It is not strange for a family to face problems relating to the personal care of their elderly loved ones – especially for those who do not have enough time to care for their needs every day. Sometimes it is the children themselves who find it a struggle on whether they should keep on taking care of their aging parents or if they should just drop them off at a nursing home.
If fact, even if sending them to the care of a nursing home sounds like a great idea, it requires quite the investment. The best nursing homes are always expensive, amounting to an estimated cost of $80,000 per year, which often leads to some families caring for their elderly loved ones themselves. But despite that, the risks are still the same. Professional and non-professional caregivers suffer the same amount of stress and fatigue when, if left unchecked and unmanaged, may lead to elderly abuse.
Elaine Sanchez, the co-founder of Caregiverhelp.com, gave tips on how caregivers can help manage their stress while keeping a healthy relationship with their elderly loved one to avoid elderly abuse and caregiver fatigue. For non-professional caregivers who are trying to take care of their elderly loved ones, if they have a hard time taking care of their loved ones then it is a sign that they get help especially since seniors are in need of a specialized care.
Sanchez suggested that families should have three things settled first before placing their loved one in a nursing home: their loved one’s will or trust, a durable power of attorney and a health care representative. This will reduce the risk of financial abuse.
After that big step is to choose a nursing home and that also comes with a lot of factors. Sanchez shares that families should not be deceived by outer looks and look more into the facility and who runs it. Other helpful information to look out for is to know if it is owned locally or owned by an individual or a group (like board of directors) or if it is privately owned by a group or company such as non-profit groups like LeadingAge.
Another factor one should look out for is the amount of staff the nursing home has. Lack of staff is usually one of the leading causes of elderly abuse, in worst cases, death. This is because there is not enough people to keep an eye on the people who are coming and going as well as enough hands to care for the patients and to care for their medical needs. One should also keep in mind that diseases such as dementia may require long and strenuous hours from the caregiver so they must be placed in the care of a special kind of nursing home. One way to see if the nursing home you chose is a good one is to ask on what are the patient-to-staff ratio, how the home retains its staff, what is its annual turn over percentage and how long have the employees been with the company on average.