I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.
Many seniors would prefer not to live in a nursing home and instead get in-home care to allow them to continue living in their own house for as long as possible. Taking a few things into consideration will make this easier.
Need for Care
The first step is an evaluation to determine just which types of care they may need so the right type of home health care provider is selected. An individual may need help with activities of daily living, such as personal care, housework, cooking, and making sure to take any necessary medications. They may need treatment for mobility, vision, or hearing issues to improve their quality of life, or they may need to be evaluated for depression or signs of dementia. Malnutrition is also a common problem in the elderly, so having someone help plan and prepare nutritious meals that appeal to the individual may be particularly important.
Choosing Senior Care Providers
If possible, it's a good idea to involve the senior in the selection of home health care providers, as this may make him or her more amenable to the idea of having a stranger coming into the home. This can be done through an agency, which is a bit more expensive but makes it easier to find suitable people and get backup care, or on your own. If you're not using an agency, make sure to run background checks, call a few references for each candidate, and interview people before making a selection. Also, have an arrangement set up in case back-up care is needed.
Make sure that any potential caregiver is legally in the country and has the proper licenses and certifications. Provide a clear contract that outlines all duties and expectations, including the compensation that will be provided, as well as details on how either party can end the arrangement and expectations about confidentiality. Make sure to pay the appropriate taxes for the caregiver. At some point, it may be necessary for the senior to have more care than can be provided in a home setting, in which case they may need to be moved to a care facility, such as an assisted living facility or long-term care facility.
It's a good idea to arrange for certain legal documents, such as a durable power of attorney for health care in case the senior should be incapacitated, and a living will to note what types of health care should be provided. Should the person be incapacitated before someone is appointed to handle their finances or other decisions, a court may need to appoint a guardian to make these decisions or a conservator to handle the individual's finances.Share