Tag Archives: Aging Parents

How Can I find the Best Caregivers For My Parents?

More than ever, adult children live in a long-distance with their aging parents and finding the best caregiver for them requires a lot of consideration. To begin with, being far away and entrusting your aging parents in the hands of others may be a difficult and gilt ridden decision, but knowing that they are in good hands of a trusted and qualified caregiver can lower stress, give you and your parents piece of mind, and actually prolong the length and quality of life for them.

Before making any decision about care, it is important to know what options in choosing the best caregiving for your parents. You should know that there are a number of live-in facilities offering caregiving, and it is up to you to decide which option best suits your parent’s individual caregiving needs. It is vital that you get to know each healthcare facility and what they have to offer, which will allow you to decide whether or not you are making all the right decisions for your folks. To aid in that aim, it might also be advisable to enlist the talents of a social worker or registered nurse in home health or geriatric care.

After visiting or learning about healthcare facilities in your area, you may decide that hiring a in home private caregiver is actually the best option for your parents.

In Home Care: An Excellent Health Care Option

In most cases, having to leave one’s home to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility gives elderly patients unnecessary anxiety and stress. Alternatively, hiring an in-home caregiver to come take care of your parent in their home where they are comfortable and familiar alleviates this stress. They can get the same health care and assistance they require from the comfort of their home through personalized home health care services.

There are a number of different levels of in-home caregiving at a varying range of pricing that you can choose from, depending on the particular needs of your parents. You can employ a geriatric care manager to help you determine which level of care or qualification your parents might need. Qualification levels include Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), Certified Nursing Assistants (CAN), Skilled Caregivers, and Companions or Homemakers. Their qualifications and expertise may vary, but these professionals and skilled health care workers provide assistance to their elderly home care clients in their clients’ own homes.

The responsibilities that these home health care professionals provide range from assisting their elderly clients undertake their daily tasks such as taking a bath, using the toilet and administering medicine, to other routine activities that aging patients may need help with, such as going to a doctor appointment, grocery shopping and doing laundry.

What You Need to Know About Home Health Care Providers

As soon as you have decided to hire a home health caregiver for your parents, the next thing you need to do is decide which duties that caregiver will need to perform to effectively care for your parents. For instance, you may address the following points concerning your caregiver of choice:

  • Skills or qualifications
  • Recommendations from past patients or clients
  • Number of years experience in caregiving
  • Accreditations and licenses
  • Confidentiality and client privacy policies
  • Records of inspections, ratings, and client satisfaction
  • Criminal background check

Apart from these concerns, you should also consider your budget. Hiring an in-home caregiver is typically much more affordable than nursing home or assisted living facility care. But more importantly, it is all about looking for a caregiver that offers the service that your parents require, at a rate you can afford.

Hiring an individual skilled caregiver is an excellent way to save money while building a close personal relationship with a high quality care professional.  But in saving money, make sure you are NOT endangering your parents by hiring an unscreened or unqualified caregiver.

Well Beyond Care gives both caregivers and those who need care the tools to manage their in-home care online. Caregivers, registered nurses and geriatric care managers can use the website to be matched with Careseekers and their family members who are looking for care, set their wages and weekly schedule, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to be matched with caregivers who best match their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal, local support from a local Nurse Care-Pair Manager. These Nurse Care-Pair Managers offer assistance in understanding what is available with care in your community as well as helping you navigate any issues you might run into using the Well Beyond Care website. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

When are Patients “Unsafe” for Home Care?

Reprinted by permission from Elisabeth Hogue, Esq.; (877) 871-4062; ElizabethHogue@ElizabethHogue.net

CaringForCaregivers-CGS-largeDischarge planners/case managers are likely to encounter instances in which home care, hospice, and home medical equipment (HME) providers state that they cannot accept patients because they are “unsafe” at home. The use of this term may be confusing to discharge planners/case managers. What is it about patients’ homes that make it unsafe for them to receive services there? Aren’t all patients appropriate for home care?

First, discharge planners/case managers may not have provided services in non-institutional settings. If so, it may be difficult to make a crucial distinction between institutional care and home health services. Specifically, in institutional settings the provider controls the “turf” on which care is rendered. In post-acute care at home, providers have little control over the environment in which services are provided. In fact, patients have almost absolute control over the “turf” in home care because services are rendered in their private residences.

Consequently, home care providers often confront barriers to the provision of services that many discharge planners have not experienced. Staff have, for example, encountered “attack geese” when they arrive at patients’ homes and risk the consequences of a serious pecking in order to reach patients’ bedsides! Or they have come eyeball-to-eyeball with a pet alligator, named Bubba, in a mobile home in Louisiana!

