My Family Needs a Caregiver, What Now?
Making important decisions about care for your loved one can be extremely difficult, and there is no one size fits all formula. While family caregiving may be an option for some, in many cases some assistance from an outside source is necessary to give your loved one the best care possible. With all the options available, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of each, as well as factor in the level of care your loved one will need. In some cases, such as recovery from a procedure, a short-term in-home aide may suffice. For chronic or more serious conditions, such as a stroke, more supervision and skilled medical care may be necessary.
Read on to learn more about the different types of care, and which option might be best for you and your loved one.
There are two types of home care to consider. Skilled care is provided by a healthcare professional such as a nurse. Personal care is provided by a home health aide or personal care attendant that assists with day to day tasks.
Pros of Home Care:
- You can select the person caring for your loved one
- More personalized care
- Can be less expensive (depending on skill level and frequency)
Cons of Home Care:
- Limited social interaction
- Aides may not be trained on your loved one’s specific condition
Adult Day Services
The care offered by adult day services varies depending on the type of program offered and the qualifications of the staff. It’s important for the facilities and accommodations to align with the specific needs of your loved one.
Pros of Adult Day Services:
- Gives the caregiver a break from the patient (and vice versa)
- Provides social interaction for the patient
- Provides structure for the patient
Cons of Adult Day Services:
- Staff is often undertrained
- Programs are not tailored to your loved one’s needs
- Can be expensive
Assisted living facilities allow patients who are not fully dependent, yet don’t require nursing care to remain fairly self-sufficient. In consideration of your loved one’s changing needs, facilities offer flexible living arrangements and various levels of care at different costs.
Pros of Assisted living
- Safe and secure environment
- Opportunity to socialize
- Home-like setting (freedom and privacy)
Cons of Assisted living
- May not offer the level of care needed for some chronic conditions
- Possible lack of personal care in a group setting
- Can be expensive
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
CCRCs offer different tiers of service in a single community to accommodate to your loved one’s changing needs – part independent living, part assisted living, and part skilled nursing home. Although this is the costliest option, CCRCs provide older adults with the opportunity to live in the same housing facility for the remainder of their life as they age.
Pros of CCRC
- Same location for all levels of care
- Sense of community
- Safety and security
- Peace of mind for you and your loved one
Cons of CCRC
- Transitioning between levels of care
- Typically the most expensive
Regardless of which option you select, it’s crucial to check references, visit the facilities (if applicable) and read reviews to confirm you are dealing with a reputable service provider. Doing your homework is the key to ensuring your loved one is in the safest hands possible.