Whether you’re looking to plan for your own long-term care or for that of a loved one, the key is to start thinking about it now. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you have to scramble to find care for your aging spouse or parent, or even for yourself. Ultimately, you want to settle on Arizona long term care facilities you can trust, such as Heritage Lane which specializes in long-term medical, behavioral care and mental health services for its residents.

Planning for the possibility of long-term care gives you ample time to learn about services in your community, what they involve, and what they cost. It’s always best to make important decisions while you are still able, as you never know for sure when or if you will need long-term care. Accidents happen in an instant, and illness and injury can set in quick. People with Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairments and mental health issues should start planning for long-term care ASAP.

Here are some tips on what to consider when planning ahead for long-term care.

1. Make Decisions About Your Health

Start by thinking about what would happen if you became disabled or seriously ill. Have conversations with family, friends, and a lawyer about who would provide care if you needed it. You can delay or prevent the need for long-term care by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and remaining independent, says the National Institute on Aging. Speak with your doctor about your medical history and family history as well as your current lifestyle, such as nutrition and fitness.

Make a commitment to eating healthy, getting regular physical activity, refraining from smoking, and limiting your intake of alcohol. Lead an active social life, make sure your home is a safe place, and get regular health care.

2. Make Decisions About Finances

It’s no secret that long-term care is expensive. How you will pay for long-term care will depend greatly on your financial situation and the kinds of services you will need. Consider funding sources such as:

  • Personal funds, including savings, pensions, and income from stocks
  • Government health insurance programs, such as Medicaid (Medicare generally doesn’t cover long-term care but it may cover select costs of short-term care within a nursing home after a hospital stay, for instance.)
  • Private financing options, such as long-term care insurance
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System), a branch of Arizona’s Medicaid Program that covers long-term health care and living costs for qualifying individuals.

3. Educate Yourself

Start educating yourself on what the term “nursing home” means. Today, skilled nursing and rehab centers, as well as assisted living homes in Mesa AZ, have come a long way since the days of your great grandmother. Study all the different long-term care options available to you, from assisted living and home health services to independent living and adult day care.

The one you choose will depend on your anticipated level of assistance. For instance, if you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, consider whether an assisted living home or long-term care facility would be appropriate as the disease progresses, as many of these facilities specialize in memory care.

If your loved one suffers from a mental health issue, make sure the facility you choose has a behavior program with on-site psychiatry and counseling. Case in point: Heritage Lane Behavioral Assisted Living employs a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to assist in these areas.

Thinking about long-term care is never easy, but it’s necessary in order to avoid surprises later.

Contact Heritage Lane

To learn more about our assisted living homes in Mesa AZ or to take a tour, please contact us at 480-999-0511.

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