Your aging parents want to continue to live in their own home as long as possible, and you want to help them do that – but you have kids of your own, a full-time job, or other demands on your time that prevent you from being your aging parents' full-time care provider. There are a wide variety of home care solutions that can be used to help them continue to live at home.
Many people do not fully realize the costs of assisted living or nursing care until they are faced with making choices about their parents' care. Home health care, in most instances, is more cost effective than nursing homes, which exceed $70,000 a year, and assisted living facilities averaging $2,100 to $2,900 per month, according to AARP.
Home care solutions
There are many different aspects of home health care that you can consider for your aging parents, depending on the extent of their needs. There are relatively few reasons why your parent would be unable to age in place, and home health care solutions help make aging at home a more realistic possibility. Certified home health aides (CHHAs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are educated and trained to handle general medical needs like dispensing medications, providing assistance getting dressed, bathing, and other hygiene needs (including incontinence supplies) and other activities of daily living, and can even provide housekeeping services. CHHAs and CNAs are typically hired through certified home health agencies and are often covered by private insurance and, in some cases, Medicare, if particular criteria are met.
If your aging parent is still relatively independent but just needs to be checked on occasionally, most health care agencies also offer companion services. These companions may not be qualified to handle chronic diseases or illness, but they can spend time with your parent, provide support for your parent to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, and help with small tasks around the house enabling your aging parent to be as independent as possible.
CHHAs can be a perfect solution for providing support and one-on-one comfort to your family member, if your aging parent has recently had surgery or has a long-term, chronic or fatal disease. Assistance with eating, walking and communicating with medical staff, if there are any medical complications, are all part of the role the CHHA can play. They can bring genuine peace of mind to the adult child who cannot be with the aging parent all the time.
Serious health concerns
Health care agencies also have registered nurses (RNs) on staff, if your aging parent has more extensive medical needs but still wishes to age in home. RNs have more education and training and are able to handle most medical issues aging parents may face. They can administer medications, give injections, and provide 24-hour care to your aging parent without the need of a long-term care facility or hospital.
In-home health care solutions are a viable alternative for the aging parent who wants to age in home. While the cost can be significant, it is still far less than the cost of a nursing home, and often insurance and Medicare will help defray the cost. Home health care solutions are a major aspect of assisting your parents in avoiding placement in a long-term care facility.