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All kinds of situations can trigger the need for eldercare: Your mother breaks a hip and needs help managing during her recovery; your father has Parkinson's and is gradually losing the ability to care for himself; your parents are aged and frail, but want to stay in their home. What should you do? The answer may be home care.

The ultimate goal of home care — also known as "aging in place" — is to allow elders to continue living as independently as possible in their own communities without jeopardizing their safety. Many elders require only minor or occasional help (home repairs, cooking, cleaning, etc.) to function on their own. But with hospitals and rehab centers shortening patient stays, some elders wind up needing a fairly high level of home health care services for either short- or long-term.

So, what kinds of home care exist? How do you know when your elder needs home care and what kind of service to get? How do you go about finding providers? And once you do, how do you choose the right service, and how will you pay for it? Should you consider hiring a Geriatric Care Manager to oversee the process? These questions are, indeed, complex, but this chapter can guide you toward the answers.

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