As people age they often require increased assistance in everyday activities. Decisions on what is the best type of care for a senior can be difficult and often complicated. Here is help on how to decide between assisted living or senior care in their home.
The choices between assisted living professionally at a nursing home or relying on care in the home can be an agonizing choice for the family of a senior. There are pros and cons to both options and they should be carefully considered before an arrangement is in place.
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You may have come to a point in your life when you are faced with some decisions about caring for an elderly family member. Many families who live in close proximity share that blessing of caring for another; however, for those who live some distance away, there are choices to make that will affect the livelihood and comfort of your aged parent.
Before you embark on the mission of finding a qualified caregiver, here are a few tips to help make the process a little easier:
Research to Find the Right Senior Caregiver
You know best the personality of your aging loved one, and the type of care they need and you want them to have. Make sure that you find a caregiver who fits that picture. If you aren't able to research, and interview to find the ideal candidate, then consider having an agency assist. Some agencies provide caregivers for short-term or long-term care. Evaluate the process used by the agency and determine if that agency will meet your needs.
You, of course, want someone who will treat your loved one with respect, but also someone who has the experience necessary to be effective. Make sure the caregiver is knowledgeable in the special areas that your loved on needs help. In advance, prepare a list of what you believe to be necessary for the care you'd like to provide, so that you can determine the best person for the position.
Caregivers are faced with a difficult task, which requires just the right person. Family members are not always the ideal person to manage this responsibility. When you can't be there for your family member, you will want the person you hire to exhibit trustworthy qualities, a loving nature, and great fortitude.
Caring For the Elderly
"My sisters/brothers don't lift a finger; I do everything for dad!" and "My mother's become my child!" Common cries among adult children caring for elderly parents at home. I ask in return, "Why are you the caregiver?" It's an admirable job; after all they raised you and loved you as you were growing up; now it's your turn. Or is It? Why only you and not your siblings? Is there another way to care for them and still show your love? There is a high incidence of caregivers' health failing before their loved one goes.
It is a stressful job. It's often a 10 hr/day, 7 day/wk job, if not 24/7, without breaks, days off, vacations, or even pay. It is one that involves chef and shopper, chauffeur, self-care manager, social events and appointment scheduler, bath aide, nursing attendant, laundress, companion, financial manager, and.... Then mom complains because you don't do right. And that's just your job with her. What about your own life?
6. Reduce the risk for falls: modify the house for safety by using a room-by-room safety checklist (see a comprehensive one in the book Dad's Home Alone); provide grab bars, shower seat, and a high toilet or raised toilet seat, for bathroom safety. Don't forget a medical alert pendant or wristband. In case of a fall help is just a press-of-the button away. Falls can't be prevented. Gravity is the same whether in a nursing home, at home, or standing next to a loved one.
Remember, elderly people, just like you and me, want to remain as independent as possible. Respect who they are and make sure your parent weighs in on the decisions. But also, know that they may not be as realistic about their safety and care needs. You are there as their safety net, not their "parent".