Assessing needs of Elderly Parents
There comes a time when any care provider may ask themselves, "When are my elderly parents going to become too much for me?"
Assessing needs, special or growing of aging parents when it comes to providing safe, informed and well-rounded care isn't always an easy issue to address.
Multiple factors and considerations need to be addressed.
Ask yourself the following questions to help determine extra needs when it comes to caring for elderly parents:
Keep in mind that it is nearly impossible for a single caregiver to provide all the needs for an aging parent. Statistics show that most caregivers are women, and such caregivers are often single mothers themselves; women who have jobs, child rearing obligations and financial stresses of their own.
Assessing needs and knowing when you need help, knowing how and where to ask for it is one of the most important decisions that a care provider may need to address when it comes to providing the best and safest care for a parent.
Help is out there, if you know where to find it. Whether you need help feeding your parent or need someone to help you take him or her to doctor and dentist appointments, or take your parent for some much-needed activity, there may be an organization in your community that may help.
Such services may include, but are not limited to:
The physical demands of care giving are unending. Helping a parent into and out of a bathtub is an exhausting experience, especially if your parent weighs more than you do, or if he or she is incapacitated in some way, or even if he or she is so afraid of falling it makes it difficult to move them anywhere.
Statistics show that most caregivers of elderly parents aren't spring chickens themselves, which makes the physical demands of such work even more strenuous – and dangerous. Many caregivers suffer from back, shoulder and knee injuries from trying to carry, lift or otherwise support a frail or heavy parent.
If your aging parent is recovering from an injury, surgery or is very ill or frail, health care workers may be able to provide in home care. In many cases, this type of care is pre-arranged by the hospital or care facility upon discharge for any episodes of care. This type of service employs professional home-health aids, nurses and CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) for medical care and services to elderly citizens.
Skilled care involves care that is supervised by nurses or therapists and may involve speech therapy, occupational or physical therapy as well as physical care. Skilled nurses may take care of wound dressings, catheters, and IV lines and administer medications, among just a few of their special talents.
Note: Professional RNs (registered nurses), LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and CNAs (certified nursing assistants) as well as home-health aides should be certified and licensed!
Custodial or in home care involves help with cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing and other daily tasks. Home health aids may also help with toileting, minor medical care, personal tasks and other elderly care in home.
Skilled nursing care doesn't come cheap, but it can be a real lifesaver for both parent and caregiver when the situation warrants some extra help. After all, how much will your medical bills cost if you permanently injure your back while trying to lift your elderly parent from a bathtub and slip and fall?
The average cost of a home-health aid ranges around $7 to $25 an hour, but this will depend on the type of services needed, as well as your location. Skilled nursing care may cost an average of $20 to $90 an hour, again depending on need and care given.
If you need help caring for an elderly parent, don't be embarrassed or ashamed to ask. Care giving is a demanding and endless task, and trying to do everything yourself is not only futile, but can lead to risks to your own good health. Whenever you can, take advantage of help your community may have to offer and enjoy the extra time you may save for yourself, your family, and your friends. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.
How are Mom and Dad and How are you coping?
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