I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother’s Day! We spent a quiet day at home and my husband prepared dinner for momma and I. Pretty good day all in all. We kept the “Grands” overnight on Friday and both Saturday and Sunday were spent in recovery mode. Two mobile little people can sure keep three old folks on their toes, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Starting today and for the next few Mondays, I am going to be taking an in-depth look at senior housing options. I want to explore the pros and cons of each one.This week I want to delve into the types of care that can allow a person to stay in their own home. This would be the best scenario for any senior facing a debilitating disease. The option to stay in a familiar, comfortable, and safe environment such as a person’s own home or that of a relative or friend would be infinitely better for them than introducing them to a whole new way of life immediately.
With that being said, making sure that they are indeed safe and knowing the amount of care needed is an ongoing process from the very beginning. The line between being able to navigate through a day safely and needing someone there for assistance is often very blurry. As I’m sure you already know, what works today may not work tomorrow. Ultimately, it would be to your advantage to ALWAYS have a plan B.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we have begun using the services of a caregiver. For our needs, we chose a “companion caregiver” because I wanted someone to take her out once a week. Our caregiver has no duties other than to spend time with mom for 4 hours every week. It seems to be working well for now, but I also know that at some point we may need to add more hours or require more than just a companion. Luckily, our caregiver is a retired nurse so I feel confident that if medical assistance were needed we would have it covered and not have to introduce someone unfamiliar to her in what might be an already stressful time for whatever reason. That’s my plan B.
You can have a caregiver that is full-time, part-time, or even live in. Obviously, the more you need, the more expensive it will become. According to SeniorAdvice.com, the national average for home health care is $45,188 a year ($4800 monthly, $160 a day).
Home healthcare providers can help with tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and mobility needs, or they may help with the administration of medications or the performing of basic medical tasks. ~SeniorAdvice.com
I started my research on their Home Health Care page where you can compare costs by state, the best cities for Home Healthcare, and of course, you can enter your zip code to find specific Home Health Care options in your particular city. I also found some very informative articles such as “How To Pay For Home Health Care” or “How To Screen A Home Healthcare Provider”.
There are a lot of decisions that have to be made AFTER the Home Healthcare decision has been made. The very first and most crucial one would be.
Will you hire a caregiver service or opt for a privately hired caregiver?
By using a certified agency you will not be required to do any of the administrative work that comes along with hiring an employee. The caregivers that are provided by these agencies have had extensive background checks, are drug tested, and are more often than not, trained by the agency.
One of the biggest advantages of going this route is that you won’t be left high and dry. If one caregiver can’t make it another one is called in. If you use a private caregiver it is up to you to have a backup caregiver lined up. You would also be responsible for checking the background and references of a private healthcare provider. The advantage of a private healthcare provider would be the comfort that familiarity would bring. Financially, the privately hired caregiver would be the best value, but a lot more responsibility on your part. Either way, some research will be required.
There are also alternatives if you don’t want to hire a caregiver you can look into the Adult Daycare Centers in your area. This is a safe place where you can take your loved one during business hours through the week. If you are taking care of a loved one while working or taking care of your family you may want to consider this option. It would also be a smaller financial burden than hiring a caregiver.
Respite Care is also a viable idea for short-term caregiver needs. It allows the caregiver to get a much-needed break. Whether it’s for a week or just an afternoon. You can hire someone to come to your home or they can stay in a facility for the amount of time needed. It could also be a good transition from home care to facility care.
Another great option is a Meal Assistance program such as Meals On Wheels. If you are unfamiliar with Meals On Wheels it is a government funded program to provide meals to seniors on a daily basis. It allows them to interact with someone on a daily basis and also serves as a daily safety check.
These are all great options, but in some situations, it may be financially impossible to do any of these things. We’re going to have to start thinking outside of the box in order to make sure that everyone regardless how much money they have has access to support for the unpaid family caregiver. We have to work together and harness our resources to create solutions that will work for everyone.
I’ve had an idea brewing in my brain for the last few weeks. As caregivers, it’s going to be up to us to find ways to save ourselves and each other. Why not work together to create a caregiver’s community co-op in your town. It could ultimately be a support group, but it could also be a place to network with other caregivers to swap caregiver duties or even other services. Much like moms do with babysitting. Of course, there are pros and cons to this and it’s only an idea, but isn’t that the way it all starts? With a single idea.
What do you think?
- This is a compensated post. I have partnered with SeniorAdvice.com to bring you the information you need for all of your senior housing options.