Finding the right living situation for our elderly patients can be tough. But, knowing what the alternatives are is a great start. Private care or living in a retirement home are but a couple of options. Help your parents know what their best options are to be happy in their future.
All of my life, I have had a huge respect for the elderly. Let's face it, they have seen a lot, done a lot and have experienced probably more than you and me put together.
If you ever thought out about taking a walk through history, why not visit with one of your elderly relatives or quite possibly a neighbor. Not only will you learn a lot but, you are helping someone socialize again. You are also helping them to learn that there are people out there that do care.
Many of our elderly are now treated as if they are children and have literally no rights and can't do for themselves anymore. They loose their dignity. Their self-esteem drops greatly and some go into a deep depression.
Yes, with many changes to our bodies as we age, we do end up needing assistance in many ways. Some of the help may consist of personal hygiene, ambulation, even normal everyday living skills such as cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. But, there are alternatives.
If you have elderly parents and aren't sure of the alternatives. Its always a good time to learn. These alternatives will help you in the future as well and keep your options wide open. Sometimes one of the best solutions is to help the elderly stay happy, healthy and in their homes. By keeping them in familiar surroundings and keeping their independence, this helps them to continue to thrive. Of course there are many questions that you may need to answer when making the best choices possible for the situation.
Here are just a few to think about.
1) What does mom or dad need help with?
2) How are they healthy wise?
3) What expenses do mom and dad have?
4) How independent are your parents?
5) What kind of insurance to they have?
Once you have determined certain things, it is now time to formulate a plan. Okay, sometimes you don't always have the time to do this, especially in the case of health. Quick decisions may need to be made. But, what ever the situation is, here are some solutions that may help with your concerns and help your parents stay independent.
If the plan is to help your parents stay in their home, this is a great solution. However, be careful and do your research. If it is decided to bring in a "caregiver". A caregiver is typically a person that is non-medical, their job is to help out. They may help with personal hygiene, preparing meals, cleaning around the house, or even just companionship.
If you decide this is the best alternative, then shop around. It is a good idea to go with a company that specializes in personal care needs. You want to make sure that they are licensed and bonded. That they do background checks on their employees. And they provide training for their employees. Do they offer 24/7 services? What about on call services?
Many of the services provided by these companies can be covered by Long Term Care Insurance. In many cases this is usually a supplemental insurance that is added on to Life Insurance. Many people aren't aware that they even have it. This helps to cover the care for non-medical staff to be in the home.
Depending on where you or your parents live, you will need to find out what companies are available.
Caring Senior Service- http://www.caringseniorservice.com is one such company. They have been around for over 20 years and provide non-medical services. They are one of the top companies in the industry. This company is nation wide and is growing by leaps and bounds. The caregivers hired by this agency go through deep background checks before they are hired. These background checks are national as well as local. Only about 10 percent of the individuals that apply with Caring Senior Service actually get hired. The administration staff are highly involved not only with the caregivers they hire but also with their clients. When a caregiver is assigned with one of their clients, they are introduced by the administrative staff, this helps to ease the minds of the client showing them that we are there to make sure they are comfortable with the person that will be helping them with their daily needs.
Visiting Angels- http://www.visitingangels.com
Is another company that also specializes in private care in the home. This company is also nation wide. However, they do not do back ground checks on their caregivers. They do offer 24/7 service. This company does not have their administration work hand in hand with the clients and their caregivers. Caregivers typically are sent directly from the agency to the homes of the clients. Visiting Angels has also been around for about 20 years.
Please remember, these agencies provide non-medical services. The caregivers hired are not nurses, they are not allowed to provide medications to their clients or do anything medical.
If your parents require a little more or maybe services in conjunction with a non-medical caregiver, you might want to take a look at some of the in-home health care offices. These offices typically provide skilled nurses.
Superior In-home Health Care- http://www.superiorhealth.com
This is one of many agencies around the nation that does provide nurses that can come into the home to take care of necessary medical needs. For example administering vital medications, checking vitals, etc. They do accept medicare and medicaid. They do background checks and provide 24/7 services. The nurses go through a in-depth background check before they are hired to work with the agency.
Hospice isn't just about the end of days. There are many people who suffer from different types of disorders that actually use Hospice services. Some of these people may suffer from demtia or even Alzheimer's. They provide daily nursing to be sure that the patients or clients are taking their medications properly, that their vitals are checked, their dietary needs are being met and they even help with hygiene services.
So when you think about Hospice, don't just think about death, think about quality of life.
There are a number of retirement communites that have been popping up all over our nation. These communities typically only house people that are between the ages of 55 and up. These communites may be located in apartment complexes, mobile home parks, or even living complexes that are a series of duplexes.
These communites may provide their residence with a number of daily activities to include crafts, hiking, bird watching, book clubs, quilting bees, gaming clubs like dominoes, bridge and more.
In some cases these communites also provide transportation for the residence. This is a huge benefit for many who can no longer drive but still want their independence and want to be able to go out and do shopping, go to a theater, etc.
Some also provide a small on-call staff of nurses and maybe a doctor so that if someone has a severe health issue there is someone close by that can take care of them right away.
Assisted living facilities fall within this catagory. Many can be linked with full service care retirement facilites so that if someone living within the assisted living requires more care, the shift over is a lot easier and the individual can still maintain a level of independence. These facilites provide individual apartments, staff that may provide meals daily, nurses that are on-call and daily activities.
As many know, retirement homes are full care facilities. These facilities typically feel more like a hospital then a home. This is typicall the last resort for many seniors. However, if they need more help, this is sometimes the best place for them to live. They are provided with three meals a day, activities to do, a huge nursing staff to take care of their every need.
Consider the options carefully before rushing into a decision that could take away an independence that our seniors truly need. This can help many continue to live long happy lives.