Options for the aging

"Someone needs to make a site visit with that older person, and if the older person can't do it, then do it without the older person and find out exactly what the facility is providing and when would you have to leave that facility," said Prosper.

Rosalyn Larrabee, marketing director for Ingersoll Place in Niskayuna, said a change in housing situation can be a major strain for the elderly, but there are a number of options available.

"These people are coming with big change. They have owned homes and now somebody is saying, 'You really can't be alone anymore,'" said Larrabee.

"Some do prepare, some don't, some come to us in a crisis situation where they're in a hospital and they can't go home. There are options, though."

An assisted living community, such as Ingersoll Place, provides residents with three meals a day, activities, snacks and laundry service. Housekeeping makes the beds of the residents each day and cleans individual living quarters. Transportation is provided to certain shopping areas, as well as doctor's appointments, and family members and friends can come and go as they please, and residents are free to come and go as they please with friends or family members.

"Assisted living communities combine housing with personalized services and some health-care assistance. It's designed to help those not able to live on their own," said Larrabee in a written statement.

A service called NY Connects: Long Term Care in New York State provides information and referrals on services in almost all the counties throughout the state. A Web site can help match a person with a facility that meets his or her needs. For information, go to www.nyconnects.org.

"When you're getting up there in age, you should really be looking around and making these kinds of decisions before a crisis happens," said Prosper.

For information, visit www.aging.ny.gov, or www.ingersollplace.com. ""

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