You, the adult child, will be delegated the task of answering the
"what to do next" question. At this point most people will find
themselves overwhelmed at the information they will need to process
to answer the "what's next" question.
You can chose to undertake the task on you own if you have the time
and patience, or simply hire a Professional Geriatrics Care Manager
to do the research and provide recommendations. A Professional
Geriatrics Care Manager will cost $75-$100 per hour but are well
worth the expense. The care manager will provide you with scenarios
both short term and long term to choose from hopefully preventing
future injuries, major or minor.
If you choose to undertake this
task on your own, you will need to understand the appropriate level
of care to fix the problem today, and what will be needed in the
It may be as simple as hiring an in-home non-medical care agency to
help with the activities of daily living (ADL's) such as bathing,
transferring, feeding, toileting, dressing and continence care.
These agencies can also help with transportation, laundry, house
keeping, meal prep, medication management and much more.
If your situation is more complex requiring medical attention
such as wound care, therapist, IV therapy, or respiratory therapy
you will need to connect with a visiting nurse association or a
medical in-home care provider.
If appropriate, hospice care may be the next step. Hospice care
is widely misunderstood and should be considered. Hospice services
are available either in home or within a facility. Hospice employs
an inter-disciplinary team approach to provide comfort and support
to all members of the family. They also can reduce the financial
burden by providing medications and medical equipment.
To complicate the "what's next" question, you will need to learn
what Medicare will pay for and what expenses will be private pay. On
top of that you may need to consider a combination of these
Next you will need to learn and understand the various living
arrangements and what will be appropriate.
There are two types of independent living arrangement. The most
common choice is the present home setting. You will need to identify
your loved ones limitations. This may require professional help such
as a physical or occupational therapist. Once you have an
understanding of the limitation you will need to make the
appropriate accommodations to make the home safe. The second option
for independent living is a retirement community. The retirement
community often provides social activities such as bus trips,
picnics, and get togethers.
There are various forms of living arrangements that provide
assistance. There are many acronyms for the levels of care required
such as CBRF, RCAC, and adult homes. I would advise you to research
each carefully to understand which level is appropriate for the
immediate needs and future needs. Once you have decided on the
appropriate setting, then the selection process takes place. I
advise families to make an unannounced visit to the facility to
observe with your sight and smell. The best time to visit is at
mealtime. This is the busiest time of the day for the aides, and you
can observe the meals that are prepared. Then request a meeting with
the administrator and also request a copy of the most recent state
inspection report. Studying and comparing state inspection reports
will provide an insight and raise questions. Then there are various
pricing plans to consider.
The final living arrangement to consider is skilled nursing. I
advise following the same steps as mentioned above when deciding
which facility to choose. With skilled nursing facilities you can
compare various facilities on line by using the Medicare website.
The service is free and can save you a lot of unnecessary leg-
Now that you have a road map to follow, the next step is finding all
this information. I suggest you contact your local county aging
services or your local Area Agency on Aging. They will send you a
packet with all the
information needed. This is where the work
About the Author:
Denis L Ashauer, Certified Senior Advisor and President of Home
Helpers. Home Helpers is the leading provider for in-home
non-medical care. Visit Home Helpers at
our blog site at
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