Long Distance Caregiving

Long Distance Caregiving

Posted on December 9, 2011 by Elder Care Bay Area in Assisted Living, Blog, Caregiver Education, Independent Living, Long Term Care Information, Moving / Organization, Nursing Homes, Retirement Communities

The first step to coping with this situation is to recognize the anticipated stresses.  In the United States most of our family is spread throughout the states thus causing stress on the family when an older relative is ill or needs additional assistance.  Other stresses are family dynamics.  Family dynamics usually return to the previous level of functioning. These dynamics most definitely affect the way we handle the process of caring for our parents or older relative even when we are far away. Being aware of these triggers can assist in coping more effectively. Today there are many services that reduce the pressure on the family regarding long distance caregiving issues.  Most of us want to allow our loved ones to remain as independent as long as possible.  Now with services such as emergency response systems, meals on wheels, hiring help in the home and senior center case management we can let our loved one remain in their own home longer these days.  There is a time when we need to recognize the signs of when a loved one needs to be placed in a care facility.  Care facilities come in all shapes and sizes.  Depending on the care needed for the elder.

Housing Options:  When It Is Time To Move

Subsidized Senior Housing:  These are apartments that the Federal and the State help with financially.  This is a housing option for those who can live independently safely and who qualify financially for reduced rent.  Many of these vary from state to state and may have a waiting list.

Homesharing:  This is a housing option for those who have a large house and want to rent out a room in exchange for household chores.  The agreement is between the individuals and usually requires some time involved to interview and run a background check.

Retirement Communities:  This is a housing option for those who want to be in an environment that offers social activities, meals as well as maintain their independence.  These facilities require a monthly fee which the elder usually pays out of pocket.

Continuing Care Communities:  This is a housing option for those who may want to sell their existing home in order to purchase long term care in advance for a large sum of money.  These facilities usually require that the person be functioning independently prior to being accepted to the continuing care facility.  Once accepted the individual can stay at the same facility despite change in level of care.

www.ccaconline.org    Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC)

Assisted living Facilities:  This is a housing option for those who require some assistance and can afford paying a monthly rent plus any additional fees for the required assistance.  These facilities usually vary in price and in size.  The facility provides congregate meals, laundry services, transportation to doctors appointments, and medication monitoring as well as assistance with bathing if needed.   Some of the facilities provide a secured Alzheimer’s/Dementia unit.

www.alfa.org  Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)

Board and Care Facilities, Adult Foster Homes, Residential Care Facilities:  This is a housing option that usually is in a home that has been approved by the state to be licensed as a board and care residence.  Usually the rooms are shared with a shared bathroom.  The staff can provide medication monitoring, shared meals, laundry and some assistance with bathing.  These facilities charge a monthly fee that the elder is responsible for.

Skilled Nursing Facility, Convalescent Home, Rehabilitation Facility:  This facility is usually for those who need additional time to recover from a medical condition.  Medicare does pay for a limited stay when additional recovery is deemed necessary by the doctor.  Many times when an elder has been in the hospital the doctor will write an order for the patient to be transferred to a nursing home for an additional few weeks to ensure recovery.  The non-emergency ambulance will transport the patient to the nursing home if medically needed.  The patient will be seen by a nursing home doctor or may be seen by their own doctor if that doctor has privileges at that facility.

•    www.medicare.gov provides a listing of the nursing homes in every state that have been reviewed.  The facility reports can also be accessed at this web site.

•    www.jcaho.org    The Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)

•    www.carf.org     The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

•    www.ltcombudsman.org    Understanding what an Ombudsman is and their role while in a nursing home

Hospice Care:  Hospice is home care that is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid when a person is diagnosed with a terminal illness and has been given the prognoses to have six months or less to live.  People who are on hospice usually will stay at their home or will be in some type of care facility.