AGING IN PLACE: IS IT TIME TO GET 24 HOUR CARE?
By Alexa Graziani, ALCA Corporate Partner
24 hour care includes both day and overnight care, around-the-clock. Although every state has its own regulations, some of the common 24 hour care options include the following:
A. A full day is worked by one caregiver, with breaks, and that is then followed 8 hours of rest in the client’s house.
B. Two caregivers work 12 hour shifts, with the evening caregiver staying awake throughout the night.
24 HOUR IN-HOME CARE BENEFITS
When care is provided in the home, it enables a spouse or aging parents to be able to continue living where they are the most comfortable. Proper preparation can mean the difference between chaos and a calm transition. It can be very helpful to learn how to be an active care partner.
The following are some of the most important benefits that 24 hour care can provide your family:
Calm agitation in individuals who have lost their sense of place and time.
Reduce urinary tract infections and skin infections.
Reduce fall risk for individuals who need help getting out of bed.
Reduce risk of dehydration and fainting.
Avoid bathing and kitchen accidents.
Improve socialization by spending time with a companion.
Meet medical and personal needs during the night.
It can be difficult to make the decision to increase the level of care or get started with 24 hour home care.
As family members, none of us want to have to accept the limitations of our loved ones. Or, we live in complete denial about their illness or dementia. Don’t wait until a crisis arises. Be involved and aware. Whatever you learn as part of this process will be truly invaluable.
“Many adult children call us in crisis mode after a parent has had a fall or trip to the hospital,” says Jackie Summers, Sales Operations Manager for Home Care Assistance. “These kinds of situations, more times than not, could’ve been prevented if the senior would’ve had an in-home caregiver nearby to assist or notice a change in condition. Taking a close look at how well a parent is getting along on their own can make a big difference in their health and well being.”
The following signs might mean it’s time to switch to 24 hour care for your elderly parent, spouse, or friend:
Falls are occurring frequently.
Confusing nighttime and daytime, agitated while in the dark or waking up frequently during the middle of the night.
Staying at a rehabilitation facility or hospitalized recently after a heart attack, stroke, or hip fracture.
Fainting due to being dehydrated.
Difficulties with drinking or eating without help.
Wandering away from home, by vehicle or foot, and getting confused or lost.
Confused by brief absences of caregivers, friends, or family.Increased or new bathroom accidents.
You are afraid about leaving the individual at night or aren’t getting enough sleep due to having to tend to their nightly needs.
INVOLVE THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS RECEIVING CARE
With all of the planning, sometimes the individual receiving the care is lost! At first, it can be a shock having unfamiliar individuals coming into the house to provide intimate care.
Make the effort to respect and honor your spouse’s or aging parent’s needs and wishes.
When it comes to choosing caregivers, include them in the process as much as possible. After the caregiver starts working, respond to any ongoing concerns your loved one has.
Be patient and flexible throughout the process of getting 24 hour care set up. Work with the home care agency closely to provide quality, consistent, and safe care to your aging spouse or parent.
Alexa Graziani is a representative of Home Care Assistance, a Silver Corporate Partner of the Aging Life Care Association.
This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be a substitute for, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information on this blog does not necessarily reflect official positions of the Aging Life Care Association® and is provided “as is” without warranty. Always consult with a qualified professional with any particular questions you may have regarding your or a family member’s needs.