Making Long-Term Care Decisions During the Covid-19 Crisis

Being a caregiver for a senior family member is a full-time commitment. Providing that care in the middle of a global public health crisis comes with even more responsibility, especially when your loved one is most at risk for COVID-19 complications. There are so many things you may be asking yourself right now in regard to your loved one’s long-term care, but the following information will hopefully provide some peace of mind for some of your current caregiving concerns.

Is It Smart to Sell a Senior’s Home?

One common solution for covering long-term care costs is to leverage home equity. From reverse mortgages to selling, there are a few ways that you could use your loved one’s home to help out with long-term care expenses.

Many of these processes can be completed online or over the phone, but, as Bankrate points out, selling a home can be a little more complicated right now. Even with COVID restrictions loosening, you may not want potential buyers touring the home just yet. This is why understanding virtual real estate tools, including virtual tours and 3D walkthroughs, is so important for sellers. If you add these tools to your listing, buyers will be able to view your home without having to step inside until they’re ready to make an offer.

Of course, you may also be concerned about the local real estate market. The effects fluctuate, but if you plan on selling a home, you can research local housing prices and keep track of changes. In Lakeland, for example, homes are currently selling at a median price of $243,025. If, after researching the market, you’ve determined that moving is the best option, you can then look for professionals to help you with the home selling process, as well as the move itself. To make this easier for you, Ekim’s Place offers a list of local real estate, moving and storage organizations.

Is It Safe to Hire In-Home Assistance?

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you are dealing with COVID-19 concerns and caregiver responsibilities. In order to make time for self-care and alleviate some pressure, AgingCare.com suggests hiring in-home help. You can hire people to help out with a variety of responsibilities around your loved one’s home, including cooking, cleaning and providing daily care. Since trust is key when hiring in-home helpers, try asking friends and family members for recommendations or consult a local agency.

Hiring someone you can trust is also important for protecting your loved one from COVID-19 risks, so as you interview candidates be sure to ask about any additional safety measures, they are taking to mitigate the spread of the virus. Anyone who comes into your home to help a senior loved one should be practicing social distancing when possible, and they should also be wearing protective equipment when necessary. So long as these measures are in place, you can feel more comfortable hiring help for your loved one.

Is It Safe to Transition into Assisted Living?

If your caregiving responsibilities have become overwhelming or your loved one’s safety is at risk, it may be time to consider assisted living. Many seniors and caregivers dread making this decision, and this can be a difficult transition. Still, the services provided can actually enhance the quality of life for many seniors. So try to keep these benefits in mind if you are trying to decide whether moving your loved one to assisted living is the right choice.

Keep in mind that COVID restrictions may make touring and even moving to an assisted living community more complicated. Many assisted living and nursing homes are not allowing visitors right now, so you may need to rely on virtual tours, walkthroughs, and video conferencing. You may also need to wait until the COVID threat has ended to transition your senior loved one.

Providing care to seniors amidst COVID-19 requires patience and precaution. Right now, protecting your loved one from coronavirus should be a top priority, and hopefully the tips above will help. It’s also important for you to take care of yourself, so ask for help when you need it.

If you’re looking for a particular shop or service, such as moving or wellness, consider supporting local small businesses and community organizations. They need our help, especially during these difficult times! Refer to Ekim’s Place for lists of local businesses and community organizations.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Editor’s Note – A special thank you to June Duncan for contributing this, and for working hard to help our seniors! To learn more about her work at Rise Up for Caregivers, visit their website at riseupforcaregivers.org

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