Even when they have a crucial need for specialized care, most older people would rather stay in their own homes. This means that adult children and other relatives will do the caregiving responsibilities – giving their family member rides, getting their prescriptions, and doing housework. At a certain point, they might have to manage high-tech medical devices, assist with day-to-day activities, and assist with end-of-life concerns.
However, there are just too many occasions where a caregiver tried to do everything. Caregivers must realize they can only stretch themselves so thin, so those who seek outside help with caring for their loved ones are less likely to become burned out and will be more equipped to provide the needed long-term care for their parents.
The good news is that there are many services in your community that can help with your loved one’s needs. These community resources can often provide help with household chores or even help with 24-hour care. Care is often based on insurance or could be free of charge from a non-profit. Some services do charge by the hour.
There is no question that caregiving can be difficult, so here are some resources that can be of assistance to you:
Helping your loved one accomplish their daily needs
Checking in with them
There are times where a phone call or a visit from companionship service or other volunteer organizations can make a world of difference. They will be reassured, especially if they are older and living by themselves. These types of visits usually either cost very little or they are completely free
Helping out with their house
Home care professionals can help elderly individuals with cooking, laundry, or even running errands. If the home needs to be made safer, many agencies can hire repair services for house maintenance and repairs.
Several agencies will provide social interaction and a hot meal. These agencies can often deliver meals to the senior citizen’s homes. There are even some seniors centers that will serve meals.
Therapists and nurses that deliver home care
Nurses aides, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses can carry out several skilled tasks prescribed by physicians. They can do such things as monitoring medications and providing education to family members regarding their loved one’s specific needs. Professional therapists can also make regular visits to the home as well.
Home health aides and in home health care St. Louis
These workers can help your loved one with all of their eating, exercising, dressing and bathing needs. Most of the time you can get Medicaid, Medicare or other types of insurance to cover these services.
Hospice Care in a home or a specialized facility can give your loved one the support services they need. This would include emotional support, spiritual support, social services, and pain management.
Adult day services
These local centers can provide a comprehensive program for your loved one. These would include health and social support systems throughout the day.
Support groups for caregivers
These groups can meet the emotional needs of people who are caregivers. It is a difficult job and it can be very therapeutic for the caregiver to know that others are facing the same struggles.
Geriatric care manager
This is a professional who can provide a comprehensive assessment of a person’s environmental, financial, physical and mental conditions. They will do this to help provide medical services, meet social needs, and arrange for housing if necessary.
Identify the needs of you and your loved one
You can do this on your own or you can enlist the aid of a trained and experienced geriatrician. They can conduct a formal needs assessment and provide you with various resources to accomplish your caregiving goals.
Take a long look at what types of community services are available where your loved one lives. Partner with a hospital, nursing home, or geriatric care expert to find these. An Agency on Aging, a department of social services or even faith-based programs can also be of assistance.
Yes, it is a possibility to find free or subsidized services. However, these may not be offered on a long-term basis. This is why you should find out the limits for Medicaid, Medicare, or other insurance programs.
Check out quality
Unfortunately, the government still doesn’t have much insight over long-term care services, the consumer
will have to thoroughly investigate the quality of any services they are considering for their loved one.
Here are some helpful planning strategies:
Consider referrals from family or friends.
Personally interview all providers, and include your loved one in the conversation if you can.
Ask about their training, experience, and education.
Visit any potential facilities to ensure they would be a good fit for your loved one.
Be organized. Take detailed notes and have some type of filing system in place. If you are proficient with computers, keeping a spreadsheet or organizing your thoughts on a word-processing program could come in handy.
Be sensitive. Be aware of how your parents react, but be aware that you have limits also. Although your parents might want to stay in their own home, don’t be afraid to seek outside assistance if your family needs it.