By Pam Gennings, Executive Director Special Projects*
Over the years I have talked to many family members who come home for the holidays and become concerned because they have noticed “changes” in their loved one or their circumstances.
They are not always sure if home care services are needed or if their concern is unfounded. The following indicators can be used as a guide to help determine if your loved one could benefit from home care services.
- New diagnosis
- New medications or treatments ordered by a physician
- Terminal illness
- Recently discharged from a hospital or nursing facility
- Physician has restricted activity during a period of recuperation—this could be a few days or several weeks
- Frequent falls or fear of falling
- Confusion, forgetfulness, depression or other changes in mental status
- No longer able to/should not drive or driving is very limited
- Frequent trips to the doctor, urgent care or ER
- Uses an assistive device (cane, walker, wheelchair or stair climber) to help with balance or walking
- Is required to take several daily medications
- The person being cared for should not be left alone and may require 24-hour supervision
- Spouse/family members work
- Caregiver appears to be stressed and overwhelmed
- Spouse/family members in poor health
- The person being cared for needs more assistance than the caregiver is able or willing to provide
Strong Desire to Remain at Home But is Unsure of How to Manage Because…
- There is limited support from family or others
- Spouse is in poor health
- They worry about emergency situations
- Family does not want loved one to be alone
- They need assistance with housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, shopping, bathing, hair care, medication reminders, transportation, or other essential daily tasks
If your loved one has one or more of the indicators listed above, call Oxford HealthCare and ask to speak with a Care Coordinator.
A qualified home care professional will:
- Identify needs and available services
- Evaluate funding sources and community services
- Coordinate services upon request
*Pam Gennings has a Bachelor’s of Arts and has worked in the field of Geriatric Social Work and Care Coordination for more than 30 years. She started working for Oxford HealthCare in 1993. During the course of her career she has helped thousands of people find resources to remain in their homes as well as provided guidance to families that were facing difficulties with their aging loved ones.