Do you know when to call in professional help when it comes to assisting an elderly relative?
This is one of the most difficult questions that a family can face when a parent or grandparent begins having difficulty getting through their day. The main problem is that difficulties often start in a very small way, and oftentimes you might not even notice them. When you do notice them, there’s also the question of whether or not it really is in their best interest to hire a professional in-home caregiver. You might be concerned that this could hinder their independence. This is a valid concern, so addressing it is important not just for helping you to know that you are providing great care for your parent, but so that they know that this is what’s best, too.
To simplify this process, insurance companies use what they call “activities of daily living” as metrics. These can be broken down into a few simple categories, including getting around the house on their own, caring for themselves, and feeding themselves. If there is a need in any of these categories, then the insurer will (usually) acknowledge that there is a need for long term care.
For the health, safety, and convenience of your family, you may want to enlist the help of a professional caregiver before difficulties progress to the point where insurance may kick in. This is really up to you and your family’s needs. As a general rule, in-home care and assisted living are much cheaper than other forms of care, making them much more accessible to the average person. If finances are an issue, other considerations may need to be made, so approach this need on an individualized basis.
Knowing when to call in professional care for a loved one doesn’t just end if they have moved into a nursing home or an assisted living facility. There are still issues that may occur. You need to ensure that your loved one is eating enough, is getting healthy food, is being well cared for, is getting medical attention when needed, and that there are no abusive situations going on. Hopefully none of these things will ever be concerns, but being alert and knowing what to look for will ensure that great care is truly happening. This is why selecting the best caregiver right from the start is so important. Even after care has begun, you need to continue to be an advocate for your elderly loved one.
There might be a need to call in other types of professional help at times. If there is ever a concern about legal implications, some sort of care need where you do not have the skill or know-how to provide for your family, or if you are not fully sure about the medical situation that might be developing in a loved one, then seeing the appropriate professional that can be of help to your parent is the best course of action. It is always better to be too involved with their situation than not involved enough.