As loved ones begin to reach the age where they are unable to adequately and safely care for themselves, many families are faced with difficult decisions regarding proper care. Nursing homes are a traditional option that is often the best answer for many elders. They offer around-the-clock supervision and easily accessible medical care, as loved ones generally continue with the daily responsibilities of their own lives.
However, in many cases, elders have their own opinions on where they’d like to live and may be resistant to leaving the sanctity of their own homes. The familiarity of the neighborhood and memories associated with their belongings and their house can be difficult to relinquish.
Deciding what is best for a loved one can be confusing. While nursing homes might seem to be the most practical solution for safe and reliable care, families often struggle with the decision to place a loved one in a place where they may be unhappy. In-home care may seem preferable but also an expensive or out-of-reach option. However, in recent years technological advances and increased accessibility to senior services may make in-home care more possible for more families.
In-Home Care Services
While it may initially seem overwhelming to keep an aging loved one in the home, there are many options available that can make this arrangement safe and manageable.
Many of the tasks that become difficult for elders include cooking, bathing, driving, cleaning and laundry or managing medications. Trip or slip and falls are another concern, as injuries such as broken hips can further affect ailing health.
In order to allow your loved one to stay in her home (or yours), you need to create a plan for ongoing care and routine assistance for daily needs.
Some Ideas for Seeking Assistance for Elderly Care
Call your local Agency on Aging. This organization can offer information on programs in your area that might be available to help your loved one. Communities often establish volunteer services that may provide assistance for your loved one in the home. You can reach the Pennsylvania Department of Aging at 717-783-1550.
Consult your local religious establishment. If your family or your loved one is involved in a religious organization, there may be volunteer services offered through that entity.
Hire in-home nursing care. Nursing agencies supply personal care aids or nurses that will provide the necessary medical services and other in-home care assistance that your loved one needs. This may be a costly solution, but Medicare sometimes covers this type of care. You can speak to your elder’s doctor to determine whether she meets the criteria for in-home nursing care as established by Medicare.
Consult an aging-in-place specialist. These are professionals who will inspect the home and determine the risk for falls or safety problems for the elder. The aging-in-place specialist can make recommendations for repairs or other modifications that will make the home safer for your aging loved one.
Explore technology options. Modern technology has adapted to the needs of aging Americans. There are multiple resources available that can help you monitor your loved one when you are not with her. Electronic tools can monitor medication for the elder and can remind her to take doses. Electronic tracking devices can notify if the elder has or has not opened the refrigerator (to ensure that she is eating properly).
Emergency necklaces or bracelets allow the elder to notify first responders if there is an emergency without having to get up, and cameras allow you to monitor your loved one when you are away.
These are only a few examples of resources available to allow your loved one to stay in the home as long as possible. In-home care can be an effective way to prolong aging in the home and may be a viable alternative to nursing home care for some families.
Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help if Your Loved One is Injured
Call Cordisco & Saile LLC if your loved one is injured in a nursing home or while receiving in-home care. If a care provider is negligent, the care provider and his or her employer may be liable for damages. Call us at 215-642-2335 or use our contact form to reach us.