By Patricia LaCroix, contributing writer
At one time and for various reasons, placing your loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility seemed like the right thing to do. Your loved one needed help — more help than you could provide. A nursing home or assisted living facility seemed like the place where Mom or Dad could get all the necessary assistance, without your own life being overly compromised.
Then along came the coronavirus known as COVID-19. Now, those facilities might not appear to be so attractive nor helpful.
It’s no wonder that you might be concerned. According to NBC News, as of April 15, 2020, there were 5,670 deaths due to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities across the United States. According to KUSA-TV, at least 47 people have died of COVID-19 at nursing facilities across the state of Colorado as of April 5, 2020. And in Illinois, according to Fox News, COVID-19 was associated with 23 deaths at just one nursing home in the city of Joliet. As of April 17, 2020, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there had been 296 deaths from COVID-19 at 125 nursing homes and assisted living centers across Illinois.
But if a nursing home or assisted-living facility was the answer before — what’s the answer now, during the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it time to move your parent out of a facility? And just how do you go about doing that, while ensuring that your parent continues to get the proper care?
The option of in-home care services
It might be true that, at one time, nursing homes and assisted living facilities seemed to not only be the right option — they might have appeared to be the only option. But depending on your loved one’s needs, another option exists: in-home care.
Whether the care takes place in your own home or a living situation outside your home that is set up for your loved one (such as his or her own house or apartment), there are many services and many opportunities for different types of in-home care, which further helps to ensure that the right care is given and received. As an in-home care agency, Care & Comfort at Home provides such essential services. In the areas of Chicago and Denver, the following non-medical in-home services are available:
- Personal care, including grooming, showering, dressing, feeding, and toilet assistance
- Meal preparation
- Medication reminders
- Respite care
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Transfers, including hoyer lifts, gait belts, and slide boards
And in the Chicago area, a number of skilled nursing services are also available. These services help extend in-home care to many medically needy seniors, giving them an option beyond a live-in facility — an option that might not have been available before. CLICK HERE to see an extensive list of all the skilled nursing services your parent could receive, right at home.
As much care as needed
If you formally had chosen a nursing home or an assisted-living facility because your loved one needed around-the-clock care, it’s important to know that such care is available in an in-home setting as well. At Care & Comfort at Home, we provide as little or as much care as is desired or needed. This means if your loved one needs someone to be with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week — such help is available. And if your loved one only needs minimal assistance and a few hours of help — that can be provided as well. The needs of the senior dictate the help we give — not the other way around.
Better control over environment and care
One of the huge benefits of in-home care — particularly during a pandemic, when quarantine, isolation, and shelter-in-home measures are highly recommended for the most vulnerable — is the amount of control you have over that situation and the measures being taken.
In a senior facility, there’s no way to know, as the family member of a resident, who is going in and out of the building. Are visitors being allowed? Are people being screened for fever? Are staff members wearing masks? How many people are coming in contact with my loved one every day? What are the facility’s policies and procedures — and are they being properly followed?
If you so wish, in receiving in-home care for your loved ones, you can bring them into your own home and essentially “quarantine” with them, so that they aren’t feeling alone and isolated completely from other family members. And if you do chose to bring your loved one home with you, you’ll likely be on hand to see what’s being done for your loved one, how it’s being down, and if it’s being done correctly.
With in-home care, you’ll get a chance to know exactly who will be taking care of your loved one. You’ll be able to control who comes into the home and when they come into the home. You’ll be able to limit the amount of people who come and go as well.
Proceeding with caution, prudence, and care
Care & Comfort at Home understands the need to proceed with extreme caution, prudence, and care at this time. As such, we’ve developed and implemented steps and procedures to help ensure the safety of our clients. In an effort to be completely transparent, those procedures can be read by CLICKING HERE. Our staff members and Caregivers are dedicated to following these procedures in order to keep clients safe.
Swift action might be necessary
In senior facilities, if there are COVID-19 cases, your loved ones essentially become trapped in their rooms. In most cases, family members won’t be allowed to enter the facility to be with their loved ones. Removal of the senior also might become difficult or possibly even impossible, once cases already exist within the facility. If you are concerned that your loved one is at risk right now by being in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, the best thing to do is to act — and act quickly.
To provide the right services for your loved one, Care & Comfort at Home will need to assess your loved one before services can begin. Potential clients are assessed by us for free. This assessment allows us to determine exactly what type of care needs to be provided, as well as how, when, and how often care should be provided. It also helps us to match just the right Caregiver to the client. We then customize a care program that is unique and specific to that client. And we continue to assess the client and the situation as time goes by, to make sure clients are always receiving exactly the care they need.
To schedule a free assessment for your loved one, contact us at Care & Comfort at Home. We can advise you on not only the care needed, but the steps to take to make the transition from the senior facility back to home as smooth and uneventful as possible. To contact us by phone, call 630-333-9262 in the Chicagoland area or 720-788-0611 in the Denver area. For either location, you can also click HERE to contact us via our online form. We can help!