on careconversations.org.
CareConversations.org provides resources and advice to help you and your loved ones make informed and confident decisions about the care they may need now and in the future. Visit our About page to learn more.