Making Smart Caregiving Decisions for Your Senior Loved One
Just as you were starting the conversation about long-term care with your aging parent, the coronavirus pandemic hit. You’ve been able to weather the last year, but now, you’re wondering if moving to a long-term care facility is a good idea after all. It’s normal to have trepidations about long-term care with COVID-19 in the news, but with the current pandemic subsiding there is no reason to shy away from this important resource. Certified Homecare Consulting suggests what you need to do so you can make smart caregiving decisions for your senior.
The current crisis shouldn’t scare families away from long-term care services, but you may want to keep your loved one at home for the time being. Families can hire home care aides starting around $16 an hour. Keep in mind, however, that home care aides can only provide personal care and not medical treatment. Seniors who require medical care at home will need to pay for home-based skilled nursing.
If your loved one is living in your home with Alzheimer’s, you’ll want to take extra precautions. Window and door alarms can prevent wandering, but if they do get out, you’ll want to invest in a GPS tracking device. You may also want to install a fence around your property. Homeowners spend $4,500 on average to add a fence, but costs will depend on the materials you use and size of your property. Be sure that any fencing contractor you work with is licensed and insured and aware of utility lines.
Families who lack the income to pay for their own expenses and a loved one’s care should look to other assets to finance long-term care. While some seniors qualify for assistance through Medicaid or veteran’s benefits, those who don’t may need to sell their home to pay for long-term care. Before going this route, research local home prices to understand the current housing market. If home prices are temporarily depressed, it may be worth waiting until the market rebounds to sell.
If your loved one is moving to senior living, thoroughly prepare them for their move. With ample time at home, families can dive deep into researching long-term care residences with high ratings and a reputation for exceptional patient care.
This is also a good time to screen moving companies, empty storage units, and sell unwanted items to private buyers or consignment stores. Keep in mind that the transition to long-term care isn’t over when moving day ends. To help seniors feel at home, families should consider ways they can personalize the senior living space and help a senior maintain their routines.
Whether at home or in a long-term care facility, basic safety precautions go a long way to keeping senior loved ones safe. Families should always wash their hands before visiting a senior relative and avoid visits when they or someone in their household is ill. Even if family members live far away, they should make an effort to stay in regular contact with senior loved ones — although that may mean relying on the telephone and video chat. Mental health is just as important as physical health for older adults, and families play an integral role in senior well-being, both in long-term care facilities and at home.
Long-term care is a fantastic resource for seniors and their families. By finding a care facility that will put your loved one’s well-being first and taking steps to support your senior relative, you’ll plan a move that everyone feels good about.