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Solutions for Seniors: Caring for a loved one and long term care options

Solutions for Seniors: Caring for a loved one and long term care options.

Long term care, especially for those with aging loved ones is often on our minds, but the hardest part is knowing when is the appropriate time to start having these conversations,

Including how to bring it up in a way that is welcoming, informational and empowering, rather than a topic that brings fear.

CBS 2 News spoke with licensed social worker Jenna Wiskus who says there are simple ways to start the conversation of long term care.

Wiskus says it all starts with assessing either yourself or a loved one, and seeing what needs aren't being met in their home independently, such as cooking, grocery shopping, and even taking a shower.

She says that is the first step to seeing if these needs can be addressed within the home or if the conversation of higher level care needs to be on the table.

Wiskus says it is typically families who are seeing their loved ones the most, and able to detect any red flags, barriers or seeing that their loved one is struggling.

Often times family members don't know how to go about bringing it up.

She says if you can start the discussion and let them guide you, it can make it that much easier.

But she says St. Luke's is also helping bridge that gap.

"St. Luke's Home Health and Social Workers can go in and open up the conversation and say you know, what are you seeing and talk directly to the patient. What types of things are you struggling with, what is difficult for you on a day to day basis?

Start there and let them tell you what's difficult for them and offer them some option that might be not threatening in a way but more welcoming," Wiskus says.

She tells CBS 2 News there are several types of long-term care. each provides different levels of care, assistance, and services. the quality and costs of care and services vary widely.

But she says the earlier you start these conversations, the better prepared you will be down the road.

If you would like more information on transitional resources in the Treasure Valley, click HERE.

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