Senior Citizen In Home Care

If a family member is not a trained caregiver, and you need professional caregiving services, realize that senior citizen in home care costs money.  Most families fall into one of the following categories.  The senior citizen has:

  • Sufficient financial resources to cover his or her needs
  • No financial resources.  The cost of care is beyond the family’s ability or willingness to pay for it
  • Some financial resources.  The family may or may not be equipped to make up the monthly difference.

Talking about money is usually verboten in most families.  The average person would rather talk about their sex life than their financial statement.  The older generation is reluctant to let any younger family members know their “business”.  Also, siblings are usually also reluctant to disclose their financial situation to each other.  If the money question is not handled with maturity and responsibility, all sorts of negative and ugly things can happen to the entire family.

The best approach is to take a businesslike and unemotional position to senior citizen in home care by using the following steps:

  1. Determine the total cost of home care or care delivered in an adult day care facility.
  2. Establish whether your senior citizen has sufficient resources to pay for in home care.
  3. Discuss the costs with them, being sensitive to how difficult it is for some older people to discuss their finances and care needs.
  4. Explore the ‘chipping-in’ option at a family conference.  Include the older person if possible.  Be gentle.  It’s extremely difficult for parents to accept financial help from their children.
  5. Before pledging a monthly amount, each person should ask himself or herself the following questions:
  • Do I really understand the senior citizen’s financial situation?
  • Will family and friends “chipping in” jeopardize my own children’s funding for education, my own financial stability or my retirement nest egg?
  • Am I willing to make sacrifices?
  • Am I clear about my own financial needs and situation?
  • Can I spare money for the short term?
  • Can I spare money for the long term?
  • Is my immediate family willing to make the lifestyle changes that “chipping in” may require?

It’s also recommended that you put a cap on how much you can contribute.  Tell the family what the cap is, so that they know the limit you can give.  And don’t contribute secret contributions.  Family secrets, even those with the best of intentions, tend to come back to haunt you!

Another way to provide in home care to a senior citizen in need, is to have others help do some watching.  To avoid the stress of providing 100% of the care, seek out a kind-hearted, trustworthy neighbor who is willing to stop by occasionally to check on your elder.  They should also have the blessing of whom they’ll be checking in on, and even giving them a key would help for emergency purposes.  Again, you may even consider doing a background check beyond your initial gut-feel of the neighbor’s trustworthiness.  You can also call the neighbor and ask them to make sure your parent is okay, but be sure to remind them to knock on the door first.

A telephone reassurance program can also be done.  This program is a service where someone calls your elder daily to check up on them and have a warm hello and small conversation.  The same program often has a ‘friendly visitor’ component (a volunteer to drop by for an occasional brief visit).  Places to check for this service include senior centers, churches, synagogues, and religious organizations.

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