As the population ages, many families start to consider care for their elderly members. Senior living facilities have changed over the decades, focusing on both the physical and the mental health of the patients residing within their walls. If you are looking into adult foster care service Massachusetts, read on to learn how these facilities take care of the aging population.
What is Adult Foster Care?
The legal definition of adult foster care varies from state to state. Also known as small group assisted living or elderly foster care, it typically involves a small group of residents living within a common facility. Unlike large nursing homes, these facilities only house six or fewer people. Residents have their own private bedrooms, but they share living and dining areas. Services provided in these facilities are usually non-medical, and the staff is available to help with daily activities which can include:
- Walking and navigating stairs
- Dressing and personal grooming
- Grocery shopping and meal preparation
The smaller number of residents allows for more personal care while giving residents a strong sense of independence.
The Cost of Adult Foster Care
The cost of adult foster care is different depending on where you live, but in general, adult foster care tends to cost less than nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Another factor that can affect the cost is the amount of care a resident will need. If a resident has more medical concerns that will need to be addressed or monitored, the cost can increase. Many options exist to help cover the costs of care, and while some are dependent upon the state of residency, they can include:
- Social Security supplements
- Veterans Directed Care Program
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Life Insurance Policy
When deciding on quality care for aging family members, there are many options available. Adult foster care can provide the medical care an elderly family member needs while allowing them to live in a home-like setting that keeps some of their independence.
You’ve started a career as a caregiver for people who need extra attention while they are at home. These clients could be senior citizens who aren’t safe while being home alone or those who sometimes don’t remember to take medications or need help getting around the house. No matter the reason, you are in the person’s home to provide assistance and comfort. If you’ve never been an in home caregiver or you haven’t worked in this field in some time, there are a few tips that you can keep in mind so that you offer the best care possible for all of the clients you come in contact with.
There is often very little training before you enter the role of a caregiver. Some companies will hire you if you have had minimal training while others will provide training as you go if they need more people to work for the company. As you gain more knowledge about the person you are helping, you will learn more about the person’s needs and the things that they enjoy doing. A caregiver usually doesn’t work as much with medical situations as someone who has taken nursing classes or classes for being a nurse’s assistant. When you meet with the family, you should find out exactly what kind of care is needed or desired, such as relieving a family member of time spent with the client or taking the person to run errands. You might have to help the person get dressed or take a bath. Keep in mind that there could be tools used in the person’s home that you might need to be trained on how to use so that you operate them in a safe manner. If there is an emergency or a health concern, then you should report it to the family or the client’s doctor. You can usually travel with the client to doctor’s appointments or to other appointments to ensure that all of the information about the person is reported properly.
Taking care of an elderly loved one is something you might do without thinking twice. When one of your parents becomes ill and needs more help, you might open your doors and let that individual move in right away. You probably don’t realize how hard this is or how much time it takes up though. With the right programs and professional help, you can care for a loved one and still get time for yourself.
One way you can get more time for yourself is with a day care program. Designed for the elderly, these programs let you drop your loved one off in the morning and pick him or her up later in the day. The programs often feature activities such as games that guests can play. Workers will monitor your loved one and let you know about any problems they had or issues they noticed.
If you have an elderly person living with you who suffers from some serious medical problems, you can hire a travel nurse to stop by a few times a week. A travel nurse is a professional with a nursing license who works on a freelance basis and with multiple clients a week. The nurse can take vital signs and administer the medications that the individual needs. You can ask your loved one’s doctor for help choosing a travel nurse.
Another way to get more time for yourself is with elder care assistance from a local company. Home health companies will send workers to your home who can look after your loved one anytime you need help. They can assist with daily living tasks such as washing the individual’s hair and helping him or her dress, but they can also prepare meals and just sit with your loved one while you get some work done around the house. Home health workers can even stay there while you run errands. With these programs and some professional help, you can care for a loved one and still have some time for yourself.