In home care for your aging parents can decrease stress and give you peace of mind. Providing care for the elderly in the home also can be very stressful and sometimes have disastrous results. That is why choosing the right in home health care agency is important. Many individuals are surprised to find that Medicare does not cover the services their parents need.
In order to find the appropriate elder home care to meet the needs of your parents. Home care has two categories as defined by Medicare. I will explain them both in detail so that you will become familiar with them.
Skilled care refers to medical care provided by nurses, therapists (physical, occupational, or speech), and social services. A order is required from a doctor to receive these services. The care provided is supervised by a registered nurse and the visits are intermittent and short, meaning, several times a week. Medicare or medical insurance will pay for these visits for a very short period of time. Many times if there are procedures that need to be done more than once a day, a family member will be expected to learn the procedure and provide the care.
Custodial care refers to help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, cooking and shopping. These services are provided by home health aides or companions. These services are paid for through private funds, veterans' benefits, community waiver programs or other community resources.
Many family caregivers are reluctant to have outside help inside the home because of the cost. They often neglect to see that they are paying a dear price themselves. Research studies show that family caregivers loose 75% of their earning potential for every year that they provide care for the aging senior in their life. That is just the financial aspect. Many family caregivers neglect their own health and suffer long term health problems long after their care giving days are over.
More on wanting in home care for your aging parents? How to choose the right in home health care agency.
Many family caregivers find that to provide care for the elderly in the home means giving up their social life, family life; it can interfere with their work life. So finding the right in home health care can make a difference in the life of the caregiver as well as the aging senior.
The first step for the family caregiver is to identify what their limitations are regarding their care giving responsibilities. When an individual agrees to take care of an aging senior, they really do not know what they are agreeing to do. They have no idea for how long or where this care giving journey will take them. A family caregiver should be able to identify what they can and cannot do. Sleepless nights, dealing with incontinence, a confused person, missing work to transport to the doctors are just a few things that will need to be discussed.
Once a family caregiver knows their limitations, then they can put a plan in place. This plan would start with investigating all the resources available to the aging senior. This is a process that is time consuming, so I suggest you start early, before you have the need for the services. Knowing the resources available to you will help you know what the financial picture will be for home health care as well. If you are going to be paying out of your own pocket, Met Life and Gen Worth companies put out a yearly long term care costs study that will give you an up to date idea of the cost of services in your area. These are companies that provide long term care insurance policies and the information is very accurate.
In choosing in home care for your aging parents, you must then assess what their needs will be. To choose the right in home health care agency, determine how much supervision or help is needed. Will it be live in help, or round the clock care? Determine if there will be nursing needs or just companionship. This is just the first step, as once you have the workers in place; you will take on the role of manager.