Caring for Deaf Seniors: The Essentials - Parent Giving

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Deciding on a facility for your elderly loved one is never an easy job, but when that person is hearing impaired, there are even more challenges present. Assisted living homes and retirement communities offer several different services that you can take advantage of. As you take a look at all of the resources that are provided, you can rest assured knowing that your loved one will be well taken care of. These are the most essential services that you must look for, and you will be able to decide on the best living situation when you can pinpoint the housing options that provide these services.

Key Elements

One of the first steps is to get your loved one’s thoughts on their living situation. If they can make decisions for themself, you should include them in this process. It will make the transition a lot easier, and it will make them feel like they have more control in their life. As your loved one gets older and things get more difficult, this feeling of control slips away faster than you might think.

As you research different facilities, you must ensure that the staff knows how to communicate with your loved one. The staff needs to be properly trained on American Sign Language or other skills that will help them to communicate with a deaf senior. These speech needs are very important, and they are going to shape the experience that your loved one has when they are living in the facility. If they feel like nobody can understand them and they also cannot communicate, they will feel like they are not in a safe and secure home.

The next thing that you need to discuss is the layout of the room that your loved one will be staying in and whether there are light-up alarm systems in place. Their safety is very important. You can also ask about vibrating systems that can hook up to the bed that will wake your loved one up in case of an emergency. The hearing impaired have a lot of challenges to overcome, but it is not impossible.

There is so much technology available on the market nowadays that most facilities do have it in place for your loved one’s convenience. Make sure that the facility offers the chance for them to have voice and video calls using TTY/TDD communication. These are services that offer a person in the middle to translate when necessary. This gives your loved one plenty of independence.

Community is a very important part of every living situation. You need to double-check with the staff that there are going to be engaging activities that your loved one can participate in. Even if the staff knows caregiving for seniors and is trained on how to communicate with and include deaf seniors, the other members in the community might not be as educated. You need to make sure that this is going to be an immersive and inclusive environment.

Average Costs

According to statistics from 2017, the following are some of the average costs that you can expect to pay annually when placing your deaf loved one in a care facility:

  • Deaf Independent Living Communities—$42,000
  • Deaf Assisted Living Communities—$45,000
  • Deaf Skilled Nursing Centers—$83,000
  • Hospice Care—$28,500
  • Adult Day Care—$18,000

These options will vary because your loved one is in a unique situation. They might not require much care for now, but it also helps to understand what you can expect to pay in the future. No matter which situation is going to apply best, these figures are going to give you a basic idea of the expenses that you will have to cover.

Being prepared is the number one thing that you can do for your deaf loved one. Depending on what their preference is and where they would like to live, you can make sure that the financial elements are in place. There are certain resources that you can use other than saving up your own money for this purpose. Discounts and insurance might apply depending on their unique situation.

How to Pay

Medicare: There is a partnership between Medicare and Medicaid that you need to research. It is called PACE—Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. This program can help you with some of the expenses that are included when caring for your loved one.

Medicaid: If your financials are limited, you can investigate Medicaid. This coverage is based on income, and these benefits are state funded. If you and your loved one qualify, this can help a lot by giving your opportunities to place them in a facility or by giving them a chance to get in-home care.

Health Insurance and Long-Term Care Insurance: Some health insurance plans do cover parts of these expenses, but it is not very common. You need to look into long-term care options with your loved one’s health insurance agent. This type of policy is designed to become an add-on to provide help with their living expenses.

Veterans Benefits: If your loved one is a veteran, it is always a good idea to mention this when you speak with facilities. There are many that will provide you with financial help just based on this factor alone.

Final Thoughts

You have a lot to think about, but you also know that there are nearly endless resources that you can rely on when it comes to making this decision. Your deaf loved one is going to be provided with the best care possible, and this is in part because you have done a great job at researching what needs to be done to give them the best life possible.

- Written By

Sarah Johnson

Aging in Place Expert
Sarah Johnson is an Aging in Place Expert with extensive experience helping seniors remain independent and comfortable in their homes. She has specialized knowledge of how to help elderly individuals stay healthy, safe, and happy as they age. Sarah is passionate about providing quality care for aging adults, allowing them to remain in their homes and enjoy the highest quality of life.