Home Care for the Elderly – Helping Your Parents Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

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When a loved one, a mother, a father a grandparent, at some point, begins to lose their battle against aging and begins to find the completing of everyday tasks somewhat difficult when left by themselves, one of the first things they end up feeling is fear at being forced to leave their homes and being sent to a home for the elderly of some kind. Is that really necessary? As it turns out, a home health aide can often be a far better choice. Care for elderly parents isn’t just about getting them out of our hair; it’s about keeping them happy and feeling loved. Keeping that in mind, hiring personal care attendants or home health aides to come offer live-in assistance can often be a great way to help a loved one have their cake and eat it too.

There are three kinds of professionals who provide home care for elderly people – there are your home health aides, your personal care assistants and certified nursing assistants. Certified nursing assistants, of course, have some medical training. They have a license and they need to pass an exam to get it. They aren’t nurses though; the only work under them. The best they can do is to provide an elderly person with assistance with everyday activities and they can help them take care of painful health problems. Home health aides help with daily activities alone; they have no actual medical training. And personal care attendants are actually companions who help an elderly person with shopping, cooking and cleaning. Of course, these job descriptions aren’t strictly defined. There is quite a bit of overlap in all three of these kinds of assistance provider roles. Most would probably be willing to go a whole lot further than their job descriptions seem to say.

It isn’t just a matter of throwing money at the problem though. If you take on a professional as a steady in-house worker, you become their employer. And as such, you take on responsibility for any injuries that occur on the job. For instance, when a worker comes in on a permanent basis, if they happen to hurt their back helping your parent get on and off the toilet several times a day, the medical expenses and disability payments to do with that injury fall to you. You may try to escape this by picking a contract worker. But this way, you don’t really have their commitment to your parent. Usually, you have to go through a couple of different people every month and it can be really a stressful situation for your parent to not have a steady presence in their lives.

One of the best ways of hiring someone to care for elderly parents would be to go to an agency. Of course, agencies charge high hourly rates. The great thing with going to an agency is that you have a large array of professionals to choose from. Pick someone with the kind of personality that would suit your parent, and you could be very happy with the whole arrangement. An agency provides replacement workers, should something not work out with the one you choose too; there will be a replacement worker sent in when your main caregiver is out on vacation, and so on. Not to mention, agency workers are trained, certified and insured.

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