Quality Home Health Care

How To Help An Elderly Person Feel Safe And Independent At Home

One of the hardest challenges modern families face is taking care of a sick or elderly relative. This is especially true if they are working full-time and trying to keep on top of their other responsibilities. The average working adult is not able to quit their job to stay home and look after an elderly parent.

However, adult children are often reluctant to place their parent/parents in a nursing home. elderly woman playing cards with home care aideThis can be a difficult decision for both parents and children. In many cases, the best option is to hire a home care aide.

Seniors may be able to maintain their independence if they have a caregiver helping them with everyday tasks. The people in these jobs work part-time for people who need help with managing their health and/or household. The aide can come in for the whole day or for part of the day. How long they spend at the home will depend on the resident’s needs.

Some elderly people will need help managing and taking their medication. When this happens, the aide monitors the medication to make sure that the right amounts are consumed at the right times.

If an aide is hired, family members can go about their everyday lives knowing their parents are being looked after by a responsible adult. There are home care solutions available for nearly every type of situation.

Some seniors will only need help on a temporary basis. An example of this is when an elderly person is recovering from an illness or injury. Having a home care aide will help them stay positive while they are recovering. Part of this is because they are able to stay in their own home instead of spending a long time in a hospital.

As the aide will have a regular presence, he or she will be able to identify potential problems and alert the doctor if necessary. In some cases, this could prevent the patient from needing to go back to the hospital. Not to mention, home care workers provide the elderly with the company that they want and need.

A person with a deteriorating or chronic health condition can also benefit from home care services. This is true even if they having a family member providing primary care. Having a home care aide will give the caregiver a much needed and deserved break.

Taking care of a sick or elderly person can be mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. That is why having somebody around to give the primary caregiver some relief is so important.

The main reason people do not seriously consider getting home care for a loved one is the costs involved. Depending on the specifics of the case, the patient’s insurance may cover some of these costs.

Those who cannot afford home care may still be able to get help. Charitable organizations have programs which care for the elderly. There are numerous options on the table. The patients loved ones will need to do some research to find the best program for the patient’s needs. If loved ones explore all their options ahead of time, they are more likely to get a suitable solution. Call us; we may be able to help.

Making sure that an elderly person is safe in their own home is possible when a home care aide is present. Older people want to be as independent as possible for as long as possible. Getting assistance can help them turn this desire into a reality.

Home care can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual who needs help. Children of elderly parents need to do their best to find a solution that works for both their parents and themselves. Those who are feeling guilty about getting help should not feel bad. When push comes to shove, nobody has the time or resources to look after somebody for prolonged periods of time.

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Understanding Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-Term Care Insurance : The Basics

As people grow older, they often require long-term care and support. Although the cost of these services can be quite high, some of this can be mitigated with the help of long-term care insurance. aide helping senior to exerciseThis type of insurance is designed to cover the specific service and supports many elderly individuals need.

When someone has a long-term insurance policy, they are reimbursed a certain amount of money each day that will help to cover the cost of certain services. This allows people to choose the support options that best fit their needs.

The amount of money that a person is provided with each day can vary wildly, and is heavily dependent on the individual policy. The length of time for which the insurance company also varies. Most long-term policies have a maximum lifetime payout amount, and if a person exceeds that, their payments will cease.

Other factors that can effect a long-term care insurance policy include various benefits that the individual opts into and the medical condition of the person applying the policy. In most cases, the insurance company will require medical underwriting before they allow a person to apply for a policy.

It’s best for people who are interested in long-term care insurance to acquire it while they’re still young and in good health. The older a person gets, the more difficult it will become to obtain a long-term insurance policy. If a person is already in poor health, it’s possible that they won’t qualify for any kind of long-term policy.

Before you choose to buy a policy, it’s important to know that the insurance company may choose to raise the premiums on the policy over the time. It’s best to research any insurance company that you’re considering, and go over the history of their premium rates.

Some people are hesitant to purchase a long-term care policy because they worry they may never actually use it. However, they want to be sure that they have coverage if they do need to do this. In situations like these, there may be another option. Some insurance companies allow people to combine long-term care coverage with a life insurance policy.

