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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Senior Care: In-Home or in a Nursing Home?
"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".
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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. Mostly, however, services are provided by agencies or independent providers.
Seniors comprise the majority of the recipients of home care. Of these, studies show that more women than men need in home senior care. There are other individuals who would typically use this service, such as people with disabilities or special needs and people recovering from major surgeries.
This type of care makes it possible to remain at home and in the environment they are most comfortable with instead of using long-term institution-based nursing care. It allows them to be near loved ones and gives them a feeling of living a "normal" life as opposed to long term stays in a hospice or nursing home. There is also a variety of options available for home care services, depending on the type and frequency of assistance needed.
Billing can be on an hourly, daily or weekly basis with payment coming from the patient and his or her family members or through a variety of public and privates sources. Professional health care services are usually ordered by a doctor and may be covered with insurance. Some community organizations, such as the local cancer society or Alzheimer's association, may also provide funding to help pay for home care services.