Introduction to Senior Care Alternative Choices
In today’s health system we are often lured with the words “quick care” or “urgent care” to describe the type of care we receive. In fact, what we need is continuity of care. Continuity promotes complete care and quality care. Imagine how your experience in health care might be different if you saw the same doctor, nurse, or caregiver every day instead of seeing a different care giver each day. Indeed, if you are young and have just one problem seeing a different provider might make less difference since there is little history to uncover each time. In general, young people have one problem and do not have a long complex medical, social, financial and emotional health history. On the other hand, seniors and those with chronic disease, have a life time of problems that are usually progressive and changing as they age. When you choose a senior care setting for a loved one who needs minimal care today, be sure to consider continuity of care, and what needs they will have in the future. For seniors, there are only a handful of alternative Senior Care options. Assisted Living facilities, Residential Care Homes, Home care and nursing homes are the options available.
There is a lot to consider BEFORE making that expensive and life altering decision of which senior care setting is best for you, not just for the resident or senior, but for the entire multi- generational family. In all cases, it is the people who are doing the work, day in and day out, they are the ones that play a large part in determining the quality of facility. Senior Care Assistance is a service. The quality and continuity of the service is very dependent on the management, administration and entire staff. Does each of these people have direct and frequent contact with the residents and families?
Moreover, we want to emphasize that this is an expensive choice, no matter what you choose Independent Living, Home Care, Residential Care Homes, Assisted Living, or Nursing Home. It can cost $3,000-$7000 a month or $36,000- 84,000 per year, if not more. The costs can go up depending on the setting and the level of assistance needed. That is like getting a new car every year, so we strongly urge you to consider what you really want and need, when making this expensive choice. When choosing any type of assisted care you need to include the fact that it is likely that you will need more care as time goes on. You need to be sure that the care setting care practically provide what they say they can. We also want to note that this choice affects the entire family. When hospital or doctor’s visits occur, in general, it is the family who has to supervise those complex and changing parts of many senior care settings. Only by having the highest continuity of care, can the family receive the support to make sense of the confusion and frustration that is increasingly occurring in the health care system. Each family member must visit several care settings and ask a few standard questions.
When a senior, considering Assisted Living, actually starts down the road of needing even a small amount of assistance, Continuity of Care becomes the number one issue. Remember, Continuity of Care is a person or a team of people keeping track and knowing what is happening to a person at all times; whether it is relating what happened on a doctor visit, what the family members say on each visit, who visited or emailed most recently and how a resident is feeling day to day. Continuity of care can continue out of the Assisted Living setting when a senior goes to the doctor’s office or to the hospital. Providing Continuity of Care in all care, physical, emotional and social care provides the highest level of emotional health and well- being.
Things to Consider
-Can you have the best care or high quality care, if you do not know or recognize the person providing the care?
-Does a facility have multiple employees? How can you know which employee you will get on any given day? If you do not know who you are getting, how can you know what you are getting in terms of care?
-We believe that providing care requires having a relationship, even professional relationships. We believe that both sides have to earn and develop trust, which contributes strongly to both sides valuing the quality of care received. We agree with the notion stated by Patch Adams (played by Robin Williams in the movie “Patch”) “ if you treat disease you win or lose, but if you treat the person you win every time.”
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check out — What is the Senior Care Continuum Search Tool? tab a good tool to assist you in your search.
Dr Shawn McGivney