Jacksonville In Home Care for Seniors: A Family Guide
If your parent or family member has begun to lose cognitive function and struggles with simple tasks, you might find it difficult to accept that circumstances have changed. You don’t want to put mom or dad into a nursing home. You’d rather keep them home as long as possible, but forgetfulness and wandering are becoming common. Perhaps, your loved one has days when getting dressed is impossible or you don’t have time in your own busy schedule to help them care for a pet.
Whether your loved one needs after-surgery care, homemaking and health aide services or already needs a hospice nurse, knowing what to do next can be a challenge. There are so many choices. Luckily, Jacksonville, Florida has many options for families wanting to give their senior member the best care. A nursing home is not the only option. Other choices include assisted living programs, continuing care groups and in home care agencies.
Each option offers different services and levels of intervention. However, most seniors prefer to stay in their own home. If you’re wondering when Jacksonville in home care is the best option, this family guide to senior home care will help you make the best choice for your family.
When is In Home Care for Seniors a Good Choice?
Deciding on in home care services is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. If your parent is used to the comfort and familiarity of home and their own bed, nursing homes can be lonely. When your loved one doesn’t feel comfortable around strangers or has trouble making friends, staying home can be a better choice.
For example, home care agencies focus on giving the level of independence a senior needs to feel useful. A nursing home can make your loved one feel unwanted. Trained nursing staff or housekeepers can become a close friend while making sure your loved one’s needs are met. The goal of in home care for seniors is to help patients recover after they have surgery or provide extra support so that disabled seniors or those who need help bathing, dressing and shopping can live as independently as possible.
In addition, Jacksonville in home care services can give an evaluation of the home and offer suggestions to make it safer. Perhaps a strong metal bar in the bathroom or a sturdy shower chair would prevent falls. They could help keep walkways clear, remind your loved one to take their medication or help counsel loved one and family alike. Additional services might include medical supplies and equipment, physical therapy, nutritional guidance and pain control.
If hospice services are needed, there are in-home licensed hospice staff that can help your loved one adjust to what’s happening as well as offer essential medical care. Hospice would make your loved one comfortable and free up your time to visit during their final days. The focus would be on your loving relationship. Instead of worrying, your time together could be stress-free and memorable.
Making the Decision
Be honest with yourself and take the time to accurately determine the level of care your loved one needs. Are there family members who can assist? Do they live close enough to make it practical? If not, a senior home care program might be the better choice, especially if there are children you need to care for. Also, think about your church or social organizations you’re involved with. Time commitments might already be stretched pretty thin.
Make a list of your loved one’s needs and take it with you when you visit senior home care agencies to determine whether they are a good fit. Don’t overlook the need for your loved one to be included in the decision-making process. While most adults prefer to stay home, some seniors thrive in social situations. Look at your loved one’s personality. Do they enjoy crowds or are they used to coming and going on their own? If so, maybe a one-on-one companionship would be a better option.
What to Look for in a Jacksonville Senior Care Agency
Once you’ve decided to go with a home care agency, finding the perfect Jacksonville senior care program is essential. Not all in home care agencies are licensed to handle every need. Licensing varies, so you want to pick an agency that can help.
Begin your search with your loved one’s physician. In the state of Florida, a doctor can sign a treatment order that states exactly what skilled services the senior needs. With that order, a home care agency can create a treatment plan. If you go to a company that offers just homemaking and companionship services, you’ll have to switch providers if your loved one requires nursing or hospice care later on.
Loved ones also have the right to be involved in that treatment plan, so make sure that the Jacksonville senior care agency is willing to work with your loved one as well as the doctor. The idea behind in home care for seniors is to help your loved one achieve as high a level of functioning as possible. If the agency isn’t going to involve your loved one from the very beginning, that probably won’t happen.
In home care should also allow family members to be as involved in their loved one’s life as they want to be. Nursing staff should be willing to inform the family of what’s happening. Licensed agencies are held to higher standards so look for a company that hires well-qualified nurses and in-home providers. It’s also a good idea to look for those who have extensive experience in the exact medical challenge your loved one has.
Another important element is to watch how your loved one interacts with the staff. Does the staff show compassion? Your loved one should respond well to them. If not, then keep looking. Senior home care is about giving your loved one the best quality of life possible. That is essential for the mental and emotional health of your loved one.