Consider This Scenario
As you visit your aging parents, you can’t help but notice that their home is not as well-maintained as it used to be. Your father, who is also your mother’s primary caregiver, is struggling to keep up with daily tasks like housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping and pharmacy pickups. Unfortunately, with you living five hours away, it’s difficult for you to provide daily assistance to them. You’re concerned about your mother’s safety and well-being, particularly as her dementia progresses, and you worry about the toll that caregiving is taking on your father’s health.
One possible solution to consider is in-home care services. By hiring a trained and compassionate professional caregiver, your mother can receive the support and companionship she needs to remain safe and independent at home, while also giving your father much-needed breaks. The caregiver can assist with daily tasks like household chores, grocery shopping and pharmacy pickups, and can also provide social engagement and emotional support. With specialized training to work with individuals who may need a little extra help, the caregiver can provide personalized care that meets your mother’s specific needs.
LivWell Seniors recognizes the Alzheimer’s Association as a leading resource for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias offering valuable support and guidance to those in need. We encourage caregivers to read their informative article to learn more about in-home care. And, if you need in-home care, LivWell Seniors can help locate the resources you need.
In-home care includes a wide range of services provided in the home, rather than in a hospital or care community. It can allow a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia to stay in his or her own home. It also can be of great assistance to caregivers.
Types of In-Home Services
Not all in-home services are the same. Some in-home services provide non-medical help, such as assistance with daily living. Other in-home services involve medical care given by a licensed health professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist.
Common Types of In-Home Services
Companion services: Help with supervision, recreational activities or visiting.
Personal care services: Help with bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising or other personal care.
Homemaker services: Help with housekeeping, shopping or meal preparation.
Skilled care: Help with wound care, injections, physical therapy and other medical needs by a licensed health professional. Often times, a home health care agency coordinates these types of skilled care services once they have been ordered by a physician.
The following steps can be helpful when trying to find the right care:
Create a list of care needs. Before contacting prospective providers, create a list of care needs, as well as your expectations on how these needs will be met.
Call first. When you call to screen home care providers, find out what kind of help they offer and if it meets your specific needs.
Interview at home. Meet with a prospective home care agency or provider in your home. Prepare questions beforehand. It’s a good idea to have a third person present so that afterwards you can discuss your impressions.
Check references. Some agencies will conduct criminal background checks. Ask if these have been conducted. It is also a good idea to talk to others who have worked with the provider.
Share information. The more care providers know about the person they are caring for, the better care they can give. Even with memory loss, persons with dementia maintain strong memories from periods of their past. Familiarize the care provider with past accomplishments, fond memories and other guideposts that are relevant to where the person with dementia’s current memory is strong. It will allow for a much greater bond to form between them.
Costs for home care services vary depending on many factors, including what services are being provided, where you live, and whether the expenses qualify for Medicare or private insurance coverage.