Families Encouraged to be P.R.O.A.C.T.I.V.E.
Unfortunately, "the call" comes in regularly at Visiting Angels. Families sometimes wait too long to set up homecare services and now are in a crisis situation. Sometimes this is due to financial reasons, sometimes families just don't recognize how, even just a few hours a week would have helped to preserve Mom or Dad's safety and independence. Consider these points and remember to be P.R.O.A.C.T.I.V.E.
P. Protect Mom or Dad's choice to remain at home by being proactive in looking into professional homecare to keep them safe at home.
R. Research your options by using the article "Choosing a Homecare Agency with Confidence." (Contact us and we will send you this article)
O. Open your eyes fully as to Mom and Dad's current status of physical, mental/emotional, and cognitive state, not how it was 20 years ago, but today and knowing the decline will progress.
A. Assessments (by an homecare agency) or choosing (or getting on the waitlist) an appropriate senior living facility is a great way to hear from the professionals as to what is needed and how they can help.
C. Check on what training the caregiver has received. Have they had courses in palliative care, dementia, and activities?
T. Think nutrition! Look inside Mom and Dad's refrigerator. Expired food, or very little food is a clear indication that help is needed. Consider it a silent cry for help.
I. Insist on professional care that is insured and bonded, such as a reputable agency. Private caregivers (not working through an agency) can leave Mom, Dad, or yourself wide open for liability.
V. Verify what options Mom or Dad has in terms of a long term care insurance policy or what reserves they have for private pay.
E. Educate yourself on dementia as there are specific communication methods that will work well for those with a form of dementia like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
Visiting Angels of Auburn NH offers free assessments that can be scheduled during regular work hours as well as after work hours or on weekends to accommodate working family members. The assessment is an important step toward being proactive for our aging parents who often initially resist care. Even just a few hours a week of great homecare may be enough initially to keep Mom or Dad safe, healthy, and organized at home. For more information, call us at 603-483-8999.