In 2015, it was the first time nationally that more money was spent on home care than nursing home care. We’ve seen a cultural and financial shift toward home and community-based care. Home care is growing 7 times faster than the rest of the economy. We are seeing an even bigger shift to home care with the COVID pandemic.
If you’ve assumed the role of primary caregiver for a loved one, it’s very important you begin organizing a caregiver support team as soon as possible. The more you learn now the better off you will be. Waiting until you are overwhelmed and making multiple decisions isn’t the ideal way to manage this situation. Having a plan before you need it will give you much relief. Understanding and having knowledge of the available resources and options will help you navigate much more smoothly. Being prepared will also take a lot of stress off you. Knowing you are prepared with knowledge is priceless.
Even though many families take great joy in providing care to their loved ones so that they can remain at home, the physical, emotional and financial consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support and a team approach.
Start a notebook or spreadsheet with all the information you gather such as resources, contact information, financial information, benefit policy information, lists of neighbors, friends, family, healthcare providers. Having all the information in one place can be a life saver.
Here are some recommended options
-Other family members– it’s critical to let other family members know they need to be involved as well. Avoid limiting any potential resources or judgments. Start here and let ideas become plans.
-Close friends and neighbors -allow close friends and neighbors to know and understand what you and your loved one is facing. Let them know what you need should they want to help. If they are actively involved in any way now, chances are they will play a part. Help can be as simple as picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy they pass every day to taking over a meal once a week.
-Health Care Team-ask your loved one’s family doctor about additional resources available such as home health, social workers, case workers, physical therapy, case manager.
-Home Health-provides visits to assess clinical issues and needs.
–Home Care Service– provides companionship, house cleaning, preparing meals, grooming, dressing, transportation, daily activities.
–Local resources– Senior Centers are community centers where older adults can congregate to fulfill many of their social, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. Most of these are locally funded, though some may receive state and federal money.
-Financial Resources-review financial resources with your family member. Do they have a long term care policy that covers home care or are they a veteran? Be sure to contact Veteran Affairs about home care if your loved one is a veteran.
Most care is individual specific. Caregiving will never be a one size fits all. Finding the right balance is essential. This can often be a moving target as your loved one’s health improves or declines. Use your resources and always ask questions when it seems you’ve hit a dead end. Help is out there!
The beauty of home care is the wide range of services that can be provided while your loved one remains in the comfort of their home. Home care
options are growing at a fast pace. This is good news since data shows the
majority of us prefer home care over staying in the hospital.
We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts
If you have comments or questions about our blog on team approach caregiving, we’d love to hear from you.