The following article was originally published in the Fall 2005 Quarterly Newsletter produced by Premier Homecare Services. This post is part of the blog’s “Newsletter Series” .
Finding care doesn’t have
to be a stressful process
At home is where we feel most comfortable. Many of our memories with friends and family are in the home and time and time again we hear that home is where seniors wish to remain. If you or your loved one is not yet ready to move out into a retirement community or long-term care facility, home care assistance is a helpful and serious option to consider.
There are many decisions to be made when assisting your loved one in determining what care options are the best for everyone involved.
Communicating with home care agencies/providers can sometimes be a long and frustrating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some suggestions to help make finding the right provider easier. Being prepared with the right questions and attitude can help smooth the transition to home care for yourself or a parent.
Tips on dealing with
a home care agency:
- Have a diary/notebook handy. Write down a list of questions to ask each home care agency so that you can do a comparison across the board. Ask yourself: What are the priorities for having home care? What are our preferences for care? What is a realistic price range? Are they available 24/7 for emergencies?
- Record the name of the person you were speaking with, note your impressions. Did they answer your questions appropriately? Were they helpful and friendly? Did they offer to send you additional information or resources on their services or did they direct you to their website?
- Ask your questions and prepare to invest time in getting your questions answered. Take notes.
- Be specific about your situation, your concerns and priorities for care. Typically the more details you can communicate, the easier it is for the home care provider to understand what would be the best way to assist you.
- Meeting for an interview or an assessment is beneficial; this gives you an opportunity to ask questions in more detail, and for the provider to clarify their services. A good home care company should also ensure they are personalizing the services to each situation, what we call a care plan. Will they be available 24/7 to fill emergency schedules if needed? You can invite other family members or power’s of attorney to be present. Involve your parent in the decision making if possible.
- Share a laugh, you are not alone! Many people are in similar situations, and having a positive outlook makes the transition easier for everyone.
Other Blog Articles in
the “Newsletter Series”:
By: Jennifer Watson
>> Another article taken from the Premier Homecare Services Quarterly Newsletter, written by Jennifer Watson. <<
Canada’s leading palliative care educator and spiritual activist Stephen Jenkinson is called the Angel of Death.
A recent PBS documentary titled “Griefwalker” is a friend’s tribute to the work of this Harvard trained theologian. Jenkinson reminds us that death is an integral part of life and that’s why we shouldn’t ignore or deny it but rather befriend it. It is a fear of death which is robbing us of an important and unavoidable transition in life. In the Canadian documentary, Jenkinson asks us to reflect on why life is so important to us, and that the answer lies in the very fact that it ends. “Grief is not a feeling. Grief is a skill,” he mentions. A skill of life is being able to love life while you are living it, being present and enjoying the life you have to live. Grief needs to be coupled with a praise of life, so that where you have one you also have the other.
Many cultures understand the importance of death in one’s life, not only for a spiritual exit but also for the benefit of those loved ones left behind. In the film, Jenkinson speaks to a mother who is in palliative care knowing she is leaving behind a husband and children. He plainly states it is ‘how she will die’ rather than ‘what she will die of’ which will leave the deepest impression on her family and influence their grieving.
Jenkinson offers his teachings to professional caregivers, those in the medical field, volunteers and administrators, and especially for dying people and their loved ones.
You can also read more from him in his book titled “How it all could be: A work book for dying people and those who love them.” His wisdom, humanistic approach and sensible approach to an often “off-topic” topic should not be missed by anyone. Stephen Jenkinson lectures across Canada. Tour stops can be found online at www.orphanwisdom.com . Purchase the “Griefwalker” DVD or look for screenings for the movie directed by Tim Wilson at films.nfb.ca/griefwalker.
Premier is here for you. You and your family are not alone in life’s transitions and challenges. Support, help and resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Personalized care for you or your loved one eases your burden and gives peace of mind.
From Our Community Newsletter, Autumn 2009:
Whether your loved one has been in a skilled nursing facility, hospital, hospice or a rehabilitation center, homecoming brings many challenges and changes. Living alone after a medical event or moving in with you, a plan is needed before coming home.
Be thankful that your loved one is healthy and able enough to return to a familiar home environment where they can feel more comfortable and less like a patient.
Life will present many new changes in their ableness around the home, the level of support they may need for the short or long term, changes in medications, managing time for appointments and rehab visits, as well as the anxieties about if or when the next hospitalization may occur.
Talk to the Professionals
Talk to the professionals about what to expect. Use this as a starting point to base your plan upon. The health professionals at their current facility may recommend you to purchase and install home equipment such as a Hoyer lift, grab bars, a showering chair, hospital bed, a wheelchair, oxygen, and a personal response system for future emergencies. Other home modifications may be needed to ensure a safe environment. Prepare for all of this before they return home, and know how to use it. If you don’t require the equipment for the long term, rentals can sometimes be found at some home care supply stores.
Despite how confident you are that you’ll be able to manage your loved ones increased care needs as well as your own life and busy schedule, professional support is often a necessity. The right home care company will match the right caregiver to the unique needs of your loved one. At Premier Homecare Services, we adjust your individualized care plan and services as the needs of you and your loved one change. From 24-hour and Live-In care to hourly schedules, you have the flexibility to change the level of care as your loved one’s health and ability improves.
You Can Do It
You’re not alone in your challenges. Support, help and resources are all available. Realize that helping your loved one through this difficult time is honouring them and may someday provide you with treasured memories.
>> This entire article was taken from Premier Homecare Services’ Our Community Newsletter, a quarterly newsletter we enjoy sending out to our clients and professional partners. You may download a copy of the Autumn 2009 edition (download PDF version here) or contact email@example.com if you would like to subscribe to receive future copies of the newsletter. Thank you.
Keywords: senior care, in-home care, homecare, hospital discharge, senior care options, home care, caregiver, live-in caregiver, caregiving services, caregiver information and advice, living assistance.