Are you Looking for the Best Live In Home Health Care Services in Somerset County?
For one reason or another, certain families are not always able to take care of their elderly. The demands of modern living can make it tedious to look after an elderly person and be sure they are having the best care possible. Fortunately, live in home care agencies in Somerset County take the worries off the shoulders of families by offering the best care for the elderly.
How Important Is Alzheimer's Care?
I think that, as a group, seniors are some of the most surveyed folks out there. Being in the senior home care business I am more acutely aware of the surveys then the normal person and like to see how the results of those surveys match up to my personal experiences.
More times then not the results do not go beyond the numbers to the underlying cause and effect or at least the feelings of those being surveyed. In a recent survey it was reported that over 80% of seniors would rather live out the rest of their days in the own home and not in an assisted living or similar facility. That's really not breaking news but it started me thinking about why the seniors are so motivated to stay in their home.
I started doing some research by going over my notes from prospective client families, care recipients and also our wonderful care givers. So I have come up with seven reasons why seniors want to stay in their home. These seven do not have real defined borders and have branches or even roots in other reasons.
- Comfort. This reason really bleeds over into the others as well but the senior is comfortable in the house where they have lived for many years. The TV is just the right distance from their chair and doesn't have any reflections on it, they know the HVAC system and where it needs to be for comfort, they have spent years getting the furniture the right size and in the right place. So why should they leave.
- Safety. Now at first glance this might be a reason for going into assisted living but most seniors feel safer at home. They know the sounds of the neighborhood, when neighbors come home and when they leave and most can move around their house and even their yard blindfolded. We have a 94 year old client who is almost totally blind and lives by herself but she knows where everything in her house is, even her meds. She has her morning meds in one location and the bottles are arranged in a specific way and the evening meds are in another location. She feels safe in her environment.
- Memories. They have experienced the entire fabric of life in their home. Birthdays, holidays, including dry turkeys, disappointments and celebrations, medical issues, retirement, aging and death. The home has been the foundation of all that has gone on and they don't want to walk away.
- Independence. From pre-teen years we all strive to achieve independence and now that the senior has had it for so many years they guard it with all the vigor they can muster. If the car keys were taken from the senior earlier then this is the last vestige of independence. Note to family: rescinded driving privileges will be the biggest fight but the home is second.
- Cost. Assisted living expenses can run as much as $4,000 plus a month so staying in one's home can be quite a savings. Add to that the possibility of a reverse mortgage and their monthly bills can be reduced but things like a gardener, pest control, etc have to be managed.
- Network. This term might be used with younger folks but even my 94 year old client has a network...a social network of neighbors and friends who check on her and bring her treats. Many times these social networks are shattered when the senior moves to assisted living. My mother-in-law who lives with us still talks about neighbors she had ten years ago. Don't discount these social connections.
- Family. Many times the family home is just that and there are extra bedrooms for visiting family members. Children of the senior can visit and bring their kids and now you have three generations staying connected in a home environment, not just visiting grandma at an assisted living facility.
Back in the day there were only two choices for seniors and that was stay in their home or live with the children. Now there are so many more choices up to and including resort like living where you eat all your meals in a nice restaurant environment. The choice we made was to have my mother-in-law live with us, it just made sense and we felt better about it. But the transition wasn't easy, especially for mom. But over the years she has settled in and knows exactly how many steps it is from her room to the bathroom.
It is important to hold family meetings with the senior included to discuss how it will work and if additional in home help will be needed for a portion of the day. In home care can make everyone more at ease if it is decided that the senior will be allowed to stay in their home.
Working as a home health aide in Somerset County with mentally ill patients requires a special sensitivity to the needs of the mentally challenged. Too often, people tend to think of the mentally challenged as being somehow inferior and as such, they tend to talk down to them. However, what the mentally ill really need is what anyone else needs – they need someone who will take them seriously and make sure their needs are met while giving them as much freedom as possible.
Working as a home health aide with mentally ill patients requires a special sensitivity to the needs of the mentally challenged. Too often, people tend to think of the mentally challenged as being somehow inferior and as such, they tend to talk down to them. However, what the mentally ill really need is what anyone else needs - they need someone who will take them seriously and make sure their needs are met while giving them as much freedom as possible.
Just What Is Mental Illness?
Before we can begin to discuss how to work effectively with mentally ill home care patients, it's important to understand what mental illness actually means. Let's start with the most basic definition and then go into a more detailed explanation. At its most basic, mental illness means that someone is incapable of functioning independently in society due to some kind of problems with how they experience the world emotionally. Exactly how this manifests itself and what the issues are do require additional explanation however.
