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Long-term care considerations for an elder's legal guardian

A lot of the elderly in the District of Columbia are not able to be cared for adequately by their loved ones and require long-term care. For an elderly person's legal guardian, the decision on what facility would be best for the elder in his or her charge can be a difficult one. Now, there may be one other criterion a legal guardian can use to make the decision.

There are three basic categories of options for long-term care placement. They are nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and continuing-care retirement communities. All three of these facility types are either for-profit or not-for-profit. Many people in the District of Columbia may be surprised to discover that there is a difference in the quality of care depending on which facility is chosen.

The quality of care in for-profit facilities tends to be less than the care provided in not-for-profit facilities. That doesn't necessarily mean that a for-profit facility is bad, but it may not be as good as it could be since there is a profit motivation behind the care. Even expensive facilities may not provide top notch care due to the fact that they may be cutting corners on staff in order to increase profits. Essentially, this means that there isn't enough staff to adequately care for the facility's residents.

Having this information may help a legal guardian make a decision on a long-term care facility, but it still does not always guarantee safety. No facility can guarantee that there won't be abuse or neglect regardless of how good the facility. When abuse or neglect occurs, a legal guardian may file a lawsuit against the facility.

Source: marketwatch.com, "The quality gap at elder-care homes," Elizabeth O'Brien, July 11, 2013

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