Heating And Energy Assistance
The federal government makes funds available to the states to help low income seniors pay for a portion of their winter heating and summer cooling costs. Although this is a federal program, it is supervised at the state level, and usually administered at the county or local level.The income limit for receiving energy assistance varies from state to state, based on state median income and the federal poverty level,and also depends upon your family size.
Contact your state agency on aging listed below for information about how to apply for this program.
Ease Demand On Caregivers
The majority of caregivers spend upwards of 18 hours a week on caregiving-related tasks, according to an AARP report, “Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.”
But as previously discussed, most caregivers are also juggling other responsibilities — from the professional to the personal. Unfortunately, keeping up with these physical and emotional demands can trigger caregiver burnout. The support provided by in-home care can be a vital safety net and defense against burnout.
What Expectations Should I Set For The Caregiver
The exact expectations you need to set will depend on the clients specific needs. But, in any situation, seniors and their families can benefit from being very clear from the start about the types of care they need and their expectations for their relationship with their in-home caregiver.
Put Your Needs in Writing
Setting expectations for your in-home caregiver actually begins before you even hire them. When people decide its time for in-home care, most are already thinking about what tasks and types of assistance theyll want the caregiver to provide. Write this information down as it comes to you, even if you havent started interviewing in-home care providers. This will help you narrow your search down to providers who offer all of the care youre looking for and will make the acclimation process smoother once care does begin.
Provide a Detailed Job Description
One mistake people tend to make when hiring an aide is to simply tell them that their job is to take care of Dad or Mom. But, this open-ended explanation can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between the client and caregiver. Its best to provide a detailed job description. Do you expect the aide to cook? Clean? Do laundry? Pick up medications from the pharmacy and run errands? Will the caregiver bring their own lunch or cook and eat with your loved ones? Make your expectations clear. If you put all these details in writing, you wont run the risk of disappointment once youve hired your aide.
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Ownership Pipelines For Caregivers Will Become More Common
Elevating the caregiver has been a long-standing idea in personal home care. The idea is that, if caregivers see a clear path to career advancement, they will be more likely to want to stick with a company long term.
The lack of career pathways within direct care jobs and from direct care into other fields prevents direct care workers from assuming new roles with elevated titles and higher compensation, New York-based advocacy organization PHI wrote in a report. This scarcity of career paths also affects retention.
One of the ways home care companies have been creating a path forward for caregivers is through initiatives like Nurse Next Doors front line to franchisee program. The program aims to eliminate barriers for caregivers who are trying to become franchisees.
The program helps to support the idea of caregiving as a long-term career by breaking down one of the biggest barriers to ownership, which is startup costs, Michelle Greer, agency director at Nurse Next Door of Raleigh, North Carolina, said last month during HHCNs Franchise Forum event.
While not solely focused on caregivers, HomeWell Care Services also made moves to get rid of the initial franchise fee for new owners for 2022.
At a time when providers are looking to strengthen their retention efforts, prioritizing career advancement will be crucial. Providing leadership and ownership opportunities is a way to do that.
In Home Care: How Comfort Keepers Can Help
Comfort Keepers develops custom care plans that include physical safety and wellbeing, emotional health, and socialization. Our goal is to help our clients have the best quality of life while maintaining their independence at home. Our senior home care plans are unique for each family and every home.
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How To Hire Elderly Care Option #: Use An Agency
One of the most common ways to hire elderly care is through a staffing agency.
Home healthcare agencies provide seniors with medical needs assistance to find and hire home health care workers who work for the agency.
State and federal laws regulate these agencies, so you may be able to receive some financial assistance for these programs.
Challenges That Arise When Using an Agency to Find In-Home Caregivers for the Elderly
This may seem like a convenient method. But because you do not have to hire the help yourself, it often comes with many cons, including:
- Cost Choosing home care for seniors through an agency can cost substantially more than if you were to hire home health without the assistance of an agency, or by choosing other elderly care options like assisted living or skilled nursing facilities.
- Limited choices When working with a home health agency, the agency chooses who your caregivers are. They may change regularly, meaning building trusting relationships with the caregiver can be difficult and often stressful for the person receiving care. No one enjoys having a stranger in their home.
- Full-time care may be necessary Many agencies do not allow part-time care schedules. If you only needs minimal care for certain hours of the day, an agency may not be able to assist you in finding care.
