Frequently Asked Questions about Senior Care
What is home care ?
Home care refers to any type of care (medical or non-medical) that is provided to the patient in their home. The type of care includes companionship/homemaking services, personal care services, nursing care, speech, physical or occupational therapy. These services can help maintain or improve your health and can be provided temporarily after a hospital stay, or an ongoing basis if you need continued help to adapt to an illness or injury.
Why should I choose home care as an option?
When we are not feeling well, most of us ask to be home. We enjoy the comfort of our residences and the joy of being with our loved ones. When our loved ones are ill, we try to get them home as soon as possible. Home care is particularly important in times of illness when families desire to be near one another for support.
Home care is a comforting alternative to premature admission to a long-term care facility.
Home care allows for the maximum amount of freedom for the individual.
Patients at home can remain active in their customary daily routines while receiving one-on-one care and attention.
Surprisingly home care is can be less expensive than other forms of care.
If nursing care in not needed around the clock, home care can allow you to create a customized care plan that meets your needs and your budget.
National studies have shown that 95 percent of those age 75 and older prefer to stay in their current residence for as long as possible.
What other senior living options are available?
There are now many options available when it comes to elder care and senior care. Options available for elder care or senior care include:
Facilities For Seniors
When a senior moves away from home for care, there are several options available today including: Supportive Housing, Retirement Homes or Residences and Long Term Care Homes.
Supportive Housing is designed for people who only need minimal to moderate care. They may provide some supportive services including Accommodations usually consist of rental units within an apartment building. In a few cases, the accommodation is a small group residence. Accommodation costs are based on market rent for similar apartments.
Retirement homes are privately owned rental accommodations for seniors who are able to manage and pay for their own care. Generally, retirement homes are designed for older adults who need some assistance with the activities of daily living, but do not 24-hour nursing and medical care.
Retirement Residences are not subsidized by the government, so retirement residents pay for the entire cost of their care and accommodations. Many facilities charge a base rate for facilities and offer services on an a-la-carte basis.
Long Term Care Homes are designed for people who require nursing care, personal care and supervision within a secure setting on a 24 hour basis. In some provinces eligibility for a long term care home is determined by the government.
Why Not Hire Someone Privately?
When you hire privately you need to be prepared to go through the process of recruiting, interviewing, reference checking and background screening. The private caregiver will not be bonded. As an employer, you are responsible for the administration for income tax, employment insurance, CPP.
As the employer, the individual or family paying for the private caregiver would be held liable for any of the caregiver's work-related injury that occurs on the job.
This can include the cost of all medical expenses and any disability payments that might become applicable. Since the home-care industry is noted for work-related injuries, this can be a huge risk, especially if the care giving tasks include lifting, transferring or bathing. There are also risks related to communicable diseases if the caregiver does not abide by universal precautions that are required by all Comfort Keepers.
There is the potential for both physical abuse and financial exploitation when work is being done on behalf of a frail, functionally limited, and often cognitively impaired individual. This becomes especially easy when the caregiver and the recipient of care are isolated in a private home setting with little or no supervision.
If the caregiver is ill or just decides not to show up for work, you will have no back-up. It could take weeks to find a replacement.
Many of my friends hire ex-nannies and pay them under the table. Why can't I?
First, this activity is illegal. Offending parties are often in breach of tax laws, employment standard requirements, workers compensation regulations and possibly even immigration laws.
The other reason has to do with service quality and guarantees. Although many ex-nannies do this work, bear in mind there are significant difference in how one cares for children and the elderly. Has your ex-nanny been fully trained in senior care? A caregiver providing personal care services should have a diploma in a Personal Care from a recognized college programme.
Why can't I just sponsor someone from overseas? I hear that's an inexpensive to get a caregiver!
Some people choose to do this through the government's live-in caregiver program. Unfortunately, this involves much paperwork and multiple trips to government offices followed by what can be up to a year of waiting for the individual to arrive. When she or he is ultimately hired, you are then still responsible for all of the payroll work described above.
Another common situation is that when people sponsor a caregiver, that worker will often leave after securing landed immigrant status.
What are ADLs and IADLs?
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) include the basic tasks essential for day-to-day functioning, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, mobility and toileting. Many seniors who require help with such activities are largely independent, but may require help with one or two ADLs.
In some cases, intermittent help from a family member or friend may be all that is needed. However, in many cases, particularly when family or friends are unavailable and the importance of scheduling these activities is critical, informal care arrangements may not be adequate.
Comfort Keepers® offices can provide Personal Care Services to assist our clients with ADLs. Please contact the Comfort Keepers location nearest you or your loved one for more information.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) are considered those activities which are less basic than the traditional ADLs. IADLs, nevertheless, are important in enhancing a client’s quality of life. IADLs include such activities as shopping, paying bills, cleaning, doing the laundry and meal preparation.
Many seniors require assistance with IADLs rather than ADLs. Some seniors want someone to escort them when they are shopping and help them avoid situations that might cause them to fall. Other seniors may welcome assistance with their bill paying and medical appointments.
Comfort Keepers offers an array of companionship and homemaking services to assist our clients with the IADLs. Please contact the Comfort Keepers location nearest you or your loved one for more information.