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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.

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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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In Home Senior Care Providers

Senior Care Plans

Seniors who choose to hire a private senior care agency or caregiver to provide for their care services can benefit from a professional plan of care.  A senior care plan will guide the caregiver to maintain a consistent routine and include all the necessary activities for healthy aging.

What information should a senior care plan include?

A senior care plan should provide a list of the senior's medical conditions, medications, medical doctors, pharmacies and other care providers.

What daily activities should be monitored? 

All Activities of Daily Living should be listed along with the time meals are eaten, the time medications are taken and other physical and mental activities along with other job duties for the caregiver.  The information should include the following:

Nutrition:  Food prepared and meals eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, fluid intake (number of glasses of water)

Health & Hygiene:  Transfers from bed to chair, bathroom visits, showers, dressing, hair care, skin care, nail care, dental care, exercise routine

Daily Routine & Vital Signs:  Wake-up time, nap times, bed time, blood pressure, weight, doctor appointments

Physical and Mental Activities:  Exercises, walks, physical therapy routine, reading newspaper, magazines, books, mental exercise games

Household Cleaning:  Cleaning kitchen, bathroom, laundry, changing bed linens, sorting mail, sweeping floors, dust rooms, vacuum, run errands, pet care

Seniors should also ask their doctors if there are any activities they would like to track to monitor the success of medications or the symptoms of their medical conditions.  By monitoring daily routines such as times of sleep, meals and exercise, doctors can better measure the impact of medications and the progression of memory loss or the loss of physical capabilities.  This can sometimes result in better diagnosis and slowing down the progresion of age-related diseases. 

It is a good idea to maintain a daily log for the daily activities.  You can create a notebook to contain all the care plan notebooks and take this along with you to the doctor's appointments.  The care plan can also be a great resource for medical professionals if there is ever an emergency situation.

Senior care agencies usually will provide a plan of care for their clients, as a way to train, monitor and manage both the caregiver and the care.  One of the benefits of hiring a professional senior home care agency is receiving a complete professional care plan, along with active management of the caregivers. Quality senior care agencies will also employ the caregivers as their employees which provides the added protection of worker's compensation insurance, professional liability insurance and payroll taxes to make sure the senior and their family members do not need to worry about caregiver employee issues.  In addition, the caregiver has support and training along with benefits, as senior care can be emotionally challenging and sometimes physically exhausting. Good agencies will provide a care for the caregiver program to make sure quality caregivers can continue to succeed in providing care.

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Family Caregivers - Get Reimbursed For Providing Your Homecare Services!

For one reason or another, some families are not always able to take care of their elderly. The demands of modern living can make it tedious to look after an elderly person and be sure they are having the best care possible. Fortunately, in-home care services take the worries off the shoulders of families by offering the best care for the elderly. Besides ensuring their daily living is made easy and enjoyable, some do offer medical attention to keep the health of the elderly in check.

However, with so many service providers today, you will find it of importance to take the time in choosing the best for your loved one. Home care agencies make it possible for your loved one to enjoy life independently within an environment he or she is familiar with. They therefore don't end up feeling isolated from the community or people who love them or from the things they love most. Here are tips to help you get services that suit your loved one best.

  • Find out about the charge for the needed services and find out whether your insurance can cover some of the charges. It is also helpful to find out about any payment plans available and the possibilities of using credit cards for the payments.

  • Find out how soon you will get a replacement for a caregiver who leaves the agency while still offering you the services. You can also take advantage to find out how the agency deals with conflicts between the caregivers and the clients.

  • Also important to consider is whether you will provide basic needs for the caregiver such as food and others. You are better positioned knowing what is expected from you and what to expect from your caregiver.
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