Initiating the Conversation and Seeking Care
By Timothy Leadem
If you have noticed changes in a loved one’s mood, behavior, or thinking, it may be time to have a conversation about mental health. Mental health professionals have devised a wealth of strategies and tips for successfully starting this conversation. Research has shown that seeking treatment early leads to better outcomes down the road.
Talk About Your Concerns
If your loved one is having trouble understanding your concerns, pointing out examples from your daily interactions that illustrate your concerns may be effective: “When we were in line at the grocery store this morning, I felt that you were really anxious to check out. Is that how you felt?”
By offering emotional support, listening closely, and demonstrating that you value their feelings, you can take big steps toward helping your loved one continue the conversation with the doctor.
Leave the Diagnosing to the Professionals
While it may be useful to research the symptoms you are observing, it’s generally best to avoid using clinical terms or attempting to make a diagnosis – leave that to the doctor or a mental health professional.
Empower your loved one to seek treatment
Many people might be reluctant to admit they have a mental health condition that needs treatment for fear of being “labeled" with a mental illness. They may have the mistaken belief that their condition is a sign of weakness, that they are somehow at fault, or that seeking treatment confirms that one is “crazy.”
Those misperceptions may lead someone to believe they can't improve their situation. It is important to emphasize that you are coming from a place of concerned compassion. Explain that changes in mental health are as natural as changes in physical health as we get older, but that persistent feelings of depression or anxiety are not a normal part of the aging process. If you need help, consider hiring a professional care manager to help overcome resistance to seeking care.
Agree to Book an Appointment
Once the person you care about is ready to talk with a professional, offer to help schedule the appointment and ask if you can accompany them. It’s generally best to make an initial appointment with a primary care physician (or “family doctor”).
Prepare for the appointment.
Work together on a list of questions and concerns and bring the list to the appointment. Make notes about changes in eating or sleeping habits. Let the doctor know about any recent life events, such as the loss of a partner or change in living situation.
It is vital to bring a complete list of medications (including dosages), as well as any vitamins, herbal supplements, or over the counter medications being taken. Older adults should always undergo a thorough physical examination before starting any psychiatric medication.
Mentally Prepare for a Possible Referral.
Many patients suffering from mental health disorders are successfully treated by their primary care physicians, but there may be times when the doctor needs to make a referral for more specialized care - just as they would for a physical condition. Those specialists could include a psychiatrist (or “geriatric psychiatrist” who has training specific to working with older adults), a psychologist, a clinical social worker, or a nurse practitioner.
Follow through with treatment plans.
Finally, whether working with a family doctor or specialist, it is important to talk about treatment goals, develop a plan, and keep track of progress.
If medications are prescribed, find out how long it typically takes for them to have a full effect and notify the treatment provider if the medications seem ineffective. Antidepressants must typically be taken for at least four to six weeks before they have a full effect and should be continued even if the patient feels better, as the depression can return. Medication should only be stopped under a doctor’s supervision.
Take advantage of community resources.
There are many types of treatment and care currently available to older adults with mental health issues and new treatment models are being researched every day. Both the National Institute of Mental Health (a federal research institute) and the National Association on Mental Illness (commonly known as “NAMI”, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization) are comprehensive resources with websites and helplines offering caregivers support and guidance.
Many insurance plans and Employee Assistance programs offer a care manager to help you navigate the mental health landscape. For example, Humana has several programs for members to be connected with their own personal care manager through Humana Cares / SeniorBridge. Talk to your HR department or contact a national agency such as SeniorBridge, or The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, to find a care manager.
About the Author: Timothy Leadem, MSW, is a social worker and care manager with Humana in the organization known as Humana Cares / SeniorBridge. He helps families navigate medical, financial, and emotional issues relating to healthcare.
Heart disease is currently one of the leading causes of death in the western world, despite the fact that it is also one of the most easily preventable and reversible conditions. It's a shame that more people don't know about the heart-healthy benefits of proper diet, regular exercise, and the correct nutritional supplementation. Many lives could be saved each year if more people knew and cared enough to treat their bodies correctly.
