“Old age is no place for sissies.” Bette Davis knew what she was talking about when she uttered this line. Growing old is not for the faint of heart. As you get older, the need for someone to care for you becomes an inevitable reality. Who that will be and where it will be done are major question that one must find answers for as you age.
A recent AARP survey found that a major concern for those fifty-five and older was staying at home as they grew older. The greying of America’s “baby boomers” has created an industry that addresses this issue by providing comfort and care for those who choose to convalesce at home or those who even in poor health want to stay as long as possible in the safe and familiar environment of home. This growing industry unfortunately is overrated and filled with people who are underpaid. As with anything discretion and research are necessities when considering a health care worker or agency.
Growing old is inevitable, when the need for assistance arises consider these factors:
COST is very important. It determines the kind of care you will receive. Whether your worker is through an agency or by word of mouth from a friend, payment for services rendered is expected. The family or client must know from the beginning if the service is affordable. Cost also requires knowing if life insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare will pay any or all of the cost.
COVERAGE is the range of services offered. Unfortunately, health care work has been likened to slavery. Many times they are asked to do things that have nothing to do with health care. Ask about transportation to doctor or dental visits, washing soiled clothing, doing light housekeeping, or even working overtime.
Background checks are vital when hiring any worker. The elderly and the sick are vulnerable. It’s important to know who you’re letting into your home. Background checks and references provide needed information about the worker’s character and experience.
Accountability, who is liable? It’s unfortunate but sometimes things go wrong. Knowing who to contact and who to hold responsible when they do is also an important a part of caring for a loved one.