Caring For An Aging Parent Or Loved One
Whether caring for an aging parent or a spouse, friend or loved one recovering from illness or surgery, caregivers face a wide range of challenging issues. Receiving care at home through a home care agency such as The Homemakers Health Services is an option that can ease the burden on both patients and caregivers. It's an ideal choice for people who prefer to have their loved ones with them at home rather than in a rehabilitation center or nursing home.
The best way to make home care successful is to prepare for it in advance by making a list of the responsibilities you'd like the home care professional to take on.
Do you or a loved one need:
- Assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing and taking care of other aspects of basic hygiene?
- Safety proofing of their home?
- Medication management to prevent potentially dangerous drug interactions or side effects and to ensure that prescribed drugs are being taken properly?
- Assistance with light housekeeping, laundry or shopping?
- Companionship or respite care, which may allow a loved one a needed break from their caregiving responsibilities?
- Adult day care services which provide socialization, medical oversight, and caregiver respite?
Have you or a loved one been hospitalized, had surgery
or a joint replacement and need:
- A visiting nurse to provide additional care following hospitalization or surgery?
- A physical therapist to help you or a loved one regain your strength, flexibility and coordination?
- An occupational therapist to help you or your loved one to regain the necessary skills needed to function in your daily activities such as dressing and bathing safely?
- A medical social worker to provide assistance with accessing financial or insurance entitlement and other benefits, and dealing with legal issues such as a power of attorney or advance directives?
Our health care professionals can assist with nearly every aspect of a persons life and help them to remain in a safe, comfortable, familiar environment, while having their personal needs fulfilled.
While few of us want to think about what will happen if we or a loved one becomes incapacitated by illness or die, it is especially essential for older adults to make specific arrangements for what should be done if and/or when this happens. Preparing and executing advance directives will allow you to provide instructions regarding your future care. The State of New Hampshire recognizes a written advance directive document with two parts: a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Living Will. Representatives of The Homemakers Health Services are available to help you with preparing and executing both of these documents.
Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care
A Durable Power of Attorney for health care is a documents in which you name another person to act as your health care agent to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated. You can include instructions about which treatments you do or do not want, or how long you want to try possible treatments. If you do not want medically administered feeding or hydration, in the State of New Hampshire, the law requires that you say so in your document.
If the doctor or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) responsible for your care determines that you are unable to understand the significant risks and benefits of your health care decisions, they can document that you do not have "capacity," in which case the person(s) you have appointed as your health care agent, will make the decision for you. This is not a permanent designation. If your doctor or ARNP later determines that you have regained capacity, you will be able to make your own health care decisions once again.
A living will establishes a legal record of what a person wants to happen when he/she is facing a terminal condition and can't speak for him/herself. Specifically, it indicates whether you want to accept or refuse artificial life-sustaining treatment such as being hooked up to a respirator or feeding or hydration tube; and it authorizes a designated person(s) to speak on your behalf.
DNR (Do Not Attempt Resuscitation) Order
There is a difference between a DNR Order and an Advance Directive. In the event that your heart stops beating and you stop breathing, normally a heath care provider will perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If you are near death, however, you may decide that you do not want CPR and request ot to have CPR through a DNR order. A DRN order applies only if your heart stops beating and you stop breathing, while an advance directive deals with many other medical issues and decisions. While an advance directive is a legally recognized document, a DNR is a medical order and is separate from an advance directive.
A Written Will
A will is a written document meeting certian formal requirements which provides for your disposition of property after death. Only with a will can you decide how your property will be distributed after you die. If you die without a valid will, your property will be distributed according to a formula fixed by law. In other words, if you do not make a will, the law will determine who gets your property. The law cannot and does not take into account your particular desires or any special circumstances which may exist in your family.