~ from American Care Manager Monthly Newsletter 57
Current healthcare legislation is focusing on encouraging seniors to remain in their home by increasing funding and services to ensure they get the care required without having to be admitted into a nursing home. The reasons include keeping healthcare costs down and providing seniors with the option of remaining in familiar surroundings such as their home or with a caring family member. A problem occurs for families and senior caretakers when seniors require external care in the home.
If you are a senior caretaker or have a close senior family member, then you understand the difficulty that often occurs when trying to convince a senior person they need assistance with their daily life.
For each family coming to terms with your mother, father, or grandparents needing external care is always difficult since we see our loved ones many times as invincible. Though as a caretaker you need to take responsibility by looking out for the signs that can help indicate it is time to bring in a trained certified home health aide either part time or for more severe cases full time.
Typical signs to look out for:
1. Gets lost while driving their car in their community
2. Misplaces and continues to lose keys
3. Misplaces and continues to lose jewelry
4. Needs to go to the hospital often
5. Mixes up medications
7. Isolating themselves from friends and family
8. Falling and hurting themselves
9. Believes they are getting robbed when they are not
10. Unable to travel anymore
11. Has trouble preparing their own food
12. Does not leave the house anymore
13. Becomes confined to a wheelchair or walker
14. Unable to properly care for their own personal/hygienic needs (i.e. going to the bathroom, unable to shower, dressing, etc.)
15. Becomes a wanderer
A certified home health aide can provide companionship for your senior loved one, assist in daily activities such as cooking, dressing, bathing, cleaning, bathroom, administering the proper medication, as well as accompanying or driving a senior person to a doctor, and laundry. You always want to make sure the agency you choose is accredited and insured to cover any damage or problems that might occur as well as to ensure the people that start providing care for your loved ones have had proper training and background checks. These types of agencies have a Head Nurse overseeing the certified home health aides; have been established for many years and there is management assistance available to families 24/7. A geriatric care manager can also direct you to a reputable and reliable resource.
There is no easy way to tell your senior loved one that they require a home health aide, though you can make it as painless as possible by working with the right healthcare agency and making sure you are looking out for the signs to determine when they might require some extra help. Losing your independence is difficult, though with a caring family and a well trained and insured aide the transition can help prolong a senior person’s quality of life.