Waiting too LongAs a healthcare provider for thirty-five years and as a care manager for my own parents, I’ve noticed a very common theme with clients in need of care at home. They waited too long; often because they did not want to spend the money or because they did not acknowledge they required the help until it was too late.
A typical scenario is being thrown into a situation for which you are not prepared. A loved one is hospitalized following a fall at home. You are told they cannot return home unless they have rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility stay, or care at home. Of course, you want what is best for your loved one.
Paying for Private Health Care’s ‘High Dollar’
If you are fortunate enough to have a loved one who is financially stable and readily accepts help, or you have insurance which can help cover even some of the cost of care, you are in luck. But how many of our clients, especially seniors, are financially prepared to pay out-of-pocket expenses? Very few. If the patient qualifies for therapies, you are looking at a short stay (maybe 20 days) in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility following a hospitalization covered under Medicare. Paying privately, you are looking at an average of $6,000/month for care in San Diego, and even more if the client wants a private room.
As a healthcare provider for thirty-five years and as a care manager for my own parents, I’ve noticed a very common theme with clients in need of care at home. They waited too long; often because they did not want to spend the money or because they did not acknowledge they required the help until it was too late.
Learn From Mistakes
How could you have avoided these expenses and this stress in the first place? You now realize you cannot do anything about past mistakes. However, the old saying stands out clearly – an ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold. Hiring some private help in the home could have prevented the fall. An assessment of the home environment by a professional could have pointed out what the layperson did not see. Now, you can ask yourself the following questions: Does the home have dangerous throw rugs and cords? Are the bathrooms lacking grab bars? Are they missing their medical appointments? Does the refrigerator look like it has not been replenished with nutritious food? Has their gait changed and they now require a ramp to safely get in and out of their home? Are they just trying to do too much themselves? And most of all, are you, as the current caregiver, trying to hold down a full time job, manage your own family needs and now juggling the care of your loved ones, too? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, it is probably time to consider hiring some professional help. It does not have to be a lot – sometimes a non-medical caregiver a couple of times a week is all that is needed. A caregiver can be the professional “eye” to keep check on what is going on in the home. They may see things that you miss because you are so emotionally attached.
It can be difficult to accept help
Gradually getting used to the idea, rather than being thrown into it without proper financial or emotional preparation, can have disastrous results. Take the time to interview a Professional Caregiver, allowing the family to have a say in the matter. The person(s) in need of the care already feels they have lost control, so allowing them to participate in the hiring process will help them accept their situation and often become more compliant in their care routine.
Hiring someone through a reputable home care company is very important as it avoids the unknowns that come with hiring someone “off the street”. Caregivers should be criminally screened, drug-tested, and have a minimum of two years experience.
So many seniors become ever so isolated that once a caregiver arrives, it can put them on the path towards improvement and avoid further detriment to both their physical and mental health. Many improve significantly over time and avoid accidents or unwanted hospitalizations by planning ahead.Most of all, it will give you some peace of mind.