Some indicators that a person may be mentally challenged include:
- Inability to Develop and Maintain Healthy Relationships - Many mentally ill people find it difficult or impossible to create healthy interpersonal relationships.
- Lack of Impulse Control - Another common problem for mentally challenged individuals is a lack of impulse control. Many mentally challenged individuals will for example do things in public or even in private that mentally sound people won't do (i.e. scream out loud at no one in particular, cause damage, public urination, etc.).
- Inability to Tolerate Anxiety and Frustration - We all deal with anxiety and frustration on a daily basis. However, those who are mentally challenged often find that they cannot handle any (or very little) anxiety and or frustration in daily life.
- Inability to Respect Others - Finally, many mentally ill people find it difficult to respect others, in terms of private space and or in terms of regular verbal abuse.
Your mentally challenged patients may also experience changes in behavior which are of a positive nature. Thus, it's important to note when and if such changes occur and to note changes in personality, either for the good or the bad.
While you should note environmental factors surrounding such changes in behavior, it's important not to draw conclusions on your own as to what precipitated these changes. Instead, you should note only the facts and allow mental health professionals to make such diagnoses.
Making Sure Patients are Cared For
It's important as a home health care worker working with mentally ill individuals to make sure that they are complying with their treatment regimen. This means for example that you need to ensure that the person is taking their medication on time and in the correct doses.
You must also watch carefully to ensure that dangerous behaviors do not put your patients in harm's way. When danger does present itself, you should call 911 to get emergency workers to help deal with the problems rather than attempting to deal with it on your own. For example, if your mentally challenged patient overdoses on sleeping pills, you should call 911 immediately rather than try to induce vomiting on your own.
Provide Patients with a Path to Recovery
Finally, your role as a home health care worker is to facilitate the patient's path to recovery. This means that you work with them to ensure that they will have the right kind of support to deal with their problems and that you help to keep the family involved as well in the recovery of the mentally challenged patient that you work with as a home health care worker.
What Types of Live in Home Health Care Services Exist in Somerset County?
Some memory loss and confusion is common with aging, but for those with dementia or Alzheimer's it is much more than that. People with Alzheimer's have special needs and pose inimitable challenges for caregivers. Not everyone with Alzheimer's exhibits the same symptoms and the progression of the disease differs from one person to another. To meet these needs, there are different types of Alzheimer's care options available in the San Diego area.
Types of Alzheimer's Care
As Alzheimer's disease progresses, eventually patients require more care than can be provided in the home. If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's it is best to plan ahead for their future needs and to acquaint yourself with care facilities in your area and what they offer. While you're at it, also ask whether or not they have a waiting list. If they do, add your name. Ideally, choosing a facility that offers assisted living and an Alzheimer's special care unit (SCU) would meet present and future needs for those who are in the earlier stages of the disease.
Before you start shopping around for the best facility for your loved one, have a thorough geriatric assessment performed to evaluate your loved one's mental and physical status. This will alert you to the level of care needed and offer guidance as to the progression of the disease and future needs that will arise.
Alzheimer's Disease robs its victims of many of life's most important things and leaves the one suffering with the disease in an extremely vulnerable position. The inability to protect themselves must then fall on the shoulders of someone the victim trusts. For that reason it is imperative that those responsible for the care of Alzheimer's victims be very aware of every possible threat their loved one might face. Recognizing most of the risks will be easy, but others are not so obvious.
During our journey into Alzheimer's we have learned some of the greatest risks come from the most unexpected places, including from within the family of the one suffering with the disease. This is an unfortunate and even disturbing reality that most of us don't want to believe. Wishing it were not true does not make the reality less true.
Our experiences have revealed that families behaving badly are sometimes more common than families behaving well when money is involved. So how can you protect your loved one in these circumstances? Here are several suggestions.
Our loved one's condition deteriorated quickly and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's shortly thereafter. Once we realized what had happened with the money we confronted the relative. At that time he insisted that the money was a gift. She was still able to say that it was her money, but there was no legal recourse to force him to return it to her.
Do you know how much Alzheimer's care costs? That money should have been used for her care. Instead the relative used it for his personal pleasure. Did we ever imagine he would take advantage of our loved one in such a way? Absolutely not, but he did and the money is gone.
Do not think something like this could not happen to your loved one, too. It's ugly, but it happens. Learn from the experiences of others. Be proactive, not reactive, to protect your loved one with Alzheimer's. As an Alzheimer's caregiver, it is an important part of your job.
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