Care Options

Making a decision on what health care services work best for a patient can be tricky, demanding, and overwhelming. While it may be easy to decide what type of care is needed, actually making the choice on who will deliver that care can be stressful. Selecting care doesn’t have to be difficult.

In-Home Aide

Anytime an outside caregiver will be going into the home, it is important to meet them ahead of time and discuss needs in advance. Both patient and caregiver should be involved in the interview process as the in-home aide will be assisting both of them with daily needs and tasks. Ask questions in regards to an aide’s training, availability, care philosophy, background and experience, especially if the patient has dementia. If you find upon interviewing that an aide is not the best fit, interview others. Never hire someone that makes the patient or family members uncomfortable. However, if an aide is being provided by a government run program, options may be limited..

Home Healthcare

Home Healthcare is usually ordered by a doctor. While most people think of nursing care when it comes to home healthcare services, there are many other health services available in addition to skilled nursing. Caregivers and patients may have access to in-home treatments from physical, occupational, and speech therapists while on the road to recovery. Patients and family members can seek assistance through social workers, discharge planners, or case managers. These individuals can help a patient find and make the best choices for their needs. The goal is to manage and treat an illness, while allowing the patient to regain their independence and work toward being self-sufficient once again.

Adult Day Center

Day centers provide supervision, attention, and socialization. Patients, including those who wander, can benefit from day centers. Participating socially in a variety of activities, while accommodating supervision needs, at day centers can keep patients active and alleviate loneliness and isolation. When choosing a center, audition several and speak with staff regarding the patient’s needs. Most day centers will not provide complete care, so ensure this is addressed in an introductory conversation. Evaluate the physical surroundings, building cleanliness and comfort, programming, and feedback from other center attendees. If possible, attend some functions and programs prior to enrollment to ensure this is where the patient should be.

Residential Care

When a patient enters residential care, it is important to be thorough and educated in the choice of the facility. Loved ones and former caregivers will not be available 24 hours a day to observe the practiced care. Take time choosing a residential home, making sure to find the right fit before committing. Observe the care given. Speak with staff and other residents. Ask questions about care, socialization, and the facility itself. The physical environment should be one that is friendly, inviting, clean, and appropriate for the patient. In addition, it is completely appropriate to make a spontaneous visit on an off hour to observe the level of care compared to when the tour or session was given. In the end, study up on all of your options. Evaluate facitlities according to what is best for the patient and make an educated decision.

 Informal Care

Informal care allows a greater amount of freedom in the scheduling of care and shares caregiving responsibilities between volunteering parties. It is suggested to create a list of needs that require help and a schedule of how those needs should be handled. Coordinating allows volunteers to know what the primary caregiver needs help with and when the best time is to help out. This system allows for good communication, enhanced care, and some down time for the primary caregiver. Because of the flexibility of the schedule, both the primary caregiver and volunteer caregivers can have some control over the scheduling.

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