Much has been written on diet and lifestyle changes that can increase heart health, however not as much has been written about supplementation; this is why so few people know that magnesium is one of the best things to take for a healthier heart. Plenty of scientific studies have proven this, so it's a wonder that doctors don't recommend it to their patients more often.
And yet, the benefits of magnesium supplements are numerous:
- It can help control high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease.
Many people who have high blood pressure are deficient in their levels of this of magnesium, and thus increasing intake can help lower blood pressure.
- It helps keep the levels of it in the body high, since blood pressure medications often flush it out.
Taking magnesium supplements ensures it stays in the body, where it can work its wonders.
- It can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is commonly known as "hardening of the arteries." This occurs when plaque accumulates on the walls of the arteries and impedes the circulation of blood. This can lead to heart disease, dementia, and other nasty health conditions. Magnesium's beneficial properties prevent plaque from forming in the arteries and allows the free flow of blood. This dramatically reduces one's risk of heart attack, heart disease, and many other things.
Keeping blood pressure in check and preventing atherosclerosis can keep the heart healthy for years, maybe even indefinitely. Because so many people with heart disease have been shown in medical studies over the years to be deficient in magnesium, that's a really strong reason to add it to your diet. Just a little supplementation a day will do, and you'll be dramatically more healthy for it.
About the Author: Peter Ochsenham’s(N.D,D.B.M,Dip.Hom) mission is to provide a platform for “patients” to be given self empowering options and messages for their healthcare. He is a member of the Magnesium Advisory Board Australia.
By Meggie Haneckow
A large number of people suffer from heart attacks every single year; in fact, heart attacks have become the leading cause of death among Americans, despite the fact that they are oftentimes avoidable.
A heart attack appears when the heart is cut off from its supply of the blood, resulting in the death of the cells of the heart. In order to avoid a heart attack, one must first be aware of the causes, and how they can alter their lifestyle to better avoid the risk.
Below you can find a round up of some useful tips and tricks to help you tweak the way you live your life to be better equipped should you suffer from a heart attack, or, even better, how to avoid them all together
Know the symptoms
While the most common symptom is chest pain, there are numerous other sings you should be aware of. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or discomfort in arms, neck, and legs
- Heavy sweating
- Sudden feeling of illness
- Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
Take the professional’s advice
Doctors are professionals, and will be able to best determine how you can avoid the risks than you.
However, a doctor is not the only professional you can consult. A professional care manager can aid you in managing medications and understanding, holistically, the lifestyle that you lead. SeniorBridge even has a Heart Health Program, which you can contact us to find out more.
Make Necessary Life Style Changes
- Partake in regular exercise
- Follow a healthy diet
- Avoid smoking
You can purchase a life alert unit, or another sort of device that can be used to link you to the hospital personnel or rescue team, so that they may be alerted should anything happen.
Each patient should be in possession, at all times, of a card that lists all the medications they are currently on, and any medications to which they are allergic. This can help medical professionals effectively and safely treat you for any condition you may find yourself in. Keep an emergency contact name and number along side your medical card.
Always Keep medications for any heart problems you may have within your immediate reach, so that in case of emergency you could easily back with the prescription drugs.
Always remain as calm as you can. In the case that you are calm, you should remember to never try to drive yourself, regardless of the distance.
Meggie Haneckow is a professional at OnlineRxMedicines, a leading provider of medicines. To learn more about the medications and resources provided, you can call 1(646) 681 4902 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will see to it that the medicines reach to you in time.
With love in the air for Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to remember all the things that your significant other has done for you over the years. What we tend to forget about, however, is how trained professionals can help you reach your greatest potentials within your relationships. A wonderful example of this is how care managers are able to keep elderly couples together, regardless of their health. Below are two case stories of how professional care managers at SeniorBridge helped couples to achieve just that.
