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Elderly Parent Care in Tough Financial Times

This week I received a call from a woman who has been providing assistance for her elderly mom for the past few years. She asked if we had someone on staff to help her mom with running errands and getting to doctor’s appointments. She told me that with the financial markets as they are, she was considering returning to work full time after only retiring a couple years ago and would not have the time to help her mom.

She is not alone. Many individuals recently retired or nearing retirement are being faced with the financial need to return to work. At the same time, new responsibilities are appearing such as the need to care for an aging parent. Fortunately there are options for caring for an elder family member. Some care is more cost effective than other care.

Over the past 25 years, options for caring for an elderly family member have grown dramatically. In 1984, my mother was the first in her region to open a business that offered assistance to the elderly upon returning home from a stay at the hospital. Today there are many more choices. Many elderly people leaving the hospital may qualify to receive services through Medicare including a short stay at a skilled nursing facility, physical therapy at the facility or at home and some nursing care. Medicare pays for these services for a limited time. At that point the elderly and often their family need to decide what to do once Medicare coverage ends.

Options for care can include moving the elderly person into a facility such as an assisted living or an adult family home or allowing them to remain independent at home with assistance. In some cases, relocating a family member to an assisted living facility or an adult family home is the best option. But for the elderly who are not ready for that life transition or for those who prefer to live in their own home, hiring a qualified home care agency may be a better option and at the same time may be more economical. Home care providers can assist with every day tasks such as laundering, changing sheet, light house keeping, running errands or preparing meals. Most providers can also help with personal care including showing and toileting. The cost depends on how much care the elderly family member needs. The caregiver can also supplement the care already being provided by a family member and give the family member a well-deserved break. The amount of care provided can vary from a few hours a week to round the clock care, seven days a week.

In time of financial crisis you still have choices. Many resources and organizations are here to help you, including Companion Care Inc, a locally owned licensed home care agency.

Founded in 1984, Companion Care Inc has worked to establish services for the elderly that can be personalzied to meet the individual’s needs and to do so at a cost in line with most family budgets. Services can begin with as little as three hours a week.