In this situation, a person would be paid a portion of their life insurance benefits while they were still alive. They wouldn’t receive more money; they’d just receive money from their existing policy at an earlier time. If the person doesn’t use their long-term care coverage, they receive their full life insurance payout upon death.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this method. It allows a person to use the policy they pay for under any circumstances. However, it may leave a person with less substantial coverage than they wanted at their time of death.

It’s important to carefully consider all options before purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. The money that these policies provide can be invaluable, and the policy itself can bring a person a great deal of security. However, it’s important to choose a policy that meets all of your needs.

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Aging, Disability And Long Term Care

Aging Disabled Lady

Aging Disabled Lady

Long term care commonly includes two different groups of people: those who are elderly and too frail to take care for themselves and those who are physically or mentally disabled and unable to care for themselves. Many people fall into both categories.

Disability long term care services include:

  • Home health aide or home care services
  • Assisted living
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Self-directed personal care services
  • Case management
  • Community transition services
  • Environmental home modifications
  • Driving services

People with disabilities often have a team of health professionals who administer their care. They may have psychiatrists, multiple doctors, aides and nurses who assist them and create care plans specifically for their personal needs.

In-home care consists of assisting people with disabilities with range of motion exercises, washing and dressing, going to the bathroom, small household tasks, eating, preparing meals, and other daily living activities such as applying braces and assisting with ambulation. CNA’s or state tested nurse aides in long term care facilities do all of the above as well as assist with group exercise and entertainment activities.

Meals-on-Wheels is a program that provides daily meals to people who are homebound. A lot of people with disabilities benefit from this program.

People with physical disabilities and a high level of awareness are able to direct their personal care services on their own. Most people prefer to do this from the comfort of their own home. They still fall under the umbrella of long-term care.

Case management services help to coordinate medicines, treatment plans, meal services, doctors’ visits, driving services, and long term care equipment like wheelchairs, braces and Hoyer lifts. These case managers are usually nurses with a Master’s degree. They coordinate with long term care facility employees or directly with the patient who is being cared for at home or who is directing their own personal care from home.

There are services that ease the transition from hospital to home for those who have newly developed disabilities, such as veterans of war or victims of automobile accidents. Community transition services are likely to provide education and counseling for those trying to adjust to a different lifestyle including disability.

Environmental home modifications are often necessary for people with disabilities. Small adjustments include railings on the bathtub, a seat in the shower, or a bedside commode, while larger home modifications can range from rearranging furniture to moving walls, enlarging doorways, or adding ramps for wheelchair access.

Driving services are available to transport those who do not have access to driving their own car or anyone to take them to their appointments. These services need only a phone call a day or so ahead of time and a vehicle capable of handling persons with many types of disabilities will arrive at the patient’s home ahead of schedule to transport the patient to their appointment.

All of these services are wonderful additions to long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

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Things to Ask When Choosing A Home Care Company

 

Choosing the company which will be introducing a caregiver or aide into your home, or your parents home is a big decision. Here in South Florida, there are a few hundred to choose from. Not all Home Care Companies are alike. Boca Home Care provides some tips from the great questions our callers and clients ask.

 

In- home complimentary assessment

In- home complimentary assessment

Like any other professional or worker you have into your home, you likely will get their name and number from someone you know. For home care – medical or private duty, a referral from a friend or doctor is a very good starting point.

Using the Internet will bring up pages and pages of companies, see if any match the ones referred to you. Make sure they are LICENSED. Read some TESTIMONIALS. See how long they have been in business – especially in South Florida where companies tend to open and close.

Once you have called a few companies and find that you have a rapport with someone on the phone, ask more questions. Also listen to what they are asking you. They ought to want to know something about you or your aging loved one’s present health condition, any falls, primary physician and what prompted the call NOW.

Important questions to ask when shopping for a Home Care Company.

* Are you licensed, since when?

*Is your company bonded?

* What if I don’t like the aide?

* How are the caregivers screened and credentialed?

*Is there a contract to sign?

*Can I meet and interview caregivers? — usually for longer shifts or live ins.

*Do your caregivers carry insurance?

*What are your hours of operation?