When Carol Harris in Chicago was put on the case to care for Betty and Mark almost 10 years ago, she had many issues to take into consideration in regards to the health status of the two clients. Although Mark had limited mobility, Betty* had an inoperable hernia, and needed 24 hour care in order for her to be able to stay in her home – she needed help with mobility, cooking, cleaning, shopping and every other aspect of her everyday life. When Carol stepped in, Betty was more or less living in her local emergency room.
The couple was lucky to have their one of two daughters close by who was able to help with the continuous changes to the couple’s physical health. However, she was not a professional, and was quickly in over her head. Betty and Mark had been together for over 70 years, and had no intentions of separation for a minute longer than they had to; having been high school sweethearts and married not long after, Carol strongly believes that they would not have survived as long as they did without each other’s support. “They were inseparable; absolutely joined at the hip, and still 100% devout to each other, even after all those years,” Carol stated.
Carol knew that the couple would not be the same without each other, and she and the two daughters quickly went to advocating for the clients. Speaking to other family members, personal care physicians, and SeniorBridge caregivers, Carol got round-the-clock care for Betty and Mark. When a serious infection set in, after an ER visit for initial antibiotic, Betty wanted to go home. Carol helped the family arrange for in-home IV medications and appropriate in-home care to help Betty stay at home for the two weeks of treatment.
Although the couple has now passed, both stayed together for much longer than they thought able, and the two daughters are incredibly thankful to Carol and SeniorBridge for allowing their parents to remain together and happy for as long as possible.
The next example is not un-similar, but it is equally as heart warming. Roberta Marganti and Lara Daoud of the SeniorBridge branch located in Naples Florida had a difficult case on their handing when taking on clients Harriet and Hank, a couple was best friends in addition to being married.
When Roberta and Lara stepped in, Harriet was post-operation for cancer, and living in hospice. Although the two were incredibly active in their community, with Hank golfing with his friends on a weekly basis up until two months ago, the two did not have their children near by to help them cope with their deteriorating health. Harriet had very limited mobility, and was hard of hearing; although Henry was aging quickly, his health issues were not as pressing as his wife’s.
The couple spent every moment together that they could; after 72 years of marriage, they still shared a bed together every night, ate all of their meals together at their dining room table, and spent hours watching TV and gabbing together. Upon assessing the relationship of the couple, as well as the health of Harriet, Roberta and Lara noticed that she was becoming hard of hearing. They ensured that the couple would not be without their loving banter at all hours of the day by getting Harriet, who was becoming hard of hearing, a set of hearing aids to listen to everything that Hank had to say.
After multiple transient ischemic attacks and an incredibly rapid decline, Hank passed away after one week in a hospice hospital almost a month ago. Although Harriet was distraught, she was happy to see her husband and best friend to be released of his pain. She currently still lives at home, with 24-hour SeniorBridge caregivers by her side to aid with her mobility and still-active social life. Without Hank, Harriet is happy to have the familiar faces of her SeniorBridge caregivers around on a daily basis, to help her ease into her life without her husband.
*name has been changed to keep the identity of our clients anonymous
Do you have a SeniorBridge client story that you would like to share? We’d love to hear it! Contact MarCom@seniorbridge.com to get heard today!
Renee Hoskin is a professional at SeniorBridge.
You’ve put in time and hard work throughout your life, and you should be rewarded with an adventurous retirement - but travelling is now a little more difficult than it once was.
First, you need to come to terms with the fact that your vacation will be different than before, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be exactly what you need. Let’s explore some tips to make vacationing easier for the mature traveler.
Location, Location, Location
The first thing to do is plan the type of vacation you want to take. You may not be up for hiking Mt. Everest, but still want something a little more adventurous. There are plenty of options, no matter what you’re looking for.
One option is a guided tour overseas. The beauty of this option is that the majority of the trip is planned for you, so once you are on your vacation you can just relax and enjoy. Make sure you ask about the amount of walking, if that is an issue for you, or any other preferences you may have. With the wide variety of touring companies available, it will be no trouble finding one that fits your every need.
Another option is to take a cruise. With everything contained on one boat, this is the perfect way to explore without having to do a great deal of traditional travel, and cruises include many activities; from games to shows, you’ll never have time to get bored. There are also cruises and tours that cater to seniors, so you aren’t stuck on a pool deck with drunken 20-somethings.
