By Dave Singleton, Caring.com author
Managing a loved one’s care doesn’t just take a village. Sometimes it requires advanced research skills and a master’s degree in organizational development, too.
If you’ve managed care of any kind for an aging parent, you know what I’m talking about. It’s heartwarming when friends and family offer support. But without a way to truly marshal all that good will, you’re still in need of a smiling army at your command to help out. Lotsa Helping Hands offers tools and resources to engage your army of helpers and act as a virtual organizational developer, especially when you need your village around you for a discrete period of time.
But what if there’s no end in sight for the care your parent needs, and you’re looking at months and years? How can you supplement the help you receive from friendly supporters with more permanent solutions to Mom or Dad’s chronic condition? The good news is that there are more resources than ever online to help you find ongoing senior care.
Consider these 5 ideas to help you find the senior care you need online:
- Get local in-home help. Does your parent need at-home assistance, for such chores as doing the laundry to plain old daily companionship? Caring.com’s Senior Living Directory offers in-home care agencies, most of which provide personal care assistants. Since you’ll want to find a good personality fit between parent and helper, be sure to check out the ratings and reviews from a wide variety of caregivers who’ve been in your shoes.
- Save time with home delivery. With the proliferation of delivery services, it’s easier than ever to have essentials such as meals and medications delivered to your parent’s front door. Many major grocery chains and pharmacies (as well as HMO medical plans, including Medicare Senior HMOs and standard Medicare drug plans) have instituted home delivery that you can manage from your computer. In addition, organizations like Meals on Wheels, with 5,000 local Senior Nutrition Programs in the U.S. providing more than one million meals to seniors in need, deliver meals directly to the homes of seniors whose mobility is limited.
- Take advantage of adult day services. Adult day services – also called adult daycare – offer seniors an engaging alternative to the isolation some experience at home. Plus they give the primary caregiver a much-needed physical – and mental – break. You get the relief of knowing your parent has lots of opportunities to socialize in a supervised setting. Search adult day services to find a facility near you – and to see ratings and reviews from those who can give you the lowdown on their experiences. Some even offer health monitoring, exercise, and door-to-door transportation.
- Get respite with temporary assisted living. What if your parent needs to recover from surgery or an illness in a safe, temporary place? How can you manage care when you’re away for work and vacation . . . or you just need a respite? Consider one of the numerous assisted living facilities that offer short-term stays. Search your local options and check out Best Assisted Living: Caring Stars of 2013– these 383 assisted living communities earned the highest praise from families, seniors, and eldercare experts.
- Explore options for hospice care. Demands on a primary caregiver are even higher when the end is nearing and your loved one needs palliative treatment. Explore options for hospice care near you that will offer comfort, compassion, and support for both you and your parent facing a life-limiting illness.
Dave Singleton is an award-winning writer and Caring.com author. Caring.com is the leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones.