At a certain point, you’re probably going to look into in-home care for your loved ones. This decision can pull on your heartstrings, cause arguments, and invoke much guilt. But, by doing it correctly and choosing the right level of care, you can get the help you need and make the best choice for your loved ones who may have dementia.
Type of In-Home Care
Several different companies offer different levels of in-home care. Dementia adds an unusual dimension to in-home care, so before you contract with any organization, make sure you discuss the type of care they provide and the ability to handle dementia cases.
The most common type of in-home care is companion care. These are usually staffed by very caring people who provide friendship, light housecare duties, and often meal preparation for your loved ones. They truly act more like a friend who’s helping out.
In many cases, these people are in training or preparing to train for an education in nursing or other healthcare fields and are quite skilled. They cannot help with medical issues, mostly due to laws and regulations, but they can provide a necessary service to keep your loved one engaged and active. Much of the time, they can visit your loved ones several times a week.
As a level of necessary care increases, you can step up to a nursing aid. Many times, the company that can provide companion services can also provide skilled nursing. A skilled nurse is someone who will come to your loved one’s house and provide minor medical care. The level of care may depend on several factors, so be sure to ask exactly what the nursing aid can do.
Skilled nursing often involves structured care and more supervision. A registered nurse can visit as prescribed by a doctor to provide basic medical care. They work with wound care, medications, and other basic medical needs. These nurses review how a person feels, take vital signs, and communicate with the doctor to discuss care.
In the last stages, hospice care can help your loved ones stay home and receive the care they need. Hospice care usually requires a registered nurse’s visit once or twice per day and a companion or nursing aid available 24 hours. It can be a good alternative to placing your loved one in a facility.
What To Look For In A Good Company
As the population ages, more and more companies are becoming available to help seniors who often live away from the rest of their family. If you need to choose a service to help your loved one, there are a few things to check out.
Take a look at the social media presence and reviews for the particular company. Keep in mind that people tend to review negatively far more often than positively, so seek out well-structured statements about how the company behaves, the quality of the nurses, and reliability. Personal opinions of a specific individual may not be a reliable review.
Talk to the Nurses
Before you sign on, request to speak to a few of the nurses. The company will put you in contact with some of their best employees, and you can get a sense of how the company treats them. A good company will make sure their employees stay happy, which helps motivate them to do a good job.
Check your insurance
Some insurance companies will provide in-home service under certain circumstances. Take some time to determine how your insurance company handles in-home care and if this is available to your loved one. Generally, supplemental insurance will cover a portion of the costs.
Keeping A Log
Once you contract with a company, keep a log of who visits your loved one, the days and time, and what your loved one’s opinion is. In your loved one, sudden behavioral changes can indicate that the person attending them is not a good match, although it does not necessarily mean abuse. More often than not, it’s merely a personality difference. However, the log will let you look back on what has been happening, and any signs of a negative pattern should be reported to the authorities immediately.
One of our people’s grandmother had a companion service that rotated through three different people. Two of them got along well with her, but one didn’t. Her grandmother said the companion was too ‘uppity’ and didn’t listen. When her family looked into it, they discovered the companion had the same first name as the grandmother’s sister, who recently died. The reminder was too much, and we suspected the grandmother confused the companion for her sister.
In-Home Care is a controversial topic, but it can significantly help your loved one feel more secure and give you peace of mind. Taking the right steps to choose a good company takes a little bit of time and work, but can make a big difference in your family’s health and happiness.