Enlist Helpers Early On
Caregiving is a huge responsibility and gets increasingly harder as your parents age even more since their needs grow proportionally as time goes by. Waiting until a crisis happens makes it difficult to figure out what exactly is needed, how frequently, whos best at providing it, etc.
Get the entire immediate family involved. Whether its providing respite care on scheduled days or times of the year, contributing to a general fund to support professional in-home care providers as needed, or someone to come to clean the house, it should be a team effort. Youll wear yourself out if you take it all on solo.
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Take Care Of Yourself**
This ties into the airplane axiom of putting your own oxygen mask on before attending to others masks you simply cant take care of anyone if you are incapacited yourself.
Find ways to nourish your body and your spirit so you have the energy, stamina, and resources to be a caregiver.
Sure, its great to get a massage or head to the gym for an hour or two, but those options arent practical for many caregivers. The Harvard.edu Self-care for the Caregiver has five simple tips that are actionable wherever you may find yourself.
Aging In Place: Growing Older At Home
On this page:
The stairs are getting so hard to climb.
“Since my wife died, I just open a can of soup for dinner.
“I’ve lived here 40 years. No other place will seem like home.
These are common issues for older people. You may share the often-heard wish “I want to stay in my own home!” The good news is that with the right help you might be able to do just that. Staying in your own home as you get older is called “aging in place.” This article contains suggestions to help you find the help you need to continue to live independently.
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Get Help With Caregiving
Even though it might seem like finding caregiving help takes too much time and effort, remember that its an investment that will pay off in the future.
Finding help takes patience, effort, and creative thinking, but it will be worth it when youre able to decrease your workload, reduce stress, and take regular breaks.
To help you spot more opportunities for getting help, keep an open mind and be flexible.
And be sure to use the list of needs you wrote down to remind you of the types of help you need.
- Enroll your older adult in an adult day program socialization and care for them, much-needed rest for you
- Hire in-home caregiving help to get regular breaks
- Find a volunteer senior companion program in your area
- Use a respite care service to get a longer break
- Sign up for a meal delivery service or Meals on Wheels to reduce the number of meals you need to make
- Ask family or close friends to help run errands, do some light housekeeping, or prepare some meals
- Buy caregiving and household supplies in bulk or better yet, order online for home delivery. Basically, eliminate as many errands as possible to save time and energy.
What Do I Do If My Parents Dont Think They Need Help But They Do
Take your time, be patient, and remain persistent. Aging can be frightening, and parents can often become stubborn and frustrated because they feel helpless.
Focus on the positives that come with getting help and provide them with as many care options as possible. Be sure to approach the conversation in a way that lets the senior feel like they have choices, and their input is valued.
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How Do I Find An In
When starting the process of finding in-home help for a loved one, doing some homework on your candidates will help ensure that you hire a trustworthy and reliable aide. You can start your search using Caring.coms extensive directory.
Caring.com offers a comprehensive directory of both and home health agencies. You can search the directory to find local agencies and read consumer reviews about their quality of care. You can also work with one of Caring.coms trained Family Advisors for personal, one-on-one assistance finding an in-home caregiver. Family Advisors can be reached by calling 973-1540.
Learn More About National Home Care Chains
Many local home care providers are affiliated with national chains. Learn more about these home care chains including the services they provide, their history, and what customers are saying about their local providers.
Evaluating Senior Care Options
Senior care cost/benefit comparisons can go beyond the bottom-line dollar amount. Consider what service features will likely enhance your loved ones life. Your evaluation may include factors like:
Location | Care Type | Amount of Daily Care | Personal Space | Personalized Care Plans | Overall Experience
Senior Care Cost Comparison
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Tips For Promoting Better Sleep
It’s also possible for caregivers to promote better sleep by promoting certain lifestyle changes, including the following:
- Seek out opportunities for daytime exposure to light
- Both in the form of natural light as well as through specialized light boxes
- Limit products containing caffeine, which can lead to sleeplessness
- Limit alcohol, which can trigger anxiety and confusion
- Schedule medications that have a stimulating effect in the morning and those that cause drowsiness in the evenings
- Most doctors do not recommend sleeping pills as they can increase the risk of trips and falls
- Encourage walks and other forms of physical activity
- Restrict daytime sleep by limiting naps and limiting them to earlier in the day
- Additionally, avoid napping in bed
- Establish a regular routine for sleeping and waking, including setting up a comfortable sleep “zone”
In addition to helping people with Alzheimer’s sleep better at night, these techniques can also be useful in preventing sundowning symptoms experienced in the late afternoon and early evening.
