Improvements in medical care mean your parents can expect to be living well into their 80s and 90s. But longer life expectancy increases the possibility that many older individuals have serious health problems that prevent them from living on their own or completely caring for themselves. When parents live into their 80s, the odds are that they will suffer from a cognitive impairment or have illnesses requiring long-term care services. Assisting Hands of Boca Raton and Delray Beach suggest three ways to show your elderly parents how much you care.
1. Options of care for your parents
When parents fall ill and can no longer care for themselves anymore, it could come as a surprise to you. If you are going through this with your parents, we know it can be a confusing and challenging time in your life. The good news is that you are not alone and that you can find help for your loved one even if you live far from them. Your parent’s well-being is directly related to the stability and routine in their everyday care while providing you peace of mind knowing that your loved one has a qualified home-health-care professional by their side.
There are different options to provide care for your parents. Your elderly mother or father may prefer care from a relative rather than a stranger. Perhaps someone in your family can offer care without receiving any compensation or will agree to live rent-free in exchange for providing care. In the event that this is not a possibility there are assisted living facilities, hospice facilities and home care agencies that can help with the care of your loved one. Today, many elderly prefers to stay within the comfort of their own home with the help of a caregiver. If you choose a private agency for personal care, companionship or skilled nursing services, make sure their caregivers possess the training required to manage their home-health-care tasks effectively. Some of these agencies such as Assisting Hands of Boca Raton and Delray Beach are local branches of larger national firms, while others are smaller or independent workers.
2. Getting started with the search: Things to Consider in choosing the right home care agency
Finding the most reliable and qualified care provider in your parent’s area requires research. The best advice we can give is to be thorough and do not compromise on the quality of care, training, expertise of caregivers and flexibility.
• Identify reputable agencies that are licensed and accredited. In Florida, home care agencies are required to be licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). If skilled nursing is offered, they must also be accredited by the Joint Commission.
• Ask if their caregivers are employees of the agency that are insured and bonded or independent contractors.
• What kind of screening do their employees go through?
• Are the caregivers trained and certified?
• Ask if the caregiver’s personality will be matched to your loved one and how?
• If necessary, ask if their caregivers can communicate in your loved one’s native language.
• Are the caregivers trained in cultural and religious diversity?
3. Planning for the “Right” Care and your Parent’s Needs
To determine the appropriate care, establish a list of your parent’s basic needs and “nice to have” extras. Your first priority is to determine what kind of help is necessary. The easiest way to do this is to create a list of circumstances and tasks. This should allow you to narrow down the key areas where a professional can be of assistance such as mobility, bathing, toileting, or meal preparation.
Assess what type of personality your loved one will feel more comfortable with to have a compatible caregiver. If possible, involve your elderly mother or father in initial selection decisions to ensure that he or she is comfortable and feels safe with the agency and assigned caregiver. Check in with Mom or Dad on a regular basis to confirm that his or her needs are being met, discuss any potential concerns, and verify that your parent is being treated with dignity and respect.
You may wish to consult a family physician, hospital discharge planner, or geriatric case manager to help you locate in-home care providers in your area.
To request an in home consultation at NO cost by Assisting Hands of Boca Raton and Delray Beach, please dial (561) 463-4488