Aging in place is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” The value of aging in place is recognized more now than ever before. There are many psycho/social benefits of the elderly remaining home for as long as possible. Furthermore, with institutional care being extremely costly, a home health aide at the appropriate time is the ideal solution.
Advantages of Aging In Place
In addition to aging with dignity and quality of life, factors such as moving during the frail senior years can prove to be fatally traumatic making it so important for seniors to stay in their homes, even through the difficulties that may bring. As important as it may be, it’s also tough to ensure that they have the care they need.
Caring for aging loved ones was never an easy prospect. However, in years gone by, families lived in multi-generational households and closer together. As such, they shared the burden of a sick or elderly loved one. Today, with families scattered, the responsibility for the details of care can be overwhelming. All this means that it’s easy for you to lose track of important needs – especially when you need to keep up with it all on a daily basis. That is where an agency can be of most benefit.
Lining Up Care
Unfortunately, there comes a point in most senior’s lives where they cannot manage all their basic needs alone. It varies for everyone depending on their state of health, both mentally and physically. A senior’s compromised mobility may make them unable to shop for and prepare meals for themselves. They may need help with basic grooming, dressing and toileting. Also, they may become forgetful to the degree that relatives are afraid to leave them on their own lest they forget something cooking on the stove. Also, they may become disoriented and wander away. Whatever the case may be, outside care might become necessary, but how do you go about lining that up?
Sometimes families choose to find help on their own. This can be a viable option, but becomes burdensome as time wears on. Properly screening and vetting candidates is not an easy proposition. It is more efficient to turn to professionals to do that. Licensed home healthcare agencies take painstaking care in checking references and for a criminal background before sending someone to your home. Agencies make sure all the aides meet all medical requirements. Furthermore, agencies are by the state compliance with all safety and operating protocols. If you have long term care insurance, Insurers require a licensed agency for reimbursement. You should be aware when choosing an agency to work with that some are fussier than others in their screening practices.
Working With A Homecare Agency
Depending on the agency, you can tap into the expertise of the home care specialists on staff. Many of of them have years of experience in the field and are up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations as well as best practices. Make sure the person you deal with is professional, caring and knowledgeable. They also must be flexible about replacing an aide if she is not a good fit for your loved one, you or the situation – no matter how frequently. The agency must work with your schedule and the amount of hours of service you require. Fees are usually by the hour for live out care and by the day for live in.
Establishing a relationship with a home healthcare agency opens up vistas to a host of services tailored to the elderly. You have access to a large pool of available aides when you need them all logistically arranged for by someone else. Several also have access to a network of professionals. These professionals include social workers, eldercare attorneys as well as elder proofing services for the home as you need them.
Anita Kamiel, R.N, M.P.S. is the founder and owner of David York Home Healthcare Agency and is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and the latest guidelines for seniors. Thirty years ago, she realized the need for affordable, quality home health aide services provided and supervised by caring individuals. You can contact her at 718.376.7755 or at www.davidyorkagency.com. David York Agency is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.