In my last article I wrote about choosing a continuing care retirement community and the differences among them. In addition to discussing transitioning to a retirement community with our clients, we can also offer guidance on personal care for seniors and what that might look like for each family.
As senior years approach, there will likely be a need for personal assistance. Many of us are fortunate to have family members who will, and do, help in many ways. Even with family support, there may be a need for additional caregivers. Building a team can alleviate personal and family stress and offer support to aging individuals and their families.
There are many things to consider when building an external care team. The number of doctors’ appointments will increase, as will a need for companionship and additional help at home. Keeping an aging family member’s home surroundings in good order and personal finances up to date can represent a challenge, particularly when relatives live at a distance. You may find that you, or your family member, will benefit from hiring people to help. Here are three types of help that you can enlist to make day-to-day life easier for a family member.
A caregiver who can help with daily care and companionship. This person may come to the home on a scheduled or as-needed basis to help with personal care, housekeeping, errands and companionship.
A certified healthcare professional to assist with medical tasks. This could be a Registered Nurse, a Certified Nurse Assistant, a Medication Technician, a Gerontologist or other professionals who will know their way around the medical community. This individual will have credentials and qualifications for assisting with medical-related activities, such as medicine administration, doctor’s visits and following through on changes in care. This person also serves as an on-call assistant and advocate to fill in for a family member in case of an emergency.
A professional to take care of personal business that may go untended in a period of illness, or on a routine basis as needed. This person can monitor mail, pay bills and make sure that financial matters are consistently handled.
Finding these resources when the need arises can be daunting—especially if the need arises unexpectedly. They can be found through agencies and personal referrals. Agencies bear the burden of vetting employees, scheduling, billing and monitoring. However, you may also find success in hiring experienced individuals in the areas listed above who are referred through friends and business associates. There are many qualified and passionate people ready to assist.
At Bragg Financial we are often asked for referrals for these types of services and other professional resources. We are happy to assist when you need us.
Debbie Taylor cared for her dad in his last years, which sparked her interest in aging and senior care. She learned quickly that caregiving cannot be accomplished single-handedly.