Caring for the Elderly


by Alyx Braze

Something most of us will have to deal with at some point in our life is caring for an elderly person and you can lighten the stress of it by knowing what to do. Often times someone’s health can go slowly and their family will have time to figure out what needs to happen, but sometimes someone’s health can seem to deteriorate overnight. This is the point that it can be a nightmare to deal with if you do not know how caring for the elderly works.

No one can blame the elderly for wanting to stay in their home as long as they can. They will still fight it even if they’re aware that arrangement is no longer workable. Be understanding and try to think how it would make you feel if you were to leave your home.

Most illnesses the elderly get can begin with help like a home health. Home health is where an aide or nurse is sent to the patients house three or more times a week to help with tasks such as physical therapy, checking vitals, and baths. If limited mobility is an issue then meals, in addition to home health services, can be provided five days a week by a service called Meals on Wheels.

If the person you are caring for needs something more intense than there are other alternatives that give care all day every day such as a caregiver or a nursing home. Receiving care 24 hours a day can get pricey and it’s great if a person has money to pay for this type of service and if not, government assistance is an option.

Although it’s available, every country has their own system of government and regulations for this kind of help. For instance, the elderly in the United States have Medicare benefits and those that need even more help can apply for Medicaid benefits. In most cases, Medicare and Medicaid will pay for nursing home services if a person doesn’t have any assets to pay for it.

If you know someone that is in need of full time care the best person to ask for help from is their doctor. All doctors have a list of medical providers they prefer and know and will recommend to the families of those in need. You could also check with the Medicare and Social Security offices for more information, as well as online. In order to avoid dealing with this stuff when you need the help, start looking into the types of agencies that can help you now.

Once your loved one is safe and secure in a good nursing home visit them as often as you can. Many of us get so busy that we forget that our loved ones in nursing homes need to visit with their family and not feel like they have been cut off from everyone and everything. It’s sad to think that there are people who check in on their loved one only once or twice a year. Just remember how you would feel if you were them because it might be you on the other side someday.

Alyx Braze is a freelance writer who specializes in San Diego nursing homes and has a passion for helping the elderly.