The human touch has a way of relieving pain and stress - physical and emotional. The elderly and ill get as much out of a personal home care visit as they do from yet another doctor's appointment. When age - and the illness that comes with it - slows my mum and dad down, I know I will need help.
Children know their obligations
I know what I owe my parents. But, for many reasons, I cannot always honour those obligations fully.
- I work throughout the day.
- I have my own family to take care of.
- Sometimes, I just need a break or vacation.
- I may have no siblings, or my sister Elizabeth settled in the States.
- Mum and Dad are financially comfortable and I would rather see this money dedicated to their care, they deserve this
Mum or dad need more home care than a neighbour who drops in for tea from time to time.
Solutions follow problem-solving
One thing I have been told is that I need to determine for sure whether or not my parent will benefit from help. I need to initiate a care assessment. Care-givers have several options - depending on the assessment results and patient decisions.
Personal care works
A Personal Care Assistant is employed by the ailing adult. The respective placement agency will help the employer/senior with an employer's duties like insurance, tax reporting, and payroll.
Independent home care agencies assumes the burden
- The care agency sends trained workers to provide care.
- The agency assumes the employer's tasks.
- The agency recruits, trains, and thoroughly vets the care provider.
- The agency deals with any concerns or complaints to do with the worker.
- The agency finds new staff when a staff member moves on.
Some problems are big and some small; somehow I have inherited them all
- Home care means bathing, dressing, meals and medication.
- Care may mean little more than help with shopping or sitting, reading, and talking with the person.
- Agencies provide carers to accompany the aging adult to a pub, cinema, or senior event.
- They offer cleaning, cooking, and laundry support around the house.
One thing I have found is what a need there is for qualified carers. What they need in terms of education depends on the duties they assume.
- Care Co-ordinators - usually a registered nurse - monitor the person's wellbeing and condition and evaluates how they are caring for themselves.
- Providers who do housework or personal chores have no formal qualifications, but references should be checked for security's sake.
- Those who assist with personal care and hygiene need training, usually a Certificate III level.
- Carers can assist with medications, but administration of injections or intravenous care requires a registered nurse.
- Some care comes in the form of teams with a registered nurse visiting for more complex medical support and a carer providing other needs.
I am simply doing the math, you might say. At my age of 46 - with mum and dad in their mid-70s, I need a plan. We have talked about their wishes, a good start. Mum has early stage Alzheimer's, so we can prepare a bit of a calendar for her needs.
They have both been very independent in their lives, so any commitment to a having care at home will take time. But, the more I educate myself to their needs and the possible cost the more they seem to understand what has to be. Securing their early acceptance of their future and letting them participate should make the stress and emotional strain easier for me to manage.