Are you trying to decide what is a better fit for your elderly parent: home care or nursing home?
This is a dilemma many people are facing and there is no one size fits all solution. When looking into different options, you may feel overwhelmed with the different services, payment plans, eligibility requirements, fees and costs, and funding options. That’s why it’s worth taking your time to delve into this subject a bit deeper to make sure that your senior parents are happy and safe.
Decide what’s important for you and your senior parent
- Do you want them to stay at home? If you want your loved one to remain independent and comfortable in a familiar place, then getting help at home could be beneficial. By staying in their own home, they can strengthen their emotional and physical associations and memories by having access to their own photographs, books, bed, bath, kitchen, telephone and television. Overall, by being at home, your loved one will have a greater sense of morale compared to if they would be living in a new environment.
- How involved do you and your family want to be? Based on your senior parents’ treatments and needs, you may want to be involved and informed at every step. Home care allows you to enjoy being a part of your senior parents’ care and spending more time with them, by helping with daily tasks or by doing activities that you both enjoy. Also, with home care there are no restricted visiting hours, family and friends can be close all the time.
- What is your budget? Depending on the amount of time and care needed, home care can be more affordable than nursing homes or other institutions.
Choose what services your senior parent needs
- Homemaking and Assistance care: This is a basic service to make your loved one’s life simpler, so they do not have to worry about chores and errands that could take up their entire day and energy, instead they can focus on their health and hobbies. Chores such as:
- Cleaning, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming and dusting
- Washing Dishes
- Doing the Laundry
- Changing linens and making beds
- Emptying the trash
This can also include companionship, so that they have someone by their side.
- Personal care: Along with basic assistance, personal care includes help with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and incontinence, and anything related to hygiene. This service can be tailored around your parents’ inabilities and preferences.
- Medical care: A doctor may visit your senior parents at home to diagnose and treat an illness, as well as periodically review the home health care needs. Laboratory and X-ray exams, such as blood and urine tests, can also be done from home, thanks to portable X-ray machines. In addition, medicine and medical equipment can be delivered at home, and if required, training can be provided on how to take medicines or use equipment, including intravenous therapy.
- Therapy: Along with exercises, tools and equipment that can be used from home, you and your parents can speak to a therapist to look into the different options available. Having a physical therapist can help your loved one put together a plan of care to regain or strengthen the use of muscles and joints. An occupational therapist can help with physical, developmental, social, or emotional disabilities to relearn how to perform daily functions such as eating, bathing, dressing, and more. A speech therapist can help with impaired speech, like regaining the ability to communicate clearly.
- Home Cooked or Delivered meals: Much like Meals-on-Wheels, food can be prepared for your senior parents around their dietary needs. Meals can be delivered several times a week based on their preference.
- Nutritional support: Dietitians can come to your parents’ home to provide dietary assessments and guidance to support the treatment plan.
- Transportation: If needed, transportation to and from a medical facility can be provided.
Here are some questions to ask when you are looking at Home Care Providers/Services:
- How long have they been in business and are they licensed?
- If and how do, they accommodate language or cultural preferences?
- How are the employees selected and trained? Do they perform background checks?
- Do they have written personnel policies and malpractice insurance?
- How do they include the client and his/her family members in developing the plan of care?
- How is the client’s care documented? Is it detailed with the specific tasks carried out by each caregiver?
- Are the providers assigned supervisors to oversee the quality of care received in their homes? If so, how often do these individuals make visits?
- How does the agency follow up and resolve problems?
- What are the financial procedures of the agency?
- What procedures are in place for emergencies?
- Are the caregivers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
You parents aging may seem scary, as it comes with many new challenges for both you and them. It is important to talk to your loved ones to see what they prefer and need, along with your research and input to decide what would be the best option.
For more information, contact us.