Aging in place is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” The value of aging in place is recognized more now than ever before. Aside from the psycho/social benefits of the elderly remaining home for as long as possible, with institutional care being extremely costly, a home health aide at the appropriate time is the ideal solution.
Unfortunately, there comes a point in most seniors’ lives where they cannot manage all their basic needs alone. It varies for everyone depending on their state of health, both mentally and physically. A senior’s compromised mobility may make them unable to shop for and prepare meals for themselves. They may need help with basic grooming, dressing and toileting or become forgetful to the degree that relatives are afraid to leave them on their own lest they forget something cooking on the stove or become disoriented and wander away. Whatever the case may be, outside care might become necessary, but how do you go about lining that up?
Sometimes families choose to find help on their own. This can be a viable option, but becomes burdensome as time wears on. Properly screening and vetting candidates is not an easy proposition. It is more efficient to turn to professionals to do that. Licensed home healthcare agencies are designed to take painstaking care in checking references and for a criminal background before sending someone to your home. They make sure all medical requirements for the aides are met and they themselves are monitored by the state. If you have long term care insurance, you will be required to use a licensed agency to be reimbursed for home care. You should be aware when choosing an agency to work with that some are fussier than others in their screening practices.
For the entire article by Anita Kamiel, RN, MPS, founder/owner of David York Home Healthcare Agency, Registered Nurse with advanced degrees in Gerontological Administration, please click here.