Statistics from the home health care industry reveal a 38 percent increase in the number of senior citizens needing help with at least 3 activities of daily living over the last decade; furthermore, cognitive impairments exhibit a surge of approximately 27 percent among those 85 years and older. With the number of Americans over the age of 85 expected to grow by 15 million in the years to come, the demand for home care is certain to grow proportionately.
With this in mind, Gerry Fioriglio of Family Caregivers Network, Inc. has launched efforts to address some of the most common concerns families foreseeing such needs will have. Said Fioriglio, “Clients in our care face any number of requirements ranging from temporary post surgical care to long term assistance with conventional errands or the more in-depth attention necessary for Parkinson’s or dementia. We feel the key to helping patients, as well as their families, deal with any of these needs is providing education on the situation they are facing.”
Among the leading concerns surrounding this type of need is the expense, which typically amounts to almost $46,000 annually. Though this is less than half the yearly cost of a nursing home, Medicare does not cover in-home care; therefore, clients are often left to shoulder this expenditure on their own. Many private insurance plans will pay for at least a portion of the costs with other options also available. Age, overall level of health, extent of disability, household size and other expenses versus total income and veteran status play a role in eligibility for additional financial assistance.
In an effort to offset the cost of care, many families choose to tend to their elderly loved ones without the assistance of outside home care agencies. While this can be beneficial on a number of levels, Fioriglio noted such a decision should not be taken lightly. An undertaking of this magnitude requires a great deal of emotional strength and can take a severe toll on those providing care, particularly if the bulk of the responsibility rests solely on one family member. An in-depth understanding of the condition at hand is key to being fully prepared to face it alongside a loved one.
Many caregivers experience a sense of sole obligation in the care of their loved ones, fearing others can not provide the same level of care and feeling guilt over asking for assistance, particularly in cases of terminal illness and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease treatment. Experts state this is counterproductive; help should be accepted when offered, and occasional personal time is vital. Whether this is found through the aide of other family members or taking advantage of adult day health care facilities, much needed breaks can mean the difference between providing optimum care and ultimately experiencing a breakdown.
Concluded Fioriglio, “In addition to a full range of home care services, we offer education regarding many of the conditions elderly patients suffer from. We also employ financial planning experts to help budget for the expenses involved. For those who choose to take on the care of their aging loved ones, we also host support group meetings. Advice from other caregivers along with the simple relief that comes with knowing they are not alone in their grief and frustrations can make a major difference in being able to provide the care their loved ones need.”
About Family Caregivers Network, Inc.:
A community-based health care organization, Family Caregivers Network, Inc. provides cost effective health care services and support to aging citizens and their families.
Visit http://www.family-caregivers.com for more information.
Name: Gerry Fioriglio
Organization: Family Caregivers Network Inc.