Do you have an aging loved one who has always lived alone, stayed healthy and been involved with friends and family? Does your loved one seem to be more frail or forgetful or distant? As your loved one ages even more are you concerned about their being alone in their home?  Do you know the signs that your loved one may benefit from a memory care facility or some other type of long-term care?  Equally important is being sure that their Florida estate plan is up to date and seeking guidance from a Florida elder law attorney. During the month of November, which is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month, and throughout the year, one of our goals is to ensure you and your aging loved one have the support you need during this challenging time.

How will you know when your loved one may need to move into a long-term care facility? Although every diagnosis has its own unique challenges, let us share just a few of the signs that it might be time to consider transitioning your aging loved one to some level of long-term care.

1. You are concerned about their safety. Issues such as if your loved one frequently forgets to turn off the stove, struggles with basic mobility, or has had multiple falls or injuries, can indicate that a safer environment with constant supervision is needed.

2. You notice they have difficulty managing activities of daily living. A marked decline in the ability to handle daily tasks such as grooming, dressing, and feeding can signal that a higher level of care is required.

3. There are changes in behavior. Have you noticed aggressive outbursts, mood swings, or periods of confusion, especially during the evening hours (often referred to as “sundowning”)? These can be emotionally taxing for family caregivers and may indicate that professional assistance is needed.

4. Their medical needs are increasing. If your loved one requires regular medical attention, has frequent infections, or is experiencing rapid weight loss or gain, it may be challenging for them to manage their health needs at home.

5. Your aging loved one is beginning to wander. Wandering is often a common symptom of Alzheimer’s, which can pose severe safety risks, especially if your loved one becomes lost or ventures out during extreme weather conditions.

In addition to recognizing any of these signs, it is crucial to prepare legally and financially for the future. Your Florida elder law attorney can help you not only know that your loved one’s Florida estate plan is current but help choose the right long-term care and find a way to pay for it.  Long-term care facilities can be expensive. A Florida elder law attorney can guide you through potential financial assistance options, including benefits, aids, and other resources that can help cover costs. Your Florida elder law attorney often will have a network of professionals who can provide insights into the long-term care facilities in your area, ensuring your loved one receives top-tier care.

The decision to move a loved one to a long-term care facility can be heart-wrenching, but it is often the best option for their safety and well-being. By staying informed and seeking the expertise of professionals, you can navigate this challenging transition with confidence and clarity, ensuring your loved one is cared for in the best possible manner.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering. We encourage you to contact us to schedule a meeting.