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When and How to Bring in Apex Home Care
You are (or will soon be) responsible for caring for a loved one. What should you think of first? As time passes, they will need more of your time and assistance. You are concerned about their physical and/or medical condition, current living conditions or age. You’re also concerned how you will juggle their care with your own life, family and career.
Your first step should be to consult with a lawyer familiar with disability and eldercare issues. Find out about durable powers of attorney for health care and living wills; start the process to ensure that the necessary legal papers are in order.
Second, understand your loved one’s financial situation. Understanding their (and your) financial status can help determine future health care choices. Tally monthly income from your loved one’s pensions and Social Security; learn about any annuities, stock investments, long-term care insurance and bank accounts they may have that can help pay for care.
These tips may help address your concerns.
- Start to think about services when you notice that your loved one is not bathing on a regular basis or forgetting important daily activities. Have they had a major medical change in health? Are they not remembering to take medications properly? Do they need help with personal care, grocery shopping, transportation, housekeeping and laundry?
- If your loved one is resisting outside care, begin very slowly. You may want to start with one to two hours of caregiving per day to let your loved one get used to new people. If Alzheimer’s or dementia is diagnosed, we have found that by scheduling the same caregivers on a consistent basis, we can reduce objections to outside support.
- Make sure your loved one’s schedule and food choices are adhered to so there is no major disruption in daily routine. Give your relative as much say as possible about the time of day services are provided what kind of home care aide they would like.
- If someone other than your loved one will be paying for services, make that distinction with the home care agency in private and in advance, so that money will not be discussed in an open and potentially awkward situation.
- Bring in help if one spouse is taking care of the other spouse with a major medical condition, e.g., Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease etc. In these situations, the capable spouse is susceptible to exhaustion and truly needs support. Bring in additional help if one elder is diagnosed for hospice even if their spouse is helping.
- Is your loved one leaving the hospital or a rehabilitation facility to complete recovery in their home? Sometimes 4-8 hours per week is just enough time for a home care aide to help them with activities of daily living, grocery shopping, light housework, meal prep, and laundry.
- If you have long-term care insurance, it should be used before using annuities or other money saved for retirement. Remember, once the insurance-holder dies, their long-term care insurance policy carries no beneficiary or cash value.