How To Pay For Home Care
Figuring out how to pay for senior care is important, especially if your loved one will need ongoing care. It can also be confusing if this is your first time navigating senior care. The chart below explains a little bit about the common ways seniors and families pay for home care.
|Yes, it’s most common for families to pay privately
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Care Coordination Takes Precedent For Larger Providers
Home care companies believe they are capable of doing more in the home.
Agency leaders have talked about their willingness to do more, and the pandemic has offered opportunities.
Take Help at Home, for example. In October, the Chicago-based personal home care company launched a new segment that will focus on care coordination.
When it launched the pilot of its care coordination arm in three states, the company found what it had anticipated: that its clients had a laundry list of complex and unmet needs, whether those be physical, behavioral or environmental.
We have an opportunity to capture, in a really simple and digital way, observations that our caregivers can make across physical issues and behavioral issues, Julie McCarter, Help at Homes care coordination president, told HHCN. Those simple observations flow into our clinical platform and create alerts for our broader clinical care coordination team. This, to me, is really where the holistic approach can start.
Plus, as client needs evolve, so do caregivers. If a caregiver feels like they are making a true difference in their clients lives by doing more, that creates a level of satisfaction that is tangible.
It creates longer tenure of our caregiver employment, creates longer tenure with our clients, McCarter said.
In addition to care coordination, personal home care is positioning itself as a potential quarterback for programs like hospital at home, ED in the home and others.
Types Of Home Care Agencies
As mentioned above, home care agencies will be slightly more expensive than private hires. So what exactly are home care agencies and are they worth the extra cost? Below, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of agencies and questions to ask when choosing one.
Home care agencies in the US fall into four main categories. Comparing the categories, youâll see they vary in terms of licensing, services and accepted payments.
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Investigate The Department Of Veterans Affairs Benefits
If your family member is a veteran, or a spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran, they may be able to qualify for VA benefits. These benefits will enable them to remain at home instead of entering an assisted living community.
In-home care and adult day care programs
The VA provides several long-term in-home and community care programs, known as extended care. These programs offer non-medical assistance to help certain veterans maintain their independence. Extended care is available to a veteran with a service-connected disability or to any veteran who has very low income and needs long-term care.
Extended care can include:
- In-home health aides and homemaker services
- Adult daycare, which provides health maintenance and rehabilitative services to veterans in a group setting during daytime hours, either at a VA or community facility
- Community senior living centers, offer care for veterans with chronic stable conditions and veterans needing rehabilitation or short-term special services
- Being able to remain at home sometimes depends on the physical configuration of a persons living space. The VA offers several types of cash grants to help veterans modify their homes to make their homes safer and more accessible.
- Eligibility for cash benefits for veterans and their spouses vary depending on the nature of military service, the existence of a service-connected disability, and income.
Moving In With A Relative Friend Or Neighbor
Living alone increases the need for caregiving.
Many older adults address this problem by sharing their living space with someone else whos in similar circumstances. This might mean sharing one or the others existing home or getting a new place together. Roommates can then help support each other while sharing some family and paid caregiving, reducing both the burden and the cost.
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Encourage Your Parents To Stay Active
Of course, one of the best things you can do for your aging parent is to encourage them to stay active and engaged. Regular exercise has been shown to be incredibly beneficial for both physical and mental health, so try to find ways to help your parent stay active.
This could include taking walks together, joining a gym or fitness class, plan a short getaway together, or even just doing some simple exercises at home.
The Four Most Common Types Of Eldercare Options
1. Residential Care
Also called group homes, residential care homes have several advantages over larger facilities. Residential care homes generally serve elderly residents who live together and receive care services from live-in caregivers. The ratio of caregivers to residents is much better than in other types of care homes. Generally non-medical, caregivers offer assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, transferring, using the restroom and meal preparation. Many residential care homes offer an intimate, home-like environment that is comfortable for seniors. Depending upon the home, amenities or nursing services will vary. Make sure to take a tour and talk to current residents and staff before making a decision.
2. Assisted Living
Assisted living is a good care option for those who need help with some daily-living tasks, but are still able to live safely on their own some of the time. Maybe help is needed with medications, cooking, or another activity of daily living as described above. Prices fluctuate depending upon the amount of care needed. With assisted living, similar to residential care, caregivers are available around the clock.
3. Continuing Care Retirement Communities
4. Nursing Homes
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