As long as there have been hills, there has been aging. With that aging comes adjustments, some large some small. The ones most affected, of course, are the ones aging – our seniors. The elderly are expected to age gracefully as the sun sets on those same said hills. Elderly loss can be oh so painful. The question is how we can help our senior loved ones in Queens deal with all the challenges they face so their declining years are as pleasant and fulfilling as possible.
Loss in the Elderly
Loss seems to be de rigueur for the elderly. Their losses include diminished stamina, mobility, cognition, and the all-important self-sufficiency to name a few. These losses are not only devastating to the senior, but to the family who have spent a lifetime relying on them. These loved ones must now prepare to usher in a new era of increased self-reliance as well as make plans for a future that may very well include outside care for their elderly family member.
A 2013 New York Times article, “Aging and the Art of Losing” is still quite poignant. Dr. Ariel Green, a geriatrician, details all elderly loss. Sadly, this population experiences loss on many levels. Loss ranges from the loss of weight to the loss of loved ones. Other losses include the loss of bodily functions, the loss of memory and cognitive ability, the loss of independence. They even experience the loss of self. In this article, Dr. Green laments how he feels helpless and sad for all the elderly must bear.
What Comes Next in Terms of Homecare?
Families are often overwhelmed at the prospect of finding the right type and amount of care to initiate as their parent or elderly loved one begins to wane. They want to make sure their loved one is safe and well cared for, but they do not want to impinge on their territory. Moreover, if they hire too much care, the senior will reject it out of hand. Furthermore, it goes without saying that a caregiver must provide a safe environment with no hint of neglect or abuse.
A good thing to do is to start a list of the various tasks the senior needs help with. Get as detailed as you like. Don’t be afraid to include any and all areas from making breakfast to washing hair to playing cards to escorting them to the fruit store to pick their own produce. Soon, a picture will emerge as to what exactly you need. The Family Caregiver Alliance suggests actually writing a job description. In that description, you can also insert the non-tangibles you seek in a caregiver. For example, your loved one may want someone more extroverted for company or just the opposite, someone capable, but not too talkative because they value quiet time. With all that prep, you can begin your search in earnest.
In the Wall Street Journal article Hiring a Caregiver Can Be Daunting, Clare Ansberry writes that the AARP suggests beginning your search with the local Area Agency on Aging. They can provide resources in terms of meals and housekeeping. Next stop can be geriatric care managers who are social workers who deal with elderly issues. You can hire them for as little or as long as you need and can afford. They take on both short term and on-going cases.
Homecare Agencies Might Be the Ticket
After that or concurrently, you can contact a homecare agency. They can tell you if you need a companion or a higher skilled home health aide. What is nice about an agency is your service can increase gradually as your family requires. Also, they take care of all the vetting and bookkeeping for you to make the process as smooth and stress free as possible.
You may also decide to go it alone for these services. In that case, you have total control. However, it also means that you will have to check all certifications and references, including background checks, on your own. Also, you will need to have backup plans in place should a caregiver not be able to come one day. Your family will need to make the calculation. Agencies charge more than if you handle it privately. Each family will need to decide if it is worth it.
If you decide an agency is an avenue you would like to pursue, please check out our guide on the questions you should ask when hiring a home healthcare agency. It should be a good framework to use as you begin your quest. We have lots of other free downloads that can help your family as well.
Of course, how to pay for home healthcare is a huge issue. It is beyond the scope of this post, but we have written extensively about it in other posts. You may want to check out our tips on buying long term care insurance. Also, these posts may help you: Paying for Home Healthcare: 5 Options, Funding Home Healthcare with Long-Term Care Insurance, and Paying for Home Care
David York Agency Homecare Can Help Seniors in Queens
At David York Agency, we understand the many challenges and risks faced by the aging and elderly and are dedicated to providing care to support them through all of those ups and down. At David York Home Healthcare Agency, extraordinary service is what sets us apart from other companies in Queens that provide in home healthcare services.
DYA we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. Whatever your care needs, we are there for you, always striving to exceed your expectations. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (718) 376-7755. A free phone consultation can help you determine what services would meet your needs. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.