As baby boomers continue to age, the influx of aging adults 55 years and older into our society is expected to put a financial strain on our state. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s in San Diego alone are expected to nearly double by 2030. This projection by the California Alzheimer’s Association means that these next 20 years will be a time of great trials for our medical and health care institutions. Alzheimer’s and Dementia are among the most widely spread diseases that rob our aging adults of their independence in a time when their health is most fragile and care is most important. Although researchers of these diseases find themselves hopeful for future treatment and possible reversal of the disease, it is fair to say that until a significant discovery is made, the future looks grim for adult care in California. Most families who would otherwise turn to a nursing home for the care of their aging parents will turn to their families and hourly in home care to watch over their older family members when they cannot.
According to a University of California San Francisco’s Institute for Health and Aging study, it currently costs nearly $97,000 annually for a patient living in a nursing home. This number is expected to grow significantly with the rise in health care cost due to the rising number California’s elderly and our state budget cuts. Many people do not make this amount of income in 1 year, and with the high cost of living in San Diego, it is expected that the future of adult care in San Diego lies with in-home care with the recipient’s family members.
When dealing with the decision of what to do with an aging family member, planning ahead of time can help to avoid confusion and can make the process easier. By getting together with the entire family to discuss the matter, you can discuss who will care for the individual, where they will stay, and how each member of the family can make themselves responsible for helping. While one member of the family can care for the individual’s meals, another can take charge of maintaining their home, including chores such as mowing the lawn and other chores aimed at keeping the home safe. A trusted family member must also be placed in charge of the finances once the aging adult is no longer able to do so themselves. This will include creating a list with the person’s social security number, insurance policy numbers, bank accounts, and monthly bills that must be taken care of. In addition, a medical list must also be created and kept handy listing medications, allergies, doctors and other healthcare providers.
Someone must also be in charge of communicating and overseeing that the adult is always supervised and not left alone to fend for themselves. Adults with Alzheimer’s and severe dementia are known for suffering with bouts of paranoia and delusions. Leaving them alone can lead to them hurting themselves or can lead to them forgetting to take their medications. Hourly in home care is also available from trusted home care providers to help in the times when nobody in the family is able to help. When making this decision, practice good judgment to ensure your family member’s safety.
When choosing in-home health care assistance, be sure to do your research to make sure you are getting a qualified person who is experienced in dealing with elderly, especially if the in home healthcare recipient suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Check the website and referrals for the company providing the in-home healthcare worker to make sure their service is trusted and that their employees are qualified. Speak with the person who will be caring for your aging adult and ask important questions regarding to their past experience and what they would do in a worst case scenario. Leave the elder’s daily medication laid out in a schedule pill box or in a detailed time scheduled list so that the aid worker can easily provide the medication to the adult without risking accidental overdose or accidentally missing dosage. Finally, be sure to leave all of your emergency contact information with this person, in case something comes up in which they require further assistance.
If it is your first time using a company for in home care or if you are not sure about the service this person can provide, be sure to stay for a while with this person to see how they handle themselves and your aging parent before stepping out. You will be able to see how they handle the job and you can provide immediate advice about how you feel they should handle specific tasks. Do this until you are comfortable with this person being alone with your family member. Once you are comfortable you will feel good about leaving them in the care of a stranger. Be sure to call often and speak with this person to build a relationship with them. They will be able to provide you with important information about the health of your family member.
With the rising cost of nursing home care, in-home care is the way of the future for families who cannot afford to place their family members in a nursing home. At a fraction of the cost, families with limited budgets are most likely to subscribe to hourly in-home care for their aging parents as a supplement to their family caring for their aging parents.
When choosing a San Diego homecare assistant, be sure to research the company they work for and their past references to ensure you are employing a quality assistant whose primary interest is the care of your parent. Avoid hiring a person who you do not trust as they will have access to your parent’s home and belongings, and most importantly, the health of your family member. If possible, have family members stop by to check up on your home healthcare provider to make sure things are running smoothly and don’t forget to as for feedback from the home care recipient as they will be the ones most likely to give you the best and most honest feedback. Choosing the right help may be one of the most important decisions you can make for your family, be sure to practice good judgment when picking the right person for the job.