Homecare Management 101
Homecare Management Simplified!
Learn how to mix and match services that address your unique challenges.
Caring for an aging parent one not come with a job description or manual. What may work for your friend and their parents, may not work for you. You have unique challenges - your relationship with them, their cultural background, their personality, your lifestyle, etc. are all contributing to your frustrations. You know you need help but you just do not how to go about it.
What you need is knowing "how to fill the NEEDs"! The Caregiver's Formula Success is knowing how to mix and match services, products, tools and other resources together in order to create a Homecare Pan that fits both the NEEDS of the Caregiver and the person we are caring for.
The Formula for Success
is knowing how to
services, products, tools and other resources together in order to design a custom Homecare Plan that fits the needs of both the Caregiver and the person we are caring for.
Defining the Challenge
"I need to get over to Dad's by dinner time. Looks like the meeting I will be in today is going to run late.
I am not going to be able to get there when he normally expects me. Now what do I do?"
Defining the Challenge
"Dad needs to take several medications throughout the day. He also forgets to tell me when his prescriptions are running low. I just don't have the time to run out to the pharmacy when this happens. So what can I do?"
Defining the Challenge
"Mom needs more help with bathing these days. Not only that, to bathe she has to go upstairs. I worry about this the most. I don't want to invest in a home renovation because I am not sure how long she can continue to live here. How do I keep her safe?"
Defining the Challenge
"Dad was always good on his own with keeping up on household chores. But lately I am noticing that he can't keep up with it anymore and his bathroom and kitchen really need to be cleaned. I can't keep up on my own housekeeping. How do I now keep on top of his?"
One Size Does Not Fit All- Nor Does Just One Solution!
Sometimes our frustrations comes from thinking that one solution is going to address all of our parent's needs. Take Home Care Agencies for example.
Home care agencies are the best option when it comes to routines, dependability and expertise in patient care NEEDS. They offer a broad range of valuable patient care services from: medication reminders, light house keeping, companionship, laundry, food prep and doctor's visits. They are a great resource for Caregivers to have on their Homecare Team; as long as, you keep in mind that they are not going to be able to do everything that YOU NEED.
Let's address the NEEDs in the Challenges defined above:
Challenge = House cleaning/deep cleaning tasks on a regular basis.
Solution = Hire a home cleaning service to help with this.
Challenge = Getting to the drugstore is inconvenient.
Solution = Use SimpleMeds.com to have medication automatically shipped to your parents home and and pre-sorted by day by time.
Challenge = Meal preparation.
Solution = Momsmeals.com or Schwanns.com food service has a wide variety of meals that are easy to prepare.
Challenge = Showering or the location of the shower.
Solution = A portable shower unit addresses safety issues and the expense of home renovation/modifications.
Everyone's challenges are going to be different, therefore the solutions will be, too. What may be working for a friend may not work for you. Let us help you find the ones which will work best for you.
Use our Homecare Management Formula for Success along with the amazing resources you'll find on our Marketplace to design a custom Homecare Plan that fits everyone's needs.
Do you have realistic expectations?
My parent/loved one is coming home, I don't need any help.
Unrealistic. We feel an obligation to accept the responsiblity as the caregiver for our parents but we're just not prepared for it. Statistics show that patients return home to untrained care providers. No matter how many flyers the discharge nurse hands you, it will not prepare you for that first night home, bathing and bathroom issues, maneuvering challenges, etc. This is all very real! Having a home care aide with you the first couple of days and nights especially is invaluable. Don't penny pinch. You may have out of pocket expenses but the peace of mind and help they provide is worth it.
I think my sibling(s) should have to pay for some of these care expenses?
Unrealistic. When you assume the role as the Caregiver or Care Manager for a loved one, the family dynamic is going to change. Our advice is get over it now. Families should want to come together to help their parents, however strange things happen when conversations about collaborating on care expenses come up. Try to have a conversation with your siblings to find out where they stand on this and then move on. The ideal scenario is to have all of this worked out as a family early on which is one of the goals of this website - to help you prepare for this stage. However, here you are now dealing with the costs of your parent's care. You own this role- now run with it.
You will love the first/helper aide assigned to your loved one.
Un-realistic. The Home Care Agency may have to assign several different aides before finding the right fit for your parent. Be patient and give it some time before you dismiss someone. It takes time to create bond.
Once I hire a Helper Agency, I can check out.
Unrealistic. Just as it is important for your loved one to bond with their home care aide – so should you. Develop a relationship with them by defining expectations and listening to their feedback about changes in your parent’s status. You must remain connected to this process, even if you do not need to be there in person.
I expect the home care agency to do tasks for both of my parents.
Unrealistic. Unless that is what is agreed upon by the Agency, the Home Care Aide will only be caring for one of your parents - "the patient." When working with a homecare agency, they refer to your loved one as “the Patient” and they are being hired to provide "patient care services'. The Home Care Aide will be assigned to only one "patient" and will not perform common duties when their are two parents in the household, ie. medication reminders, laundry, or meal prep. If this is your need, then look at hiring a private care person. This becomes especially complex if you are trying to pay for services using Long-Term Care Insurance.
With Long Term Care insurance (LTC), my parents can hire whoever they want.
Realistic-ish. They can hire whoever the want but there are guidelines to the policy that must be followed. There will be an allowance on the hourly rate and a limit on the number of hours an aide may work per week. The agency will need to be informed in advance that a LTC plan is in place and they will have to agree to working within the terms of the policy. Not all agencies accept LTC insurance but if they do, then they will coordinate the reporting and payments directly with the insurance agency. Note: If you have two parents on a LTC policy, read the fine print and talk to the agency on how this will work with them. Do not assume!
Anastasia, Aging Parents Management
Stop listening to your friends advice. Your situation and parent's situation are different therefore what may have worked for them may not work for you.
Until we came up with a new game plan, we were frustrated for years.
Just because it worked with our friend's parents, meant that it was going to work for ours.
It wasn't until we began examining our daily routines and responsibilities a little more closely we realized that there was a better way to go about managing our Dad's care.
Once we were open to implementing alternative solutions in unconventional ways, the results surprised us.
Do others know about this? We are going to say NO because we never encountered it anywhere along our Caregiver journey.
Let me tell you all about it.