Keeping Your Elderly Parents in the Home Safely and Affordably
If you are responsible for the care of an elderly parent, chances are you want to keep your loved one at home because you believe that is where he or she will be the happiest and the most comfortable. You are not alone.
Countless studies show that the elderly do much better—physically and mentally—when they are allowed to remain in their homes as long as possible. This includes individuals who need only a little bit of extra help around the house to those needing a high level of medical care and everything in between.
The fact that people fare better in their own homes comes as no surprise. According to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures, almost 90 percent of individuals over the age of 65 say they want to stay in their home as long as possible and 80 percent believe they will stay in their home until they die. In light of these facts, it isn’t hard to understand why leaving their home can be so devastating for the elderly.
Unfortunately, when faced with the prospect of keeping their loved one at home, many adult children are gripped by the fear of the unknown and the desire to make sure that they are doing all that they can for their aging parent. For example, if a loved one has any health problems—even minor ones—many families’ first instinct is to move that loved one into a nursing home or assisted living center rather than keeping them at home and looking for other avenues of care. This is especially troubling since the stress of leaving their home can accelerate health problems in the elderly.
Also high on the list of unknowns is how a family will pay for the care necessary to keep their loved one at home. Unfortunately, many people fail to really look into the costs of in home health care services before deciding that it would be too expensive or that they will have to commit to paying for several hours of care each week. In reality, any reputable in home health care provider will work with families to make sure that a loved one’s needs are met in the most cost-efficient manner possible. Further, they would never urge a family to sign up for services they don’t want or need.
Many families also are surprised to learn that, according to the National Institute on Aging, many in home care services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. Even if the services are not covered, there is a very good chance that paying for these services out-of-pocket could cost less in the long run than moving a loved one into an independent living, assisted living or long-term care facility.
There are a number of options when it comes to hiring an in home health care provider. The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what your loved one needs in terms of assistance. These needs can be broken up in to four major categories although there is often some degree of overlap.
- Emotional Care: This type of care is designed to combat loneliness and isolation. Companionship, enjoyable activities and conversation are provided.
- Health Care: Medication management, therapy and other types of skilled nursing and medical care are included in this category.
- Household Care: Assistance with cooking, cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping.
- Personal Care: Help bathing, dressing and other aspects of personal hygiene.
It’s only natural that your aging parent wants to stay at home as he or she gets older. It also is natural that you want to respect your loved one’s wishes. Thankfully, there are several options for keeping an aging parent at home safely and affordably. The key to making it work is to closely examine your situation, your budget and everyone’s wishes, and then finding the best in home health care provider available.
If we can be of assistance as you consider your in home health care options in Omaha, please give us a call. 402-331-2273