Are you struggling with providing senior home care for yourself or for a loved one? Don’t get caught up in one of the many myths floating around regarding senior care. A senior caregiver allows family members to rest easy knowing their loved one is receiving the top quality of care in their own home. Full time or part time senior care provides other family caregivers some freedom to pursue outside activities and to simply take care of themselves.
For many families challenged to care for a senior family member, senior home care is an absolute godsend. But it’s common to worry a little about letting a stranger into the home environment. There are many myths floating around about senior home care. Here are some myths about home care compared to the reality.
MYTH: I am Mom’s primary caregiver, so I don’t need to hire additional help.
FACT: A single caregiver—whether an adult son or daughter, or a spouse—should never be on call 24/7. Trying to tackle all of the responsibilities by yourself can lead to emotional and physical exhaustion, and put unnecessary strain on the caregiver’s relationship with the senior receiving care. A senior home care provider, even a part time one, can provide a break from the stress of full-time care-giving, without removing the senior from their home. More importantly, the primary caregiver is provided the opportunity to have some balance in their lives, with opportunities to socialize, attend religious services and simply to deal with their own care.
MYTH: Senior home care is too expensive.
FACT: Access to state and local programs like Medicaid allows more families than ever to afford quality home care for their loved ones. Long-term care insurance is available for additional support, and seniors with military backgrounds are often eligible for veteran’s benefits. According to Genworth’s 2014 Cost of Care Survey, the national medial hourly rate for senior home caregivers is $20, while the national median rate for assisted living communities is $3,500 per month. Many families find that privately employing a senior caregiver is a more economical alternative, particularly when other family members are available for backup care when the caregiver is ill or on vacation.
MYTH: My senior parent requires 24 hour care, so a senior home caregiver is not an option.
FACT: Many families successfully schedule 24 hour per day care, particularly when the senior has a strong desire to age in place and the means to do so. Whether you utilize a quality senior home care agency that employs the caregivers, or you utilize a senior care referral agency or privately hire, options where you employ the caregiver directly, all caregivers should be thoroughly , and pre-employment background checks conducted. Most agencies provide a certain level of training to their caregivers before placing them, so ask about CPR training or training with relevant medical procedures involved in your senior’s care. If you privately employ the caregiver, these questions should be part of the screening process.