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When a doctor admits your loved one to a hospital or facility it’s often a traumatic experience, whether you were expecting it or not. And, as a family caregiver, it’s unlikely that you’re thinking too far ahead. Just get through one day at a time, right? However, while a senior is still in the hospital or rehabilitation facility, it’s important to begin preparations for the time your loved one will return home. That’s because a smooth transition home is vital to a successful recovery. Preparation is your best strategy for avoiding the many pitfalls that can sabotage your senior’s health and well-being when he or she goes home. Therefore, the thought of organizing home care can never begin too early.
Even before you know how long a loved one might need to be in a hospital or facility, start working with medical professionals. Get the lay of the land, as they say. Early on, it’s important to ask questions –and lots of them – of key people caring for your older loved one. The questions and the answers you receive will help determine what that older adult will need at home and the schedule he or she must follow for a smooth transition. Some of the questions can be difficult to ask such as, “Will my loved one ever be the same?” But it will be vital to know the answers if that senior can expect the best possible outcome. Additional questions to ask are what is the prognosis? what is the likely outcome? can my loved one be home alone? If not, how much help will he or she need and for how long? and what type of equipment – and care – will the senior need at home? Once questions have been answered the process of establishing homecare can begin.
Home care should be arranged through an agency that requires its caregivers be screened, trained, bonded and insured, and undergo background checks. Services which can be provided on a flexible basis, generally include meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, personal care such as bathing, grooming and dressing, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, transportation, errands and shopping. If you can’t be there when a senior goes home from the hospital, an in-home personal caregiver also can help ensure your loved one transitions home safely.
Some families seem intimidated by the costs of home care. In reality, home care is one of the most affordable options, partly because of the flexibility of an hourly service. In fact, a survey conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network revealed that 22% of the network’s clients employ caregiver services for just four hours or less a week. About 20% employ them between four and eight hours a week. Furthermore, this research reveals that 49% of family caregivers overestimate the cost of in-home care on average by $6 an hour. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or resource to make the transition back into home a smooth one.
Home Instead Senior Care
North Bay, ON