Many seniors who are too sick or frail to live in their homes often think that the nursing homes are their only option either as their permanent residence or as a temporary facility during their recovery. However, many seniors who need nursing care would rather receive it in their own home while enjoying a familiar environment with their family and friends. Good thing there are community services and health care professionals who can provide him the home nursing care he needs. These professionals can come right to a senior’s home in Dorchester to deliver responsible care.
Home care generally refers to health care or support provided in the patient’s home, but this term is usually applied to non-medical care or custodian care provided by persons who are not licensed medical personnel. Family and friends, who are referred to as caregivers, primary caregiver or voluntary caregiver in this context, can also provide home care in Dorchester. Mostly, however, services are provided by agencies or independent providers.
Best Ways to Find Elderly Caregiver in Dorchester
What Can Home Care Services Do For You?
Home health care services offer adequate skills and resources that are intended to accommodate the rehabilitative needs of homebound patients. Although residential facilities have been around for many years, in-home elder care has become a popular form of healthcare in the United States. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice indicates that the home environment allows for subsidiary control and flexibility.
Home healthcare nursing enables caregivers to get time off, while also providing medical services for individuals with a debilitating illness. Specifically, the ongoing service is available to seniors who are disabled, terminally ill, or in need of some type of therapy. These individuals were recently discharged from the hospital and qualify for further rehabilitative services in the home.
In most instances, Medicare provides funds to support patients who need home health care nursing. In other circumstances, Medicaid and community programs cover the cost of the service. Depending upon an individual's situation, the family and/or patient may pay the home care agency directly for nursing services. They may obtain assistance from a public organization or utilize their private health insurance.
In comparison, home health care is a growing industry and is preferred by most caregivers and their loved ones. To date, 12million people utilize home care due to its rewarding benefits. Home care offers specialized care in the home; therefore patients are given individual attention. The patient and family are directly involved in the entire decision-making process. More so, the patients and their family are empowered and encouraged to manage their own care.
Senior Home Care Services: Weighing The Decision
It always makes me sad to hear the families of an elder say "Mom made me promise to never put her in a nursing home". That is simply a promise that most families today cannot keep. If a caring son or daughter finds that they have to break that promise, they may feel guilty for the rest of their lives. Mom probably asked for that promise because the nursing homes she remembers were dark, institutional places which would be considered substandard in America today. Today's family structure and the financial challenges of elder care, make facility living a very common choice. When an elder shows signs of not being able to perform the basic activities of daily living, families or concerned professionals must step in. It is actually against most state laws for a professional to be aware of an elder in trouble without taking some reasonable action to secure their safety. There are many indicators that an elder is no longer safe at home alone. The basic litmus test is to ask yourself is: "Could this person save him or herself if their home were on fire? Would they be able to call 911 and communicate their exact location? If left alone for any period of time are they at risk for physical abuse or financial exploitation? Do they have the skills and resources to meet their daily hygiene and nutritional needs? The answer is "NO" for many American elders who live home alone.
Independence vs. Isolation
Many of my elderly clients who were trying so hard to maintain their independence by living alone at home actually maintained nothing more than an isolated existence punctuated by the occasionally call or visit from friends and family. This type of isolation was also coupled with medication errors or abuse, self neglect and unsanitary housekeeping. A person living in this situation will often "bloom like a flower" in the right retirement facility environment. It is amazing what three hot meals a days, social interaction, clean sheets and regular administration of medications can do for a person's mind, body and spirit. A person who lives alone is more likely to fall and lay alone on the floor for days without being found. A person, who lives alone may make poor choices such as keeping, (or worse,) spoiled food in the refrigerator. If a person lives alone, there are many signs of illness that no one will notice during sporadic short visits. Medical appointments may be missed and prescriptions left unfilled. Many people feel that they are honoring their aging loved one by letting them live alone, even though all the tell tale signs of self neglect are apparent. There is no honor or dignity in being found on the floor after one has laid in their own excrement for three days. Unfortunately, many families will wait for this type of incident before insisting on either home health care or facility placement. If an elder is physically or verbally abusive to family and care givers, they are much more likely to be left alone to make their own decisions, regardless of how dysfunctional their situation may be. Elders with difficult personalities are many times more likely to be abused by caregivers. They need more supervision, not less.
American Family Dynamics and the Pressures of Today's World
I hear people say "Americans don't take care of their elders like other countries do". Well that is not my experience. The adult children who consult with Geriatric Care Manager or other eldercare professionals are very concerned about their parents. They love them and they want the best care their money can buy. That's the clincher: what their money can buy. In America, caregivers, maids, etc,, are expensive. Perhaps in another country where slave labor is commonplace, people can afford plenty of care. But in this country it costs $12.00 per hour (or more) for a home health aide. At eight hours per day, that is $96.00 per day. That is $2,880 per month or $34,560 per year - more than the average working American earns per year. The average woman gets a social security check of less than $500.00 per month. Do the math and you will soon see that unless you are wealthy, many people cannot afford to keep their elders in their own home with a part time caregiver or even in their children's home with a caregiver.
Dementia Specific Facilities are designed especially for the memory impaired resident. The building, floorplan, furnishings, décor, activity program and even the lighting have been scientifically engineered to enhance the lifestyle of residents with dementia. Many Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes offer a dementia program or dementia unit, but there are entire facilities which specialize in this unique population. Dementia Specific Facilities can be either Assisted Living Facilities or Nursing Homes. They are secure in order to prevent residents from wandering off the property and getting hurt or lost. The price for this extra level of care is usually about $1,000 to $2,000 more per month than a non-specialty building.
Nursing Homes are State regulated and are inspected at least annually. A person who needs a nursing home generally cannot live safely in an Assisted Living environment. A typical resident is either wheelchair bound or bed bound. Those who can walk around freely may need the nursing home environment because they need constant medical supervision. The medical component of this environment is similar to a hospital or hospice setting. The emphasis is on rehabilitation or custodial care rather than socialization and activities. The ICP Medicaid Program (institutional care program) will pay for the room, board and medical costs of those residents who meet the financial and medical criteria. It is possible to plan in advance to help an elder meet these strict criterion.
Keeping an elder at home with a caregiver can be the most expensive option of all. Many families feel keeping their loved one in the comfort of their own home is priceless. If a paid caregiver cost $14.00/hour, eight hours per day is equal to $2,880.00 per month. Around the clock care exceeds $10,000 per month. Independent Living Facilities cost an average of $2,300.00/ month and provide no personal assistance. Assisted Living Facilities range from about $2,500/month to $5,000/month and provide limited care. A Nursing Home (without ICP Medicaid assistance) can cost from 5,000.00 to $7,000.00 per month and will provide total care.
Anyone considering hiring home health or moving an elder into a care facility of any type should have their elder's current needs assessed by a qualified professional who can ascertain the elder's current medical/psychological and financial needs and anticipate future needs/solutions. With careful, realistic planning, caring for an elder does not have to be a financial or emotional nightmare. Making the right choices for you and the elder you care about is easier when you enlist the help of people who know the eldercare community and all that it has to offer.