South Shore MA Senior Care News
There is often no way to know ahead of time if an elderly loved one is suddenly going to need more care. All too often, South Shore Massachusetts families suddenly realize – perhaps following a fall, an illness, or the death of a spouse – mom or dad can no longer be left alone and may need some form of home care. Yet, in many cases, they wait until the last minute, only beginning to look for answers once the need arises. They never look at local home care agencies ahead of time, for example, or think to interview their potential caregivers. As a result, they often make hasty decisions, sometimes ones they later learn to regret.
Take the following examples:
- Sadie, at 92, had been in the hospital for three weeks due to various chronic illnesses – diabetes, hypertension, poor circulation. While her family was well aware that once she returned home she would need a caregiver on an ongoing basis as she was in a much weakened state, they waited until the day before she was discharged – only after meeting with the hospital’s discharge planner – as they had been focused on the elderly woman’s condition while hospitalized. As a result, Sadie’s daughter had no choice but to find a “friend of a friend” to care for her once she returned home. The family quickly realized this was not an adequate long-term solution when the woman started to show up later and later and they could quickly see she had no training in caring for elderly, infirmed patients.
- Bob, at 96, was a medical marvel for his age, yet when he suddenly had a GI attack he needed to be rushed to the hospital to undergo a procedure. Kept at the hospital for several days because of his advanced age, his children never thought about what would happen once he returned home. Even within that small window, if they had been proactive they could have identified a well-qualified home care agency and met potential health aides to care for him for the week or so needed. As a result, his son and daughter-in-law, who both have busy careers and live an hour or so away, ended up taking turns staying with him until he got back on his feet.
- Roger had been tending to his 84-year-old wife with moderate Alzheimer’s disease for two years. This arrangement worked out satisfactorily until Roger’s own health suddenly started to go downhill. His children, who lived in another part of the country, knew they should look into other options to care for their mother, but kept putting it off as their father kept insisting he didn’t need any help. However, when Roger suddenly had a fatal heart attack, they were in a quandary on what to do for their mother. They knew she couldn’t stay alone, but they also knew she wanted to remain home and could still be managed there for some time. Not having checked out local home care agencies beforehand, they decided, against their better wishes, to institutionalize her.
To prevent making decisions reactively when it comes to caring for elderly loved ones, families are strongly encouraged to identify appropriate options well ahead of the need. This would begin by determining the benefits of home care vs. institutional care – in nine of out 10 cases studies have shown that home care is preferred – interviewing candidates, and having decisions in place before needing to push the button. Making decisions while things are still relatively calm and options can be more carefully weighed is far preferable than making them under fire.
Senior Home Care for South Shore, MA
Cottage Caregivers LLC provides non-medical senior home care services for residents of the South Shore Massachusetts region. This includes home care for Hingham, Marshfield and Scituate, MA.