In Home and Respite Care
A Good Idea But . .
I was a caregiver for four years - although it began earlier because my husband was making questionable decisions and choices.
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Some people with dementia are mellow and go along with the plan. Dan was not - he was a strong, determined man who seldom acknowledged a health problem and was resistant to every idea we had to help him.
Because I was doing most of the care and I knew he would never agree to attend an adult day care program, I tried to get in-home respite care. The trick was convincing him to allow a “stranger” in his home.
At first, I thought if I made friends with someone or he made friends with someone - it would allow that person to keep an eye on him and let me get away for a certain amount of time a couple of days a week. But that didn’t work.
This Aging Care Website offered helpful ideas regarding in-home care. I contacted three agencies.
Agency 1 - The price was affordable, but they wanted the provider to come to the home at least 4 hours a day, three days a week. That was too much time.
Agency 2 - The price and timeframe were manageable, but the care provider was unreliable.
Agency 3 - The price, time, and perfect care provider were workable, but circumstances beyond my control sabotaged the effort.
So, I decided to do it myself with the help of my family. This plan worked relatively well until the pandemic changed everything. No one could come in, we couldn’t go out, and I couldn’t care for him alone. So, we had to find out-of-home care.
However, if it came to that point, I would be willing to explore in-home care. I don’t want to burden my children by living with them, and I don’t want to live in a facility. That means finding the right match and accepting that I need that level of help.
As we make those types of decisions, here is information to consider.
Advantages of In-home Care
Aging in place - People are most comfortable in an environment they know. The idea of losing control is a strong negative, and the thought of an “institution” is not comforting to most seniors, even temporarily.
An affordable option -According to the National Association of Home Care, care costs around $554 a day at a skilled nursing facility if insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid doesn’t cover it. Independent living facilities are often expensive, and those costs increase as more care is required.
Skilled care as needed-Remaining at home doesn't mean that professional care is not available. Care providers can treat many medical conditions in the home with deliveries and other methods.
Disadvantages of In-home Care
24/7 monitoring is costly - Sometimes, more medical intervention is needed for someone’s safety and continued good health than in a remote setting.
Cost of highly skilled workers - A home care services agency will have competent staff for the services they provide, but most need to be highly trained medical caregivers. Those, such as licensed practical nurses, therapists, or home health aides, can be hired, but doing so can be costly and negate the fiscal advantages of staying home vs. moving to a care facility.
Navigating Medicare and Insurance - choosing to receive care at home can also run into problems with Medicare and other insurance requirements. They may not cover or only partially cover in-home care services that they cover in an assisted living or rehab facility,
We need to learn all we can about our options and make the best decision for our loved ones and us. You may find those AgingCare articles informative.
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