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Caring for our seniors has changed almost beyond recognition over the past generation. A few decades ago, there were really only two choices for protecting our parents and other older adults in their declining years: we cared for them ourselves at home, or they went to a nursing home. The choice was clear, but definitely agonizing as well. If parents stayed at home, the children caring for them were often stretched beyond their physical, financial, and emotional capabilities. If the nursing home was chosen, the senior often felt abandoned, and correspondingly, their children felt gnawing guilt about their parents’ anguish.

Since then, options for senior care have proliferated wonderfully. That, of course, is great and welcome news. But having such a variety of choices presents some huge challenges of its own. How do older adults and their children and others who love them decide among all the available options? How do they identify the best alternative for their particular circumstances while keeping in mind the important considerations of health, emotions, geography, finances, and other variables?

The task can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. To help you, we decided to write this book as a comprehensive guide to everything families have to know about what their choices are and how to go about making the best decisions. And, although this book is directed at you and your family, including the senior member or members, we have also designed it to be useful to professional caregivers, bank trust officers, elder care attorneys, physicians, and others who need to know more about the expanding universe of senior care.

Review additional chapters of Stages of Senior Care:

Next: Chapter 1: A Whole New World