Choosing Between Elder Care Providers

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Choosing an elder care provider for the first time, or choosing an elder care provider that’s more qualified to meet the needs of your loved one, can seem like a daunting task. Where do you begin, and how can you make the search easier? How can you make a comparison of different providers in a compassionate, yet logical way that satisfies both peace of mind and financial responsibility?

Consider the approach you use when purchasing or opting to buy any major service for your home, business, or family. At first, this approach may seem cold, business-like and lacking in compassion, but it is essential to take this stance when purchasing a service on this scale. If you set your emotions aside, and focus first on the needs of your elder family member from a straight-forward, logical place, you will be less likely to be taken advantage of by those who would prey upon your emotions, and less likely to make a decision solely based on “how you feel”-and more about “what does my elderly family member need and want” in Elder Care?

First, list the day-to-day needs of your family member, and insure that the most fundamental needs are not only met, but exceeded. Second, list the emotional needs of your elderly family member, and for your family as well, to insure that the elder care provider you choose will meet, anticipate, and hopefully far exceed these needs. Here are some tips:

Whenever possible, talk with your elderly family member. Ask about their needs and preferences-do they want to live at home and have help with errands and tasks? Will they benefit from visits by in-home health professionals, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists? Would they benefit from being part of a vibrant, senior assisted living community that offers some day-to-day assistance along with community building, group activities with other seniors?

List what is working: Are there confident areas where your elderly family member does NOT need assistance? If so, continuing to allow them the freedom to accomplish and excel in these areas will contribute to their independence and boost their confidence and self-esteem.

List what isn’t working: Are there areas where your elderly family member needs temporary or on-going assistance? These areas may include:

1. Physical rehabilitation
2. Driving and running errands; getting to appointments
3. Household chores that involve heavy lifting, or any strenuous activity
4. Remembering dates, appointments, when to take medications, correct doses, and times of day.

Once these logical needs are met, you can begin a conversation about the emotional needs of your elderly family member. Would they benefit from an Elder Care Provider to come sit and visit with them throughout the day? Perhaps they would benefit from an Elder Care Day Center that offers activities, transportation to and from appointments, and a break for your family caregivers. Would the family member thrive in an Assisted Living Community, where some of their needs are met by Elder Care Providers, while they still maintain some of their independence, and become part of a vibrant senior community?

Consider these when choosing between Elder Care providers. Keep in mind that many established caregiver organizations will have many, if not all, these options available or can put you in contact with other local providers who offer the services you’re looking for.