Until well into the 1980’s, the only viable option available for seniors needing assistance with activities of daily living, such as reminders to take medications and assistance with bathing, was a nursing home. Unless they had a willing family member to take care of them. Since then, things have improved considerably, and a senior now has other options.
Following are the manners available:
1. Care for a loved one provided by a member of the family while residing in their own home. This remains to be a tried-and-tried again method. Without belaboring the toll that this type of responsibility usually exerts on the care-giver, it is a proven fact that the actual well-being of the loved-one is being compromised, unless that family member is educated and trained as a care-giver. It is a stressful and often thankless job which never gets any better.
Sadly, statistics suggest that while this arrangement is the most heartfelt and based on the best of intentions, it is usually responsible for the least beneficial care provided to such senior loved one.
2. Engaging a home-care provider, whereby trained personnel is invited into the home to render their services. This is generally a vast improvement, as credible home-care agencies do provide the necessary training for the care-givers that are engaged.
However, there are significant draw-backs. The ultimate supervision and scheduling is still an obligation that remains with a family member. While it does allow the family member to step back, this is not afford to totally hands-off solution.
In addition, this arrangement can quickly spiral financially out of control. Especially if 24/7 care is needed. Professional care-givers, on average, receive and deserve an hourly salary of $20.00 to $25.00. This does not include the fee charged by the agency. Hence, the hourly rate is often in excess of $30.00, or $720.00 per day. And this does not include the cost of keeping up the house, the mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities. Nor does it address the food expenses.
Furthermore, statistics indicate that the turn-over rate at home care agencies is amongst the highest in the health field. This means that a multitude of care-givers who are solely in charge for such loved-one during their employment, may pass through the house while rendering their services.
3. Live-in care-givers may reduce the cost of providing in-home care significantly. This implies that the care-giver resides in the home while furnishing his or her services. This does affect the fee for the care-giver but does not mitigate the costs of keeping up the house and food expenses. Fees generally range from $150.00 to $200.00 per day.
While this arrangement might sound attractive and seem economically more feasible, there is one major draw-back. Complete trust is placed in the hands of the care-giver, as he or she is virtually the only care-giver in the home at any one time. Plus, that person has to sleep sometimes. The common narrative is…we know who is watching our loved one, however, who is watching the watcher…?
4. Traditional Assisted Living Facilities generally are the resolution of choice for most families. Such facilities generally house upwards of 100 patients and as such, are somewhat institutional in nature. Most, if not all, are well appointed, clean and generally efficient. They provides for layers of supervision, and their services are professionally routine.
At no time do we wish to be critical relative to the services rendered by an in- home care provider or other assisted living facility. In fact, most do an admirable job.
However, we feel that we bring an emotional element to the equation. We attempt to put the “living” back into “assisted living”, by eliminating many of the negative aspects and replace them with a more personal approach to the care and support that is needed.