Do you want to stay in one location during your vacation? Ranked as one of the top destinations for seniors by Senior Travel, Branson, Missouri is worth looking into. This location has everything conveniently located, with a wide variety of things to do, from museums and shows, to shopping and golf. Branson is especially popular during the holidays due to its spectacular celebration, which may be a great time to travel there. Other top locations include Las Vegas and Washington, DC.
Do Your Research
Before you travel, make sure you read up on your travel brochures and information prior signing anything. Be caution of scams and make sure you do some comparison shopping. If you aren’t restricted to dates you must travel, you’ll have much more opportunity for deals offered for travel at specific times.
If you are past roughing it on your vacations but interested in being on the go, there are options that cater to your needs and preferences, all you need to do to find them is your research.
Special Equipment and Needs
Before you travel, consider special planning necessary, for guide dogs , wheel chairs or even just special seating. If you require something on your vacation, make sure that you contact all the places you will be staying to ensure that tours and rooms meet your requirements.
If you will be travelling with your portable oxygen concentrator, there are a few steps you must make sure you take:
· Book a non-stop flight and avoid boarding multiples times with your concentrator
· Contact the airline a few weeks before your travel to check on any guidelines they may have for your concentrator
· Prepare for the entire flight; FAA regulations say that you must have 150% charge prior to boarding the flight. As a precaution make sure you also have an extra battery or two just in case
· Once on the plane, ask a flight attendant if there is a place you could charge your concentrator. This way you are all charged up and free to enjoy your in-flight beverage.
· Be sure to check off all the steps on your portable oxygen travel checklist before you head out.
Packing Your Medicine
Along with your required accommodations, make a checklist of medicines you will need to keep with you. It is a good idea to bring extra medication in case something unexpected happens.
If you are taking a carry-on and checking a bag, carry your medication with you in your carry on in case your luggage is lost. You should also keep your back-up medicine in a separate place than your primary location - this could be in a travel companion’s carry-on or, in your checked bag to ensure you have your medications readily available no matter what.
Check the Weather and Dress Accordingly
If you are travelling to a warm climate, bring shorts, but pack for colder weather too. Weather patterns can change and sometimes weather in a different part of the world isn’t what you’d expect. Your immune system will already be compromised from the travel, so lowering it even more with improper preparation could result in a lot of time in your hotel room recovering. Research the weather where you are travelling and how it can fluctuate that time of the year.
Make a List
You are almost ready to take flight. Before your departure, make a list of everything you think you may need while on vacation. This may sound silly, but with all of the extra accommodations and plans, it is easy to forget even the basics. This will force yourself to think of the things you always need, and save you lots of store visits at your destination.
Consider Hiring Help
A geriatric care manager can help you develop a personalized plan for your travels including identifying potential challenges and options to make the best of your travels – even with medical and functional challenges. For example, a care manager can help connect you with a companion, special equipment, ensure you have appropriate documentation and accommodations and more. To get a free consultation about how a care manager can help your situation, click here.
Finally, don’t forget to have the time of your life. Safe travels!
Article by Scott Ridl; Scott has been with Oxygen Concentrator Store since 2008 and is passionate about topics relating oxygen and oxygen therapy. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about oxygen to help educate patients on the options they have.
Thanksgiving travel and cooking can be stressful enough. If your plans also include seeing aging family members, you might anticipate noticing slips in their metal health since your last visit. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates the number of calls to their National Helpline increased by 13% last Thanksgiving.
Here are a few tips to help you differentiate between normal aging and potential signs of dementia. If you are concerned about a family member, consider a free consultation with a care manager by accessing this link
Normal vs. Abnormal Changes
Most of us have experienced laps in memory and temporary confusion. In observing your family members, consider whether your loved one has always been forgetful or is experiencing a decline.
- Forgetting how to do something that has been done hundreds of times, such as folding laundry or cooking carrots could be a sign of dementia. Forgetting what you are doing mid-job is relatively normal.