Although patients may not be adversely affected by pecking geese and may have a cozy relationship with Bubba, there may be other factors over which home care providers have no control that clearly jeopardize the well-being or safety of patients. These factors may make it impossible for providers to render services at home. Patients’ homes may, for example, be in such disrepair that both patients and caregivers are at risk. A home health nurse, for example, recently fell through the floor of a patient’s home as she approached the patient’s bedside. Patients’ homes may also be invested with roaches, rodents and/or vermin of various types and descriptions. Despite appropriate interventions from providers, patients may suffer repeated falls at home that make it risky or unsafe for them to remain there.

Despite these examples, discharge planners/case managers may still be unclear about why patients cannot be cared for at home when post-acute providers decline referrals on the basis that patients are “unsafe.” It may be helpful for providers to be more detailed in their communications. Specifically, providers could say, “The patient’s home environment will not support services at home for the following reasons….” When providers’ communications with discharge planners/case managers are vague, discharge planners might prompt clearer communication by asking: “What are the specific reasons why this patient’s home environment will not support home care services?”

Institutional care and home care services are fundamentally different models of care. Because the differences are so great, it is reasonable to expect that providers who practice primarily in institutions and those who work in home care may not always understand or account for important factors involved in different types of care. Clear, specific communication is, therefore, absolutely essential for the well-being of patients.

Well Beyond Care:

WellBeyondCare.com gives those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses and caregivers, post jobs that outline their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal support, local support from their personal Nurse Care-Pair Manager. Caregivers can use the website to search for caregiving jobs, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.

Retirement Age: Caring for Baby Boomers

200258139-001To date, over 75 million baby boomers are dealing with the reality of having to care for their aging parents or grandparents. Supplying geriatric care needs can affect these individuals on many different levels. Impediments such as arthritis, high blood pressure or increased blood sugar levels are just a few of the concerns that may require the attention of someone taking care of an elderly person. In addition to these medical conditions, incontinence and immobility may be another burdening concern, as well as comorbidities such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, CHF (Congestive Heart Failure, and Dementia. With this in mind, aging adults may need the assistance of geriatric care professionals, in conjunction with skilled caregivers, in order to afford a safe, healthy, stress free environment for loved ones.

Today, a number of geriatric care options exist for concerned baby boomers to choose from. There are nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALF), independent living facilities, and in-home care service providers. Depending on the extent of service and assistance necessary, any of these geriatric care options could be a viable solution. While nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be more convenient for the responsible family member, these sorts of geriatric care options may also be cost prohibitive. According to the Genworth Cost of Care study, nursing homes can cost up to $6,390 per month. Assisted living facilities usually charge less, while in-home care is the least expensive option with flexible payment rates that can vary depending on the skill set and time required for the patient’s care.

Aside from these usual geriatric care options, there are those who choose to offer care for their elderly parents or grandparents personally. They are called “informal caregivers”, as they provide in-home care for their parents or grandparents without formal training or education in geriatric care. While this setup may be motivated by very noble causes, the physical, emotional, and psychological pressures associated with this kind of arrangement could become a very large burden for someone to assume. In addition to the pressure of caring for an elderly person, there may also be some legal implications if you cannot provide the level of appropriate geriatric care needed for your elderly relatives.

Just recently, prosecutors from the State of Pennsylvania charged an “informal caregiver” with allegedly committing “assisted suicide” to his chronically ill and aged father, in spite of the personal requests to end his life due to the fact the father felt an undue burden was being placed on his child. It is important to note that taking care of the elderly requires tremendous amounts of dedication, care, and caution on a daily and ongoing basis.

Considering the challenges and dilemmas baby boomers face regularly while fulfilling their obligations to provide geriatric care for their elderly parents or grandparents, they may still require the assistance of a geriatric care professional and a private duty caregiver, in one form or another.

Well Beyond Care:

WellBeyondCare.com gives those who need care the tools to manage their in home care online. Careseekers, or family members looking for someone to help care for their parents or loved ones, can use the website to search for qualified nurses and caregivers, post jobs that outline their specific care needs, monitor their caregivers’ schedules, and make payment online and receive personal support, local support from their personal Nurse Care-Pair Manager. Caregivers can use the website to search for caregiving jobs, set their wages, post their weekly availability, receive weekly payment, and build their resume and portfolio with real experience. Join for free today at WellBeyondCare.com.