Have you ever wondered what else is out there for caring for the elderly?
I have worked as a Certified Nurses Aide for the past 14 years. I have experienced all five of these types of care that I am about to inform you on. I will give you the pros and cons on each one:
The first is having an elderly move in with you. This can put a strain on the family. This type of care is hardest on families especially when the elderly person is sick, bed ridden, or has Alzheimer’s. The more treatment needed, the bigger the strain on the family. One of the pros to having an elderly move in is that there is little expense for care. You are also able to spend time with the family member that is unable to care for themselves anymore. The down side is the stress on the family members. You are providing care around the clock. Sometimes the family members end up neglecting their loved one for lack of knowledge on how to care for this elderly person. If they are bed ridden the elderly person is exposed to bed sores if not cared for properly and dehydration. If the elderly has Alzheimer’s, this person has the capabilities of a child. Their reasoning is out the window. They can turn on the stove and forget they turned it on, wander off and get hurt or lost. Sometimes they can also become violent and hurt the ones they loved, because they are unaware of their surroundings and fail to recognize those they truly love. Another problem Alzheimer’s face is nutrition. They tend to forget they just ate, or refuse to eat.
The second is home health care. This is a wonderful way to help the elderly in their own environment. If you are thinking about this type of care, talk to your local Social Worker. They will be able to help you out in informing you as to how much it will cost to provide care for the elderly person. Each state is different on the care or amount of care they can provide. Many times they can help with cooking well balanced meals, cleaning, transporting the elderly person to and from doctor appointments and shopping, and assisting with bathing and dressing. The only con to this may be the cost or how often the home health provider can come in. In many circumstances they are able to come in daily for 1/2 hour to 2 hours. If transportation is needed they can be scheduled more time.
The third is private caregivers. This can be a wonderful way to provide care for the elderly in their own home who requires more assistance, but is able to remain at home. These caregivers are able to assist in cooking, cleaning, companionship, bathing, assisting with dressing, providing transportation for doctor appointments, and for shopping. They can either live with the elderly or come for an entire day. They are hired and screened by the family. The down side to this is you may get someone who steals from the elderly person, neglects them, or even abuses them. It is best that you use your best judgment and contact their references. Make sure they are Certified Nurses Aides and check with the Department of Health to see if there have ever been any investigations on this person.
The fourth is assisted living. This is probably one of the best in care for the elderly that do not require extensive care. There are many types of assisted living places. Many of these places offer activities, dining, housekeeping, a nurse on call 24/7, security, and best of all their own apartment. Many of these places also provide ways for these residents to get to know each other. Many places also provide transportation to shopping centers, doctor appointments, beauty salons, and to grocery stores. The only down side to this type of care is the cost. For many of these places the cost can be very expensive, but are a much better type of care compared to a nursing home if they can be afforded.
The fifth and final is a nursing home. There are many nursing homes around. The pros to a nursing home is well balanced nutrition for each individual, a closely monitored environment, a nurse all the time, housekeeping, laundry is done, there is a social worker, transportation to appointments, interaction with other elderly, and care for the terminally or medically ill. The cons to nursing homes is that many times they are short staffed. They are sometimes neglected by nursing staff and sometimes abused. If the elderly person requires extensive care, sometimes they are underfed, suffer from dehydration, and neglected to the point where they suffer from numerous falls. Often times elderly that are placed in nursing homes deteriorate quickly. The elderly feel they have no independence and feel they have nothing more to live for.
If you are looking into any of these types of cares, use caution. These are people who need help and many times can no longer do for themselves what they have always done. They are vulnerable and can be taken advantage of easily. Many times they won’t speak up if something is happening to them. Thoroughly check with references, Departments of Health, Department of Human Resources, and ratio of staff to residents.