- Increasingly struggling to follow step-by-step instructions could be a red flag for Alzheimer’s. Getting confused when, say, trying to balance a checkbook, is common.
- Making bad decisions occasionally is normal. Repeatedly showing poor judgment, however, could be a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- It’s common to get confused about the day of the week, and then remember it later. If your loved one gets confused about the seasons, month, or year, and is unable to realize the mistake at a later time consider an evaluation with a professional.
- Worsening vision or the development of cataracts is normal. Having trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships, however, can be a sign of early dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Everyone can have trouble finding the right word sometimes – but what could be a tip off to Alzheimer’s disease is having new trouble with words, either written or spoken. People living with Alzheimer’s may stop talking mid conversation, begin calling things by the wrong name, or start repeating themselves.
- Feeling weary of work or social life happens to all of us from time-to-time, but look out for signals that a loved one has completely withdrawn from their daily tasks or social lives, which could be sign of dementia.
- Frequent mood changes or overall altered personalities could be a sign of dementia. Keep an eye out for overly anxious or stressed parents, or parents who simply aren’t the way you remembered them to be.
Now vs Later
The earlier signs of dementia are addressed, the faster the quality of life of the whole family can be improved. If you notice a change you think could be a sign of dementia, don’t wait until you and your siblings are shocked out of sleep by late-night calls carrying news of a crisis. Don’t force yourself to book last minute, high-cost flights, and gather in scary, sterile hospital rooms with family members you haven’t seen in years. Don’t wait until you have to face doctors and social workers asking the family to make difficult decisions about Mom and Dad.
If you are concerned about a loved one, consider a free consultation with a care manager by accessing this link
. You will be thankful you did.
Eileen Zenker, LCSW
Eileen Zenker, LCSW has nearly three decades of experience as a social work administrator and health care planner. She oversees care management in our SeniorBridge retail office in New York, as well as teaching Ethics and serving as a Mentor to Social Work fellows at New York University.
by: Kimberly Fore, RN
Do you regularly take a family member or friend to his or her doctor appointments and look after their health? Then you have likely felt the stress of trying to get your loved one the best possible care.
Here are 5 things you need to know to give medical professionals the best information to make medical decisions and for you to succeed as a patient advocate.
You know Mom is taking a heart pill, a pill for high blood pressure, insulin and eye drops. You may even know the dose and what time of day she takes them. But without the ACTUAL names of the medications, Mom’s doctor can’t determine if drugs he may prescribes will interact. You can find a free medication list worksheet at www.safemedication.com as well as useful information about medications. Additional resources are available at http://seniorbridge.com/Resources/ToolsforCaregivers.aspx
Know Their Medical Team
Maybe the person you are caring for has three or four doctors, all for different reasons. A cardiologist looks after her congestive heart failure and peripheral vascular disease. An endocrinologist oversees her diabetes progress. The eye doctor manages her glaucoma . Keep a list of physician names and specialties , phone numbers, fax numbers and after hours phone numbers.
Record Her Medical History
Most physician appointments ask for complete medical history including: medication history, allergies, and past surgeries. Here’s what you need to include: Any surgery (no matter how minor) that has ever been performed, all diagnoses, all medications (including vitamins, supplements and over the counter drugs, any allergies – including medication, food, dander, pollen, etc., and what the allergic reaction was. If the person you are caring for has had side effects from a medication in the past, such as nausea, include that as well.
Hire a Care Manager
Whether it be collaborating with physicians, pharmacies, therapists or nutritionists; feeling unequipped to make medical decisions for your loved ones, needing to identify community resources; navigating family dynamics; or needing to find a solution to stay at home, a care manager can be your advocate in navigating the health care system.. It’s a good idea to find a care manager to conduct an assessment and develop a care plan.
