What do Activities of Daily Living Mean when you transition from an active lifestyle to needing Care Services?

◦ Can you dress yourself?

◦ Bathing or Showering

◦ Can you eat without assistance?

◦ Can you get out of bed?

◦ Toileting, can you go to the toilet on your own?

◦ Continence means the ability to remain continent and not have bowel or bladder "accidents" or adequately clean up and change oneself after an occasional "accident."

◦ Walking (or getting around independently by some means, such as a wheelchair) is sometimes viewed as an ADL.

◦ Being able to stay alone safely and respond appropriately to an emergency, such as a fire, is also typically viewed as an ADL. Needing assistance with this ADL is typical for people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.

 Does your loved one have dementia or another complex, progressive, or cognitive health condition? Staff at skilled nursing facilities help with various ADLs, providing more advanced needs than assisted living communities.  

 Nursing homes always offer professional nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals daily, and assistance with everyday activities. Rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, are also typically available.

 Many people with mild to moderate physical and cognitive health conditions can often live at home for years with good support from family and home health aides. 

 Long-term care benefits will help keep a person at home or with family because there are funds to hire experienced and professional care providers. A long-term care plan will also pay for the care center services should a person transition from the home to a care center where there is care support based on their needs. 

 The more assistance a person needs, the more necessary it becomes to think about nursing home care. 

◦ People with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia who also have other serious and complex to manage health complications — for example, uncontrolled diabetes or heart and lung issues that require support devices — may benefit from nursing home care.

◦ When a person is in the late stages of Alzheimer's, feeding, changing, bathing, and moving may require full-time access to medically-trained nursing home staff.

◦ Nursing home care is likely the best option when a loved one needs catheters, IV drips, a ventilator, a feeding tube, or other specialized medical care.

◦ Do they frequently fall, use a wheelchair, or are confined to their bed?

Falls present a serious, sometimes fatal situation for seniors. If your loved one falls often, this can be a key indicator that they can no longer live safely at home. Nursing home staff have experience caring for older adults with mobility challenges, and nursing home facilities are designed to minimize safety risks.

Suppose your loved one is confined to their bed or uses a wheelchair and can't transfer to their bed or use the bathroom independently. In that case, they may also require the nursing home level of care. 

There are instances where caring for a loved one in your home may be too much to handle if caregiving is the responsibility of family and friends full-time and the funds are not available to hire professional caregivers. 

 It is about money, so having the conversation about caregiving planning and owning an LTC plan helps those who transition to caregiving and those responsible for part or full-time caregiving responsibilities. 

◦ An older spouse may be having trouble managing the caregiving. Perhaps they are becoming too frail to cope with the physical demands of caregiving. Or they may have been diagnosed with a serious illness.

◦ An adult child may struggle with other responsibilities, including their children and a full-time job.

◦ Perhaps you're the only person able to care for your loved one. If you're an older caregiver, providing care yourself will take a toll on your physical and mental health, leading to a condition known as "caregiver burnout." (Battle Fatigue)

◦ You may be afraid for their health and safety and feel incapable of caring for them anymore. If you can't go to the bathroom or do household chores without worrying about their safety.

◦ Are you feeling angry at the person you are caregiving? Are you feeling socially withdrawn from friends and activities? Do you feel depressed or isolated?