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How To Care For The Elderly At Home – Decline in physical, mental and emotional conditions may progress slowly over many years.
These abilities also may be suddenly affected by a stroke, heart attack, or prolonged surgery under anesthesia, which can affect cognitive abilities.
You decide you need to set up care for elderly parents, or someone who has no relative to take care of them.
This may become your job.
How To Pay For Home Care For The Elderly
In many places, government programs are in place to pay for care taking at home. You can apply for the program, and take some training to cover the responsibilities the program will pay for.
It costs the government much less to pay for elders to stay at home, as opposed to housing them in a full care facility.
The elder (s) who need help must qualify too. An application will involve getting recommendation for in home care by a doctor. The condition of the patient determines what tasks will be paid for, and how many hours per week are allotted for the aid.
The program will consider which ADL’s, or Activities of Daily Living, cannot be performed by the applicant.
The basics of these are:
- Feeding oneself
- Ability to get up and down, to sit, stand, get into and out of bed
- Dressing and undressing
- Bathing or showering oneself
- General grooming activities including oral hygiene
- Toilet Hygiene – getting on and off the toilet, and cleaning oneself properly
Other activities are called IADL’s, or Instrumental daily activities which cover:
- Meal preparation and cooking
- Housework (cleaning, laundry, clothes care)
- Shopping for food and dry goods for the house
- Picking up prescriptions and other health supplies
- Paying Bills and keeping track of the budget (some programs don’t pay for this)
- Helping with phone calls, and electronic communications
- Supervising the medication schedule
Some elders require dialysis hook up, injections or blood collection. This requires special training, and sometimes nurse visits can be arranged.
How To Get Home Care For The Elderly
Follow your local program’s guidelines if you will apply for yourself.
Check your local paper’s ads for agencies or individuals looking for such work.
In most areas you can find someone looking for more work hours, or a full time schedule.
You may need someone with a car for transport to and from doctor’s visits, a senior center, or other activities. Their car may have to transport a wheel chair.
In our local system, I have noticed a couple of negatives.
One is, that it is paid at minimum wage rates. The care giver must have some other source of income, or low income needs.
In a remote area you can’t find any care givers. Why?
Most programs pay the care givers as an employee. If they were independent contractors, they could deduct mileage or charge travel time.
At a minimum wage rate, who can travel a few hours a day, spend money on the gas and car maintenance, for zero reimbursement?
That is one glaring weakness in the system.
If you have elderly parents or friends who live in the country, or in a small town, it may be best to move them closer to you, or to a community that can provide care givers.
Take Care Of Yourself
Take advantage of local senior centers, library activities for seniors, craft clubs, and other opportunities to both enhance a senior’s social life and give yourself breaks.
Look for senior volunteers who may come into the home to read to your client, or just keep them company. The programs do not pay you to do these things.
Keeping a mental/emotional balance for your clients helps you too. Think about the frustration and level of acceptance they are faced with at this time of their life.
How Do You Care For An Elderly Bedridden At Home?
Important things to consider are what kind of equipment do you need for this person?
Does your health plan cover a hospital bed? An electric wheelchair? Shower chairs?
Usually your local clinic nurses have all this information. They will help you make appointments with the doctors who can give the recommendation for needed devices.
What kind of budget are you looking at to keep this person comfortable?
You must also consider yourself. Will this person have to be lifted?
Some covered physical therapy programs will include teaching the care giver how to move a client. This includes a basic plan for getting a client in and out of a car.
There are major and minor pieces of equipment that can be placed around the home.
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The following article takes more details into consideration, concerning how to take care of the elderly at home.
Care of the Elderly – Independence in the Golden Years by Sian P Wilson
Research has proven that for those individuals suffering from an illness or disability, that living in the comfort and familiar environment of their homes can contribute significantly to their physical and mental well being and rates of recovery. As modern society is progressing to an hourglass formation of population distribution, whereby there are higher proportions of aged and younger individuals, more families will be charged with the responsibility of looking after elderly family members as well as raising their own children.
Nearing retirement and ageing gracefully should be the golden years of life for everyone and for many, spending these golden years in their own homes is not only desired, but deemed necessary. Maintaining independence is essential. However, many will require medical care and advice that is not able to be provided by immediate family and friends. The care of elderly parents needs to be discussed thoroughly by all the parties involved to ensure that care giving decisions are made in the best interests of the elderly parent as well as all caregivers. It is important to have respectful and open conversations, assessing the care requirements based upon their mental, emotional and physical condition.
In many instances, the option to have healthcare professionals attend the family home to provide care for the elderly is the best option. Whether specialized medical care is required for an advanced illness or disease, or if simple assistance is required to help with daily routines that have become somewhat difficult due to the natural occurrences of aging, healthcare professionals can ensure that the quality of life of the individual remains at the highest of levels. There are many benefits of caring for the elderly in their own homes including: the provision of care in a manner that ingrains dignity and independence, preventing or delaying the need for hospitalization or institutionalization in nursing homes, freedom and comfort of the individuals concerned, specialized care designed for the specific needs of the patient, as well as providing the platform to keep families together.
Nonetheless, there are situations where elderly care is not feasible to occur within the home environment. While it is admirable of families that wish to take the challenge of caring for their elderly family members at home, there are some instances where the individuals may require more specialized assistance and care that isn’t available in the home, even with the professional assistance of medical staff. In these cases, other alternatives may need to be evaluated and chosen.
However, deliberating over the issues of where an aged family member should live when they are no longer able to live independently is an extremely difficult decision, often leaving family members feeling guilty for even considering the options. The need to balance the requirements of the family, with marital and career responsibilities, requires decisions to be made that work for all the parties involved.
Whether the decision is made to retain elderly family members within their existing homes or other living alternatives are sought, professional healthcare staff will ensure that the golden years will be enjoyed with dignity and independence.
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