Live In Caregiver Program

Unlike the old days (i.e., 30 years ago), many of us now live far from our parents or aging in-laws.  As a person who may want to become involved in providing care, there are those who can do it all, yet others who find it more difficult to navigate the system, even though their heart may be in the right place.  So when you finally decide that you can’t do it all, or that you’re not a professional caregiver, then you may want to consider finding the right live in caregiver program for a senior in need.

When you consider a live in caregiver, you need to consider the role this person will now be playing in the family.  Moving into the home (and perhaps into your old room or your sibling’s old bedroom) is a role that the professional knows is full of pitfalls, especially in a large, diverse family.  As family members will continue to come & go in the house of their senior parent(s), it’s wise to consider that the dynamics have permanently changed with the addition of a new person in the house, who will be a stranger to everyone except for the seniors they’re providing daily care for.

A live in can be doing simple homemaker chores, or be a fully licensed professional nurse.  The level of care, and your monthly budget, will help determine what caregiver you’re going to select.  Homemakers tidy up, shop, do laundry and prepare meals.  They may do some paperwork and make phone calls.  Companions or helpers provide company or supervision for someone who can’t be left alone.  They may prepare meals, and do light housework. You can find these companions or helpers through home-care agencies or your own network, church groups, etc.

Home-health aides and personal attendants assist with bathing, feeding, walking, toileting, and transferring the senior in need to and from a chair, bed or toilet.  Home health aides who work for certified home health agencies are trained and supervised by a registered nurse (or physical therapist) and add also take temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure readings, change bandages, and assist with exercises prescribed by a physical and occupational therapists.  Medicare covers this cost only when these services are needed in addition to ‘medically necessary’ in-home nursing care or therapy.

Personal attendants tend to work with people with disabilities and are most often hired independently.  They assist with personal care and accompany clients to recreational activities and medical appointments.   A registered nurse will only work under a doctor’s prescription.  Medicare may cover only the cost then nursing services are performed and deemed “medically necessary”.  For instance, if nursing assistance were only actually provided for 2 hours a day in a 24-hour period, more than likely Medicare would only cover 2/24ths of the daily expense.  Nurses tasks include preparing a plan of care, taking blood and urine samples and delivering them to the lab, changing wound dressings, caring for ostomy openings and intravenous sites, inserting intravenous lines and catheters, and giving injections.  They also can train other caregivers to perform some medical tasks and show them safe ways to transfer and lift the senior being cared for.

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