Qualify Your Home Care Options
If your parent is being discharged from the hospital but is weak or otherwise needs help at home, it is likely the physician will recommend home care. Be methodical in your approach to choosing the one that meets your needs. What did the last audit from the state regulatory board say? Are the caregivers drug tested? Do they have qualified staff? Are they going to be able to work around your schedule? A care manager is a good resource in making this decision as well as staying on board to supervise the process. Usually a national home care agency with adequate liability insurance and professional supervision is ideal. For a check list of questions to ask, check out this booklet.
Physicians and nurses taking care of people in the hospital have information to give you. Often all you need to do is ask. Know the meds. Know the diagnoses. Know what they are for. Ask questions. Ask why. Be an advocate.
Being an advocate is being prepared, with a list of diagnoses, a list of physicians and phone numbers, and a list of medications ready for any and all providers to see. Whether you do this yourself or hire a care manager, the role is paramount to keeping your loved one safe and ensuring optimal health care.
Kimberly Fore, RN is a director of client services at SeniorBridge and has been a nurse for more than 20 years in the home health and hospital settings.
Today we have a post from guest blogger Faith Franz from The Mesothelioma Center.
It’s fairly common for adults to take care of their parents (or other older loved ones) in their older age. Most conditions – such as arthritis, hearing loss or limited mobility – are somewhat predictable, and relatively easy to manage. However, more life-threatening conditions – such as mesothelioma – are more of a challenge.
In some aspects, caring for seniors with malignant mesothelioma requires the same patience and communication as caring for seniors with any other health challenge. In many other aspects, however, the experience is entirely different. Below, we share four essential considerations for providing health assistance to a loved one with mesothelioma.
1. Make sure they understand their treatment options. Seniors with mesothelioma may feel confused by the medical details of their condition, as well as the various treatment options available. As a caregiver, you also serve as their advocate. It’s their job to choose what they’d like to do with their body, but it’s your job to help them evaluate (and execute) their choices.
Accompanying them to their doctor’s appointments is an effective (and comforting) step, but that’s not always possible with a busy schedule. If you can’t make it to their consultations, it may be helpful for you to set aside some time to do some at-home research with the patient. Not sure where to start, or confused by the material yourself? The Mesothelioma Center has Patient Advocates on staff to explain prognosis information, treatment options, tricky definitions and other concerns you and your family may have. They are always available to help you – for free.
2. Make sure their physical pain is under control – As their tumors put pressure on their lungs, mesothelioma patients may experience extremely high levels of pain. For some, this pain makes it difficult to breathe, swallow or sit in an upright condition – much less move around the house.
To ensure an acceptable quality of life, it’s crucial to make sure the patient has adequate access to pain relief – whether that entails over-the-counter painkillers, prescription opioids, acupuncture or other alternative options.
Their pain levels may fluctuate from day to day; look for cues that their current pain management approach is sufficient. When their pain is unbearably high, look for opportunities to help out with activities of daily living (such as laundry or cooking) that would otherwise go unfinished.
3. Make sure their emotional needs are met – Because of the rare nature of their disease, mesothelioma patients have a higher risk of feelings of despair and isolation (not to mention anxiety, stress and depression). They may feel that nobody understands what they’re going through – and it’s extremely important for those feelings to be validated.
As a caregiver, helping them access a mesothelioma-specific support group is one of the most essential things you can do. The Mesothelioma Center hosts a telephone/web group that can address their emotional and treatment-related concerns.
4. Help them with end-of-life planning – It’s never easy to approach end-of-life topics. However, seniors with mesothelioma will need to make several decisions about finances, last wills and testaments, assisted living and similar issues.
Once you’ve found an appropriate time to breach the subject, reassure them that you’re not losing faith in their treatment plan. Instead, reiterate that these decisions serve as peace of mind – for both the patient and the rest of the family – in the event of a worst-case scenario. Offer to connect them with a professional (such as a hospice worker or a will planner) who can guide them through these decisions with finesse.
Faith Franz blogs for The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. She enjoys educating cancer patients and their families about the benefits of alternative medicine.
The most common approaches to locating private-pay caregiving in the home are:
- Pay an agency to provide you with a caregiver.
