Coordination of Home Care Services:
Many programs and services are available that may make it possible for an older person to remain living independently in their own home. Some of these services are as follows:
Home Health Care
These agencies employ nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and aides to provide personal care assistance in areas ranging from catheter care and dressing changes to assistance with medication and bathing.. Costs may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap and Long Term Care Insurance.
Respite care provides relief to caregivers who have the responsibility of caring for an aging (60+) family member at home. Respite care can be provided either at home or in a residential facility for a period of up to 6 weeks. Short term respite is also available for those who need relief for just a few hours on a given day. If you are a caregiver, do yourself a favor and investigate these programs. It can be the difference between having a chance to go on that vacation you have been putting off, taking care of your own medical needs or simply getting some much needed rest and relaxation– so that you can continue to be a good caregiver.
Day care programs provide a variety of services including recreational and social activities, meals, personal care, physical/occupational therapy and counseling. Some programs specialize in caring for frail, older adults in need of supervision, such as those with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. Some are designed for those who have physical limitations. Many programs provide transportation. In some states, persons with lower incomes may be eligible for partial or full reimbursement by Medicaid or Social Services. Most long term care policies cover Day Care.
Companion Programs assist with housekeeping and laundry, meal preparation, chores and transportation to appointments. In most cases these services are not covered by insurance. Local social service agencies often provide homemaker services on a sliding fee scale.
Many people choose to hire a private duty nurse or aide or companion. Good caregivers can be found in every community by word of mouth, church bulletins and advertising. Be careful with this process, however. Without the “agency oversight” there is no recourse, no quality assurance and no coverage if the private aide does not show up for their scheduled time.
Home Delivered Meals/Meals On Wheels
Meals can be delivered to those who are unable to cook for themselves. Meals are usually delivered by a volunteer once or twice daily, Monday through Friday. Kosher meals may be available. A nominal fee may be required, usually based on the ability to pay.
Emergency Response System
A device can be worn by the older adult which makes it possible to “ring” for help simply by pressing a bracelet or necklace pendant. When triggered, a message is sent to a response station that immediately phones the older adult. If there is no answer, there is are specific contacts (family, friends, neighbors) that the response station will contact to alert of the problem. If there is still no answer, an ambulance is immediately sent to the person’s home.