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Elder law addresses personal needs of nursing home residents

While multi-generation households may have been the norm in the past, they are less common these days. Aging parents prefer to stay in their own homes, and adult children often need two incomes to support their families. Just a few years ago, a decline in health may have meant an older parent ended up in a cheerless nursing home, with little room for personal belongings and less concern about a resident's preferences. However, by revisiting elder law reforms, some Delaware nursing homes are striving to bring about positive changes.

More aging adults want to live in their own homes as long as they are able. This is where in-home care is a helpful alternative. However, some physical and mental conditions preclude this option, even making it impossible for adult children or other loved ones to provide adequate care. For those people, a nursing home may be a more appropriate choice.

In the recent past, those who were placed in nursing homes may have felt they had been abandoned there to die. Even if the children agonized over the decision and lovingly chose an appropriate facility, the institutional atmosphere of a nursing home may have felt depressing to an older parent. Lately, nursing care facilities are working to create a more personal environment for residents. In some, meal times are more flexible, bathing and personal care routines are adapted to resident preferences, and some residents may be allowed to have their pets live with them.

Of course, whether a Delaware senior is able to live at home or requires the constant care of a nursing home, such decisions are not cheap. Planning ahead for long-term care is important because it is nearly impossible to predict the kind of care one may need as he or she ages. Speaking with an elder law attorney will provide answers to the many questions one likely has when beginning the process of long-term care planning.

Source: harvardpress.com, "Older & Wiser: A culture change in nursing homes?" Deb Thomson, Oct. 19. 2017

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