As much as we want our parents or loved seniors to have a safe, comfortable and self-sufficient lifestyle, reality often speaks otherwise, particularly when our loved seniors become incapacitated. This is when the elder care services come into the picture. While considering elder care services as an option, it’s equally important to understand the type of services best suited for your loved ones (elders).
a) Living Arrangements
Where elders reside is important in order to ensure their wellbeing. It’s important that this is discussed with them before deciding what is best. Among the most common types of living arrangements include:
i) Assistance At Their Own Homes
Reserved for seniors who choose to stay at home but require several adjustments through home support from either their family members or professional caregivers.
ii) Assisted Living Communities
Seniors who relatively independent may need some assistance and caregiving with their daily activities in these communities. Amenities such as social activities, exercise, laundry and housekeeping services are usually included.
iii) Nursing Homes
This may tie in with (ii) but these are usually reserved for seniors who are experiencing chronic conditions or require rehabilitative care, with medical surveillance from nurses and caregivers.
b) Type of Care Service
Most elderly care services come in two forms, either in full-service or independent agencies.
Full-service agencies, refers to licensed businesses employing caregivers. They can offer medical or non-medical treatment, and various amounts of care services for the elderly’s needs. These same agencies will often have professional employees that have pre-screened background checks about their qualifications for the job. Since the caregiver works for the agency, the agency itself take care of billing and tax matters, although hiring this same caregiver is still costly in itself. Also, if a caregiver quits, or is deemed unsuitable for the client’s needs or in some cases may have caused harm to the client, the agency will provide coverage for the client, or may even put a replacement altogether.
Independent caregivers on the other hand are employed directly by the client without an existing intermediary entity. The qualification of the caregiver will have to be confirmed properly before assigning them to the appropriate service. Clients that employ these kinds of caregivers must take full employer responsibility or use a third-party payroll management service. Taking this option saves costs, though in the event of the caregiver’s absence or termination, you will also have to procure a replacement by yourself.
Credibility of the centre or facility is perhaps the most significant factor to consider making a decision. To ensure that you get the best treatment for your elders, you need to do background checks on these services, either by reviewing previous client testimonies, and checking if the centre possesses valid permits/certificates to operate the business. It is also important to determine the qualifications of the principal operator/owner to determine their commitment levels to the service. This would give an idea on the quality of services rendered.
In a nutshell, entrusting strangers to care for your elders can be challenging, regardless if you are contacting a home care provider or operating with an organization, but doing some basic research on the matter can alleviate both your concerns and that of the senior, in order for them to live comfortably.