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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Many seniors are not satisfied when placed in a nursing home. This is because they want to maintain their dignity by living independently in their own home for as long as possible. If your senior loved one needs any form of care and you're considering which type of senior care is best for him, then consider providing him in-home care services. This is the best type of senior care because it allows an individual to stay in a familiar surrounding while receiving the right care they need.
Often, price and care are great determining factors in choosing the right type of senior care. In home care services do not include charges on hospital or nursing home facilities and equipment so they are usually cheaper and more affordable. Nursing home's cost varies by state, but in general the expenses are often far above the median income of most seniors. Medicare can only cover a small portion of long-term care. For this reason, seniors who cannot afford the costs of a nursing home can start to consider about hiring in-home care services.
There are more benefits to receiving home care services than staying in nursing homes. For most seniors, the ability to keep certain level of independence can help improve their quality of life as well as their over-all well-being. Besides, not all elders need full-time assistance. Some are still mentally and physically fit to perform daily chores and they only need some help in other areas of their life, such as grocery, shopping, or going to doctor's appointments. These types of seniors may only need help for a few hours a day. But even those who need constant care may still find it more beneficial to stay in their own home than in a nursing home. Sick seniors who receive in home care services often receive more personalized care than those who stay in nursing homes, where staff has to attend to many people with different levels of needs.
Homemaker services are almost the same services offered by personal care and companion providers. Receiving this type of senior care in home often puts off the need for an individual to be transferred to a nursing facility or allows someone who has been hospitalized to return home much sooner.
Selecting a senior care in-home provider requires probing into the credentials of the individual if you're hiring directly or an agency's credentials, should you choose to hire a caregiver through them. Make sure that the service provider you hire is highly trained and qualified to provide dependable care to your loved one. If at all possible, do a background check of the person just to ensure that you're leaving your loved one in good hands. With the right senior care provider, your loved one can enjoy full freedom and satisfaction while living in familiar surroundings, which is what is lacking in nursing homes.
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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.