Getting Started With In-Home Care for Elderly Parents
If either of your elderly parents needs in-home, long-term care, you will most likely turn to a private-pay, qualified home caregiver, footing the bill yourself. Why? Medicare will cover in-home care to treat a medical condition but only for a short period and only for a limited amount of time each week within that period. Home Health Compare is an online tool provides detailed information about Medicare-certified home health agencies.
Sometimes, a caregiver may be able to help with some domestic duties for your parents, and that’s a start. But you’ll probably have to turn to a local agency that can provide someone on a reliable basis. And this can mean that different people will show up from time to time, which can create friction and adjustment issues. It is preferable to sticking with one individual who may have car or other transportation issues from time to time.
Choosing the Right Caregiver Agency
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging can provide recommendations for additional assistance. If your parents need such medical services as medication assistance, nursing services, physical therapy and/or medical social services, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration are public assistance agencies to turn to. The VA offers home-based primary care, skilled home health care and community-based services. Medicaid covers in-home care or chore services for those who qualify.
Other resources include:
- The Aging Life Care Association. This nonprofit organization can help you find appropriate care.
- The National Association for Home Care & Hospice. This trade association that represents the nation’s 33,000 home care and hospice organizations can help you find a home care and hospice agency in your area.
Hiring a Private Caregiver
For private hiring, a personal recommendation from a trusted relative or friend is often the best way to find a quality paid caregiver or agency. Always ask for references and take time to contact them. A growing number of online private-duty matching services exist — ask for the caregiver or nursing registry in your community. You also can check out eldercare.gov for information about local aging services and community-based organizations.
There’s nothing wrong with being picky about whom you allow to provide home care for your frail or ill elderly parents. If you use an agency, be sure to ask what method they use to background-check their employees.
If a loved one has fallen ill, make sure that they have an estate plan before the time comes. Learn more here: Six Reasons Why You Need An Estate Plan.
Ensuring a Consistent Level of Care for Elderly Parents
When you pay someone to provide in-home care, you’ll want to be sure they address the tasks they’re hired to do. Prepare a detailed list of responsibilities. Gain agreement on a written care plan with your care provider prior to the first visit.
Some families consider using high-tech hidden cameras to monitor caregivers. But be sure to address such ethical issues as privacy and trust before a system is activated.
A skilled, loving and dedicated helper can make a difference in everyone’s well-being, can delay premature placement of your loved one in a facility and can allow you to work or carry on other responsibilities.
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