💞Long term care for loved ones can often take a toll. Ashley Carrasco shares one woman’s story about overcoming guilt and burnout.
“Caregiving and Self-Care Must go Hand-in-Hand.” – Carolyn A. Brent
Carolyn A. Brent cared for her father for many years. After his passing she realized there weren’t enough resources out there to assist her through the process. Since then she has written 8 books in hopes of providing tools for other caregivers and to help them live the healthiest and fullest life while look over others.
What do you do when long-term care facilities remain ravaged by COVID-19? by KHGI Good Life NTVabc – Nebraska TV | The Caregiver’s Companion | Risk vs. Safety: When Caring for a loved one Nowadays, during these difficult times. The challenging decision-making process, when your loved one needs 24-hour medical attention and requires long-term care. What do you do when long-term care facilities remain ravaged by COVID-19?
Overcoming Guilt As A Caregiver
- Overcoming Guilt
- Coping with Family Conflict
- Navigating Caregiving through COVID-19 and more…
When you see that your aging loved one needs assistance, in lieu of providing care yourself, you can:
- Hire an assistant to come to the home to provide your loved one with in-home care.
- Move your loved one into an assisted-living facility, which offers a relatively independent lifestyle, though trained personnel are on the premises to assist in daily tasks. In the first level of assisted living, residents are free to come and go as they please. In the second level of assisted living, such as would be needed by a patient in an advanced stage of dementia, for their own protection, residents are unable to leave the facility unaccompanied.
- Move your loved one into a nursing home, where, in addition to assistance with activities of daily living, skilled nursing care is offered 24-7. Nursing homes have a medical doctor on call and registered nurses on-site at all times. 4. Move your loved one into a hospice, where end-of-life care is provided by health care professionals and volunteers trained to give medical, psychological and spiritual support to dying patients. An assisted-living facility may help your loved one by preparing and serving meals, doing laundry, supervising the taking of medications and providing transportation to doctors and dentists. The more services your loved one uses, the higher the price tag is likely to be. In many facilities, residents make a monthly payment based on the cost of each individual service. Assisted living is not “free,” as some people think it is. In fact, it is extremely costly. You can keep itemized costs down by participating in many ways in your loved one’s care, just as you would were your loved one living with you. By divvying up different tasks between family members, the workload is lightened and care remains a family affair. Be aware that you cannot “toss” your loved one into a long-term care facility and expect the facility to do all the work of caring for your loved one for you. For emotional reasons, the entire family needs to visit the loved one in the facility on a regular basis and—if possible—to take him or her out from time to time. By no means is long-term care a substitute for participating in the life of your family. Families should always establish a routine of regular visits to check on the comfort of your loved one. How often has the facility changed ownership within the past five years? If there has been more than one owner within a five-year period, ask why. And if the ownership changes again, find out if your existing apartment rental contract for your loved one will be grandfathered in with the new owners. What is the likelihood that ownership of the facility will change again in the next two to three years? The facility where my father lived for five years changed hands once a year the entire time he was a resident. If I had known this would happen, we might have chosen a different facility. What are the potential ramifications if ownership of the facility changes hands?
If ownership of the facility were to change hands, this could have a direct impact on you and your loved one. Therefore, it is important to learn before signing on with a facility which aspects of your arrangement are protected from change. For instance, you should find out if the admissions protocols (for example, protocols that allow or forbid the acceptance of residents diagnosed with dementia or another illness) and rental agreements are protected from change. The new management could very well impose a rent increase if you have no such protection. In my dad’s case, I had to fight continually with new management to keep his charges down. At one point, his rent was increased every six months. Don’t think that the rent you originally agree to will stay the same for an entire year; it could increase monthly or every six months. In our case, one new management team wanted to evict residents with dementia. Before they could evict Dad, we changed his diagnosis on his paperwork from “dementia” to “motor-cognitive disability” and he was permitted to stay…more
Pandemic Planning Guidelines for Long-Term Care Facilities
NYSDOH’s letter to owners, operators and nursing home administrators: www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/ files/documents/2020/03/nursing_home_guidance.pdf
CDC’s resource “Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care Facilities”: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ nursing-home-long-term-care.html
CDC’s “Steps Healthcare Facilities Can Take”: www.cdc. gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/steps-to-prepare.html
CDC’s “Long-Term Care and Other Residential Facilities Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist”: www.cdc. gov/f lu/pandemic-resources/pdf/longtermcare.pdf
Why Wait? Be Your Own Self-Care Hero! Fall In Love With Learning Something New…
- How would you compare the facility to other similar care facilities? Before asking the facility’s sales manager this question, visit at least five potential facilities in your area to assess and compare their quality of care. Do your research. The National Family Caregivers Association has created an online resource called SNAP for Seniors (SNAPforSeniors.com) that is a current, comprehensive and objective guide to all licensed senior housing in the United States. It can help you determine which facilities in your area have the best quality of care. For comparable information about nursing homes’ quality of care, you can also search online using Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool (Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare). During your search, ask for advice and leads from people you know who have loved ones residing in a long-term care facility. Contact your state licensing department and ask quetions about facilities’ citations and awards, or about anything that can help you make the best decision possible. What is their policy regarding life-sustaining measures? Ask if your loved one can have a statement regarding their wishes and choices readily available by having their will and advance medical directive for health care placed in their chart. Although this is an uncomfortable topic to even think about at the time of your loved one’s admission, facilities are required to ask about it. This is the step toward assuring that your loved one’s wishes about end-of-life care and resuscitation are respected. Special note: this applies to assisted living, long-term and terminal care facilities. Where can you voice your concerns? Ask if the facility has a resident council committee that can take problems and complaints to the administrator. Typically, all facilities should be able to address your concerns and questions. But the real truth of the matter is that high-quality care is hard to find, especially if your loved one has a special need, such as dementia. Also, if you depend on Medicaid funding, you may not be able to find an ideal place. You can use all these questions as a guide to help you decide which things are most important to you and which ones you are willing to compromise on.
THE FOLLOW-UP: IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK ONCE YOUR LOVED ONE HAS MOVED INTO A CARE FACILITY
Does your loved one feel safe in the facility?
It is very important to listen, listen and listen to your loved one…
Order your copy today of the 2ed Edition of the Award-winning book The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself.