Home Care Assistance Solves Many Care and Safety Needs

Home Care Assistance is a tough topic to discuss with older parents. A very practical solution for older people who need a little help at home to remain independent there is to hire an aide or caregiver for in-home care. It does take insight on the part of your elder parent or family member to realize that they aren’t taking care of everything as well as they once did.

Home Care AssistanceWhether because of  illness, disease or some physical/cognitive impairment due to aging, some seniors need some amount of help or home care assistance either with ADLs – the Activities of Daily Living: bathing, dressing, walking, continence or feeding and routine household tasks like; cooking, shopping, laundry, light housekeeping and driving.  Care may be short term following a hospitalization or stay in Rehab or long term because of the progression of a degenerative disease; Cancer, M.S. COPD. Parkinson or Alzheimer’s for example.

Often times such insight is absent. Then it is up to the adult daughters and sons to discuss their observations with their parents and work through their denial with them. Safety concerns are paramount. Most people want to remain independent, which in many ways is psychological more than physical. We are independent as decision makers, in how we make plans and so forth. Truth is, a little help brings with it a lot of independence, otherwise, more people would be either moving in with family or into senior facilities.

Of course it is not so easy to convince someone they need home care assistance or personal care, and to pay for it. However, when it becomes obvious that your elder parent needs help, we recommend these steps to get the conversation started.

  1. As the saying goes,“Accentuate the Positive”– Acknowledge the many things they do on their own. Emphasize their independence to make choices and that they are in charge. Express your concerns for their safety and your feelings of concern to them.
  2. There are likelysome things that your parents don’t enjoy doing and actually do find more difficult than before.An aide or caregiver can shop with them, carry the heavy bags, do the laundry, drive one parent to appointments, and do some of the cooking and light housekeeping. Discuss the pros and cons together. It is a big step to introduce someone into the home. After a very short time however, this newcomer becomes familiar and even the most resistant parent usually acknowledges that the aide is helpful to them.
  3. If your parent will not hear such suggestions for help from you, tryspeaking with their primary or other doctors. A person with authority to them may have more sway. You may also share some of your observations with their friends or with the caregiver parent who may really need some respite time off to recharge. Home assistance gives the primary caregiver time to recharge.
  4. Start out slowly, perhaps as a trial basis. It is important to have some type of schedule so that the caregiver becomes part of the household routine. Even a couple of hours two or three times a week can have a huge positive impact.
  5. If your parent lives alone and isn’t driving, or shouldn’t be driving, then starting with a companion to have lunch with or go to the library or mall is a good starting point.
  6. Keep your parents involved in the process. Ask them their preferences of a caregiver, older, younger, male or female, and get their input about schedules – time of day, number of hours, and number of days a week and let them interview candidates with you.

There may very well be concerns about costs. It is less expensive to remain at home than moving into an Independent or Assisted Living setting. You also keep your autonomy and routine when at home. Some ways to mitigate costs are: Long Term Care Insurance, Veteran’s BenefitsState funds for in-home care and very often, family coming together to defray some of the costs.