Transitioning a Senior Loved One to Long-Term Care During the Pandemic

  • August 04, 2020
  • Elder Law Associates

By Claire Wentz, Guest Author, Caringfromafar.com

If you’re a family caregiver to a senior loved one, the pandemic likely threw a wrench in your care routine. Perhaps you’ve reduced your frequency of visits, switched to long-distance caregiving, or called in the help of home care services. While these changes are only temporary, you may have to make some more permanent decisions during this uncertain time. For example, if the health of your loved one is declining significantly, it may be time to think about making the move to long-term care. Here are some tips to help you navigate this tough decision during the pandemic.Long Term Care

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Paying for Long-Term Care

The cost of long-term care can surprise seniors and loved ones who aren’t prepared for this major expense. Unfortunately, Medicare will not cover a prolonged stay in a long-term care facility, so you will have to find another way to fund this move. Many seniors dip into their home equity to finance long-term care, and your loved one can do the same! Selling the home can make financial sense if your loved one is moving into long-term care with no intention of moving back home in the future.

Your loved one may prefer to transfer their property to you so that you can handle the selling process without their involvement. If your family decides to do this, make sure you understand the legality of such a transfer. Keep in mind that title transfers come with costs and tax consequences, so make sure you do your homework first. Elder Law Associates PA can assist you with preparing your Florida deeds and title transfers. For more information, please contact Elder Law Associates PA today.

Selling a Home During COVID-19

If you’re helping your loved one sell their home, make sure you understand the additional steps you’ll have to take as you navigate the pandemic. For example, many sellers have opted for 3D walkthroughs and video-chat tours over live showings and open houses to avoid physical contact with strangers. These virtual home selling tools will let you show the home to buyers without actually meeting anyone in person or letting them set foot in your loved one’s home.

Smoothing the Transition

Moving into assisted living can be stressful and scary, particular during a global pandemic. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the transition as smooth as possible for your loved one. First of all, be sure to involve your loved one in the decision-making process to give them a greater sense of control over everything. Your loved one will feel much better about the move if they feel that their concerns have been heard and they’ve had a say in the decision.

When your loved one finally makes the move, help them set up their room or apartment to make it feel like home. You may even want to design their new space so that it mimics the layout of their previous home. Help them personalize and decorate their room with their favorite pieces of art and family photos. 

If the pandemic prevents you from visiting your loved one in long-term care, help them get set up with some senior-friendly tech devices so you can stay connected virtually. For example, you can get special smartphones and tablets specifically designed for easy operation by seniors. Consider picking up one of these gadgets and loading it with a couple of social engagement apps like Facebook, Skype, and GreyMatters.

Adapting to the changes brought on by the pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. But family caregivers with senior relatives in declining health have had to navigate some especially challenging problems when it comes to making long-term care decisions. To make things as easy as possible on you and your loved one, start planning for this transition as early as possible!

Disclaimer: The views expressed are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Elder Law Associates PA. Elder Law Associates PA does not endorse or support the organizations or linked websites mentioned in this article, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter, or their financial advisor regarding financial matters. 

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Ellen S. Morris
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Howard S. Krooks
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10.0Howard S. Krooks
10.0Ellen Sue Morris