How to find quality care for our elderly loved ones

Image: Marlo Sollito

With people living longer and our lives becoming busier, it’s hard to give the elderly women who raised us, such as our mothers and grandmothers, the care that they deserve. Finding someone to be there when we cannot is a minefield, and it’s hard to know what to look for when looking for quality in-home care. Therefore, it’s important to keep these four crucial factors in the front of your mind during your search.

Companionship

43% of seniors reportedly said they felt lonely on a regular basis. Loneliness breeds depression and poor mental health, and is a serious risk for the elderly. At-home care should extend beyond basic housekeeping, and carers should have long, engaging conversations with their patient, go out for walks, and take them to and arrange other social engagements. Compassionate care is about forming a relationship between the patient and her carer, providing that vital link to the outside world that many elderly sadly lack.

Safe care

All too often, we see and hear horror stories of high-needs elderly care patients abused by their carers. This usually happens in low-cost facilities where staff are untrained and overworked. If you’re seeking a carer for a high-needs medical patient who requires services for chronic illnesses, traumatic brain injuries, tubular feeding support or palliative care, it’s vital to enlist one-on-one support from a trained nurse who will respect and safely care for your loved one. Also, if you are worried about overworking your carer, consider hiring an additional pair of helping hands.

Specialized mental services Nearly half of Americans who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s have been abused or neglected by either carers or their family. Mentally-impaired patients require special levels of care and need particularly patient, compassionate and respectful carers. They have the right to maintain their dignity despite any diminished mental faculties, and it is important to find a service that recognizes and values this. Make sure to find a carer who has special training in caring for mentally-impaired patients, given the notorious difficulties of such high-level needs.

Accountability

The carer is a key point of contact between elderly patients and their families, particularly those who live in different states or cities. It’s crucial to find a care service that will work with families and keep them updated on the ongoing status of their loved ones. A company that considers itself to be a family is more likely to understand the importance of maintaining strong familial bonds with loved ones and be in tune with the level of care that your own family needs.

Finding quality in-home care for loved ones can be a struggle, and it’s hard to know exactly what services to search for. Agencies such as caringpeopleinc.com, which emphasise the value of companionship for the elderly, provide specialized care services for high-needs and mentally-impaired patients, and understand the significance of maintaining strong family bonds. Our elderly loved ones should be respected, treasured and looked after, and when we can’t be there for them, it’s our duty to seek the best care that we can.

Thanks to Carol Trehearn

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