Over the years, our collective opinion on how to manage later life issues has changed dramatically, from elderly parents living with their children’s families, to near-abandonment in nursing homes, to living fuller, longer lives and aging in place at home. What hasn’t changed, however, is the difficulty in determining when it’s time to get help for yourself or a loved one. In addition to the emotional aspects of making the decision, there are financial and logistical considerations – not to mention dealing with insurance.
The Association of American American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers several suggestions for deciding next steps when you or a loved one can no longer perform daily activities alone.
The first option is in-home health care, when a professional caregiver comes into the home to provide the services needed, whether helping with everyday tasks, or providing 24-hour care. Trained, professional in-home aides can be hired through an agency; they may also be hired independently through online ads, or personal recommendations. If hiring independently, be sure to verify the aide’s credentials and perform a background check, to ensure safety. The Family Caregiver Alliance provides a thorough guide to hiring in-home help on their website.
Assisted living facilities offer staff to help those who need assistance during the day, but who are able, for the most part, to function independently. Assistance is provided as needed, and is task-specific. This is an ideal situation for an elderly adult who may need help with bathing or cooking, but can perform most daily chores on their own. Typically, assisted living facilities require patients have a certain degree of mobility.
Nursing homes offer both short-term care, for those with rehabilitative needs, and long-term care for chronic conditions. Nursing homes are staffed to provide for daily medical needs and can accommodate patients who spend most or all of their time in a bed or a wheelchair. With more comprehensive facilities, larger staff numbers, and medical supplies and modalities, nursing homes are well-equipped to manage more severe conditions.
Finally, adult day care programs provide a flexible alternative for those who need assistance or monitoring during the day. This type of program offers care and socialization for the elderly, and a break to family caregivers. Depending on the program, adult day care centers provide social activities, meals and certain health-related services.
Symbius Medical can assist you with all your home healthcare supply needs and have them shipped or delivered directly to your door. Our customer service department is available to answer your questions and we will even take care of processing your insurance claim with your primary or secondary insurance provider.