- Get a referral from a friend or registry
Some people believe that by hiring a caregiver privately (though a registry, a neighbor, or a listing such as Craig’s List) they will save money or have greater control over the service.
Below are a few considerations:
Time Invested in Screening and Supervising
When bringing a stranger into the home of a vulnerable older person, it’s important to limit exposure to an unfit caregiver. We have collected a checklist of screenings to consider. If you are hiring an agency, make sure these screenings are part of the process. If you are hiring privately, look for resources to conduct your own screenings.
Hidden Costs and Legal Obligations of an Employer
The IRS has clear guidelines for determining the status of a caregiver as an employee or an independent contractor and provides specific guidance which are outlined in our resource. Keep in mind that if you answered “yes” to the questions, the caregiver is most likely your employee and you have all the responsibilities of an employer—unless you are contracting with an agency.
Management and Supervisory Responsibilities
Are you prepared to assume the primary responsibility of overseeing caregiving? We have developed a list of questions to ask yourself in your decision making process. As you decide whether to hire a private caregiver or to hire a homecare agency, consider who will manage and oversee the care on a daily basis?
Most homeowners policies cover injuries sustained by “occasional” workers while on the job, but do not cover a person who is providing care on a regularly scheduled, continuous basis. Work-related injuries in the homecare industry include injury when lifting, transferring or bathing an individual as well as communicable diseases if the aide fails to use universal precautions. If you decide to hire privately, check with your insurance agent about your potential liability.
SeniorBridge has developed a guide with additional details to help family caregivers through the decision-making process on how to find a home care provider. To access it, click below.
Finding a licensed in home care provider may be more affordable than you think. If you would like to learn more about SeniorBridge’s services, we would be pleased to provide a free quote and complimentary consultation at your convenience.
If you are facing the challenge of choosing elder care for your aging parents, relatives or acquaintances, you have to decide if the person needs long-term care, home care, assisted living or disability services.
With so many kinds of elder care, it is hard to determine which elder care company and which elder care option is right for the aging person.
Follow these tips to choose an elder care company:
- Communicate with the senior. Simply talking to the elderly person about their wishes, concerns and fears is essential. Even if elderly people are sick, they are not children and deserve to be consulted about decisions that affect them. They may have certain criteria that they expect of the people who will be caring for them.
- Evaluate the individual needs of the person before choosing elder care. Elderly people who have a few health problems but are generally independent may only need a nurse to check on them from time to time; they may also be able to dwell in an assisted living facility. A person with serious health problems requiring complex chronic care, however, may need 24-hour care or home health care.
- Determine how much elder care costs. Prices vary depending on the type of elder care a person is choosing; some or all expenses may be covered by long term care insurance or Medicare. Family and friends need to know how much they can afford for whatever service they are planning to use. Request a free in home care quote.
- Check the licensure of the company or facility providing elder care services. Make sure that they meet all state and federal guidelines for caring for the needs of elderly people. This includes assuring that all staff are trained and certified for their duties. Checking licensure reduces the chance that an elderly loved one will be injured or placed in an unsafe environment.
- Research the services and ask for references. Even if the elder care company is licensed, talk to people who've used the company or facility to find out if service is satisfactory, and check online to view the nature of any complaints.
- Ask about a satisfaction guarantee. There are a lot of options for elder care companies, which has a lot of advantages - unfortunately there are also companies that are not upfront about things you might not think to ask about until after you have signed up for service. For example, what happens during an emergency or what happens if I don't like the service after I've signed up? Look for a senior solutions company that stands behind its policies such as a home care and care management company with a 24-Hour Guarantee.
- Meet in person with a care manager from the elder care company you are considering before making a final decision. If you are considering moving a senior to a community, you and your elderly loved one both should visit the facility, checking for cleanliness, the staff members' attitudes, and the morale of the residents. Read more here about how to avoid relocation stress.
Navigating elder care companies and care options available may be daunting. Beginning with an in home assessment from a geriatric care manager is a great place to start. The care manager can help you establish a baseline of health and establish a plan of care for successful aging in place. Contact us for a free in home care quote