Home Care Benefits

Home care benefits

Consider an informal or formal family meeting to discuss home care benefits. Address the issues of what is most important to the aging adult. The goal of this meeting should be to involve the aging adult in the process. This is important to help them identify issues and needs before a crisis develops. To be successful it is important you reassure them that you value their independence. Let them know that you want to work and support them to improve or maintain their quality of life.

Most aging adults will want to remain in their home. In order for this to be an option, everyone needs to understand what is important to the aging family member.

Have them identify what is very important, somewhat important, or not important at all.

Here is a list of issues you may want to address:

Do you want or need:

  • To live near your family members and friends
  • Maintain your privacy
  • Keep your pets
  • Live in a place where you feel secure
  • Have access to activities you enjoy
  • Have access to your place of worship
  • Have the ability to maintain a clean home
  • Have the ability to maintain personal hygiene
  • Have nutritious meals and need assistance with meal preparation
  • Maintain control over your finances
  • Need assistance with your financial matters
  • Need transportation for shopping, community service, doctors, appointments, banking
  • Ability to be involved in volunteer work
  • Home maintenance services, lawn care, plumbing, electrical work, driveway and sidewalk cleaning for snow and ice removal
  • Help with reordering or taking medications, scheduling doctor appointments and lab work
  • To have someone advocate or facilitate appropriate medical care

These questions will give you a basis from where to start.

If your family member is unwilling to discuss issues, you may need help from a professional or friend. This friend may be someone who is someone your parents hold in high regard.

Your family member may be willing to accept the advice and guidance of their:

  • family physician
  • pastor, rabbi or priest
  • close family friend who has gone through this with their parents.

Do not hesitate to use the trusted status as a means to relay your concerns. This can help steer your parents in the right direction.

Do not take any rebuttals personally.

This is not an easy process. You must keep your eye on the goal of maintaining their maximum level of independence. Quality home health care will allow you to provide a safety net, as they go through the aging process.

A family meeting may require a professional to be present. When family members have trouble working together, it is often helpful to have an outside party attend.

There are:

  • care managers
  • social workers
  • eldercare facilitators
  • family mediators
  • ministers available to provide this service.

These individuals do not make any decisions for you or your family member. They will help keep you focused on the priorities. They will also address areas that need clarification.

So how do you know what level of home care benefits may be needed?

  • Assess the structural barriers in the home environment that may limit independent mobility. You can read our section on  Assessing the Home Environment  for more details.
  • What aid or durable medical equipment will be needed or is in the home?
  • What are the informal support systems in place- caregivers- do they live at the residence?
  • Are they able or willing to continue to provide on-going support?
  • How often is caregiver assistance needed? Once a day? Several times a day? Weekly? Several times a week?
  • What type of informal assistance is required? Assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, shopping, telephone assistance and finances?
  • Do they need support with socialization, companionship, recreation, etc.?
  • Will they need power of attorney, conservator of person, health care agent?
  • Advocate to facilitate and coordinate the aging adults participation in appropriate medical care?

What is their present cognitive/mental status?

  • Are they experiencing depression, confusion, anxiety?
  • Extreme or bizarre personal hygiene habits?
  • Are they a wanderer?
  • Do they exhibit abusive or assaultive physical or verbal behavior?
  • Do they exhibit poor judgment or noncooperation in a way they pose a danger to self or others?

There may or may not be any of these behaviors demonstrated.

You must answer the question, “Does the aging adult need supervision due to poor judgment? The answer will help determine the extent of home care benefits needed.

If so, does the aging adult require need for supervision?

  • None of the time
  • Less than daily
  • Daily but not constant
  • All of the time

A Professional Services Options – How to choose the right services and level of care

A Guide for Successful Aging in Your Home