*How do you track the aide’s hours of care?

*What happens if the aide cannot make it or needs time off?

*What does the services include? Exclude?

*Is there a minimum of hours per shift or per week?

*How does the management team supervise a client case?

*Do you offer an in-home assessment?

*What is the process to begin care and how long will it take?

 

                                                 

 

All licensed home care companies in the State of Florida must do FBI level II fingerprinting background checks. All aides must be certified as HHAs – Home Health Aides or CNAs. Certified Nurse Assistants. All companies licensed have similar rules and protocols to follow.

If you phone a home care company and they aren’t forthcoming with information or seem unsure, call another. This service is transparent. The good companies know and follow the rules. The better companies go beyond the rules of their license.

 

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Who are the Caregivers in America? They are YOU!

Who is tasked with caring for our aging seniors? These are our spouses, mothers and fathers. It is usually a family member who is the primary caregiver. It is usually someone like you.

Assistance with Dressing

Assistance with Dressing

The National Family Caregivers Association and Care Improvement Plus did a survey this year, 2012 and found that 66% of folks surveyed have provided some care to a family member or loved one for five or more years.  70% are the primary caregiver. We are our brother’s keeper. Usually the spousal or family caregiver learns on the job. They aren’t’ particularly trained in caregiving – personal care such as bathing, dressing and toileting an adult.  In the case of elderly couples, the caregiver spouse is usually in their seventies, eighties or nineties – with health concerns of their own.

As the population ages, becomes frailer or succombs to physical and/or cognitive diseases, the role of the family caregiver also expands. What may have started as companion care or as a sitter and gradually became more hands on – the Activities of Daily Living and then cooking, shopping, laundry, driving, finances and the general running of the person’s care, caring for own needs and running of the household.

An untrained person, usually the spouse, daughter or son over time becomes the coordinator of all care, medication management, nutrition with special dietary needs and whatever else needs to be done – all without a salary.

If you are becoming anxious just reading this list of responsibilities – which we can add, fall prevention, entertianment, juggling doctor appointments and mastering care plans, then you can immediately understand how overwhelming the role of the primary family caregiver is. Few if anyone can sustain this regimen for very long without starting to neglect their own medical or dietary needs. The stress and exhaustion continues to build until something gives – that something is actually someone – the primary caregiver.

Families can work in shifts, they can have the family member with either Alzheimer’s or Dementia attend day care, exhaust the kindness of friends and neighbors, place their loved one in congregate living or hire some in-home care – giving respite time to your healthy loved one.

Just 12 hours a week – usually 3 mornings can make a huge difference for the primary caregiver.

Hiring of a screened, certified and experienced Home Care Aide allows the primary caregiver – yourself or your parent to recharge, rest, take care of their own appointments  – all without worrying that their loved one is alone or uncared for. The addition of a trained assistant can be a lifesaver to the family.

It is key to protect the primary caregiver. After all, they make everything go. If they collapse, then there are two parents needing care. Here in South Florida there are literally hundreds of home care companies. Get a referral from your doctor, a friend or go onto the Internet and find a few licensed companies to call.

Ask how long they have been in business, whether the company is bonded, the workers have insurance and so forth. By law, in Florida all home aides (HHA or CNA) will have fingerprinting and background checks. If your spouse or parent has Long Term Care Insurance, now may be the time to use some of it.

Home Care is an amazing way to care for your loved one and spare the primary caregiver from becoming exhausted, overwhelmed and self neglected. A home care aide will provide companionship, manage personal care -bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting and feeding. They can provide transportation to appointments, do the shopping, cooking and laundry and more. It may be the kind of investment which keeps the primary caregiver going and sustain the ill family member.

It can be used sporadically or consistently – that is up to you. The most important thing is for you and your family to take a close look at what the needs are, and be honest about it. Many conditions can be maintained or managed, but there are some which are progressive and the person’s care needs will only grow. Plan ahead. The important thing is to try having outside help. When rapport between caregiver and client is established, it is magic. So take a good look at  what you or your loved one who is the primary caregiver can realistically handle and build in some supports for the betterment of all concerned.

Learn more about private duty home care. View Video.

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