Improvements in medical care mean your parents can expect to be living well into their 80s and 90s. But longer life expectancy has a downside; many older individuals have serious health problems that prevent them from living on their own or completely caring for themselves. If your parents make it into their 80s, the odds are about 50 percent that they will suffer from a cognitive impairment or have illnesses requiring long-term care services. Assisting Hands Palm Beach suggest three ways to show your elderly parents how much you care.
Aging issues are even harder on women than men. Since women live four years longer on average than men do, they’re more likely to reach the point where they require health care services at home or in a nursing facility. Married women have an additional worry. They often use up their financial resources taking care of a sick husband, leaving them little left in reserve to take care of themselves later. This puts them financially at risk when it comes to long-term care.
1. Hiring High-Quality Help in Your Parent’s Home
Finding a reliable and qualified care provider or home-helper for your mother or father in the North and East Central Palm Beach County, FL area requires research. The best advice I can give is to be relentless and don’t compromise on the quality of care, training, and expertise of care providers and their availability to fit your schedule. Your parent’s well-being is linked to stability and routine in this area. And your stress can be reduced with qualified home-health-care professionals by your side.
2. Getting Started with the Search: Things to Consider
List the job tasks clearly and ask applicants to check off those that they are willing and able to perform. (One family told me that their caregiver refused to toilet their 80-year-old mother.) Address subjects like benefits and wages, frequency of paydays, lateness, absences, vacations, and notice time. Make sure the caregiver has reliable transportation to get to and from work on time. If you work and are heavily dependent on the home-care assistant, emphasize the importance of reliability in the interview and be sure to have a back-up plan in case the caregiver does not show up.
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. Think carefully about your parent’s needs before you venture into the world of interviewing and hiring. It’s just like finding suitable childcare—with the right person or people, things are well under control at home and you can head off to work without additional worries. If the dynamics are wrong, it’ll be nothing but trouble, so make a change and put yourself out of your misery as soon as you can.
3. Finding the “Right” Caregiver
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. It might be a perfect arrangement for someone who is finishing school, is between jobs or marriages, or is ready for a change. However, if you choose a private agency for personal care, companionship care services 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 Palm Beach are local branches of larger national firms, while others are smaller or independent workers. Find out if the caregiver provided by the agency is an employee of the agency or an independent contractor. Check references online, understand qualifications and job descriptions, and ask for financial arrangements in writing. To request information to Assisting Hands Home Care Palm Beach, please dial (561) 829-3080
4. Be Clear about Your Parent’s Needs
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. A homemaker could provide assistance with bathing, laundry, or meal preparation.
Try to match the personality of the caregiver with that of the person receiving care. Can they get along? Will they work together? Are they patient and friendly with each other? There are other questions to ask.
It may take a few tries before a good match is made. In general, it’s the cheerful, positive helpers that make the most difference in your life and that of your mother or father, or both.
5. Special Extras to Consider
Preparing for heavy lifting, ensuring personal security, and protecting against abuse are three special extras to consider. Even within the family it is wise to be alert to unfortunate signs that your loved one is being neglected or not properly cared for.
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 candidate. 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.
To request an in home consultation at NO cost by Assisting Hands Palm Beach, please dial (561) 829-3080
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