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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Senior Healthcare Services: Options on Where to Receive Care For Sick Elderly

The decision on where to receive senior healthcare services as your illness progresses can be a bit difficult but planning ahead of time can lessen the anxiety you’ll feel later on. Whatever the type of care you would to get, it’s best to discuss it first with your loved ones. Talk with them about your finances, wishes, needs, their expectations as well as their own needs. Get them involved. Your choice now might change as well in the next coming days, depending on how the state of your illness would change. There are a lot of options available on how to receive senior healthcare services—there’s home care, hospice, assisted-living facility or nursing home care. Of course, your choices are also limited here, in terms of your capacity to pay and your medical coverage.

What Do You and Your Doctor Need to Discuss

In deciding which type of care you want to receive, involve your doctor. Get as many information as possible from the doctor about your illness—be very keen on understanding the available treatments. The recommended treatment can either be curative or palliative. It can be very helpful to bring along a family member or friend during your doctor appointments so that at least someone else knows your real condition. It’s either you would decide on curative or palliative care. Let’s go over each option so you’ll have more idea as to what to expect later on.

Home Care

Sometimes it’s best to just stay with your loved ones, most especially if you know that you’re getting a lot of emotional support from friends and family as your illness progresses, right?  One factor that would help you decide whether this option is generally good or not for you is your capacity to afford hiring a professional care giver who has undergone necessary training about senior healthcare services. There’s way too many of them that you can even get confused as to which to choose. If you do have the financial resources, that would be great because staying at home while struggling with your decease with loved ones and a familiar environment might even contribute to your condition becoming better. Aside from friends and family members supporting you all throughout, community services are also available to help the family out without you have to leave them. Talk to your doctor about this and bring with you a list of those people who may be able to extend help to the family.

Hospice Care

Part of hospice care is making sure that you are alert,happy and as comfortable as possible. Here, senior healthcare services would focus on palliative therapies in order for you to bear the pain (this goes for those with conditions that are not curable anymore).  The facility has volunteers, personal care assistants, counselors, social workers and nurses to care for you while your doctor is also continuously directing your care and working with the hospice team closely. Hospice care can also be given in the comforts of your own home, with the team supporting the family in giving you care and attention. Well, of course a family is not limited to blood relation or your spouse, right?  The hospice team would consider other people who are close to you as part of the family—supporting your spiritual, social and emotional needs. In hospice care you are given a chance to address difficult yet normal concerns that you and your family may have-- such as death, care giving needs, unresolved issues and pain. Depending on your choice, counseling service is provided in hospice which would give you an opportunity to look at spiritual issues and repair significant relationships.

Assisted-Living Facility Care

Are you still able to manage most of your needs on your own? If you answered yet then this could be the best option. Now, this means that you would really have to move out of the house and live on your own. Assisted-living facilities have individual rooms suitable for elderly men and women who are still able to manage most of their own care. This may even give you an opportunity to meet new people and possibly gain new friends within the facility. It won’t be too sad living in this facility because you’re surrounding with friendly and helpful  health care workers to work with you all thorughout. Assisted-living facilities would have rooms with each unit limit cooking capacity. All occupants or residents would gather in the table for most of their meals while tiring chores such as laundry and housekeeping are being taken cared of by the staff. Nurses are always available should you need them.

Nursing Home Care

Are you also considering getting care from a nursing home? Yes, this is one of the most preferred options by seniors for the longest time. Normally, the elderly has this belief that they are becoming a burden to the family although it’s not always true. If you’re unable to stay with the family for the rest of your days, or if you don’t have anyone at home to care for you, going to a nursing home may prove to be the best option. There are a lot of nursing homes out there to choose from. It’s just that you may have to take some time to decide which one will work out for you. You can go online and read reviews or better yet, you can ask for recommendations from your doctor or get close friends and family members to help you pick the right facililty.

There you have it—senior healthcare services options that you can discuss and decide together with your loved ones. Even if it’s sometimes awkward to talk about end of life or death, it’s also one of the many things you’d have to talk about. You don’t have to really make it very uncomfortable as you can just insert the subject while you’re deciding on your will. Family gatherings (birthdays, Christmas, thanksgiving) can be a good time to talk about your plans with the rest of the family as well.

Whatever you come up with as far as the choice on senior healthcare services, let your loved ones know about it and make sure that you’re writing down your wishes. Of course, whenever your condition changes (positive or negative) you can always change your mind, right?

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