Home represents familiarity, privacy, an ability to remain self -sufficient and comfort. One of the most difficult decisions for someone to make is to determine if an elderly loved one should remain at home or not. An elder care coordinator (ECC) is a professional who specializes in doing a thorough assessment to determine if the elder can mentally and physically remain in the home safely. There are many options to assist in keeping a loved one at home and the purpose of this article is to explain the basic options.
Private duty care at home can range from non- medical care (companions) to medical care (nurses at home assisting with medication, wound care and feeding tubes). The prices vary from company to company and also on level of care.
There is also visiting nurses which is covered by insurance if you qualify and have a doctor’s order. These services can be any of the following: home health aide, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and all are seen by a nurse. These are normally for a specific time frame due to insurance standards and may last 2 weeks -2 months. The elder must also be considered home bound under Medicare guidelines, accept the care and be considered safe at home for the services to start and continue.
Hospice can be provided at home, again with a physician’s order and also the elder must qualify under hospice guidelines. The elder does not need to be actively dying for Hospice to start but must have a caregiver at home besides the hospice team, which can be a family member or private services. The services provided are: nurse, physician, social worker, home health aide, clergy, volunteers and counselors. This is normally not a long term resource but can definitely offer support at home for the elder and also for the loved ones.
Adult Day Care
Adult Day Care is also an option to assist with staying home, especially if the loved on is living with a working child. Adult day care can be 2-6 days a week. Most provide transportation and meals. All provide activities and outings. There are social and medical centers; the medical centers will provide medication and therapy as needed.
There are many things that can be done in the home to help. Emergency response buttons can be installed, identification bracelets can be purchased, meals on wheels can provide food, home adaptations can be made (stair glides, ramps, bars in the bathrooms, and hand rails in doorways) durable medical equipment can be provided (hospital beds, bed side tables, wheel chairs, walkers, canes) some covered by insurance and some for private pay purchase.
The most important thing about keeping a loved one at home is to make sure they are safe. If you have the resources and ability to stay home, it is normally the best and least invasive option for the elder.