Our parents will both turn 88 this year and they are in decline. My sisters and I are in disagreement about their needs, but we agree that we could benefit from an assessment by a trained professional to help us determine if in-home care will be sufficient or if we would be wiser to make the transition to assisted living. How do we find an appropriate professional to help us with this?
Good luck to you!
Usually these professionals work in small companies. Since they offer this as a paid service, chances are you won't have to wait very long. Their assessments and plans are comprehensive - this is really helpful to make you aware of things that you aren't aware that you don't know about. You can work with them over time to help guide you, as your parents' needs change.
Unfortunately there aren't Aging Life Care Professionals everywhere. Your area agency on aging will know of people (usually social workers or nurses) who do this kind of work. Your county health and human services may have social workers for this purpose. In my area, Jewish Family Services also offers care management. (You don't have to be Jewish to use their services.)
Good luck - it is so good of you to ask and take steps before a crisis happens.
We also had an in home agency come in. I wasn't happy with them as I felt they were pushing their paid services without discussing other options for care. Just be aware, they are running a business. I don't think they were being unkind, but they were offering the solutions they had to offer- not necessarily the least expensive ones.
An in home agency would also have come out to sit down and discuss options too. I found everyone very helpful.
The hardest part is getting on the right track for asking for assistance.
The assessor will come to their home. Be present during the assessment. Sometimes Elderly people exaggerate their capabilities, and they often believe what they say. It is good if someone who knows the situation can say, "Yes mom, you do cook your meals. But sometimes you forget to turn the stove off, or the oven on, or you don't notice that the leftovers in the fridge have mold on them. But you've been cooking for decades and you still know how! You just have a little forgetfulness sometimes while you cook."