When it comes to caring for seniors at home, the one common thread is that there IS no common thread. Each and every situation is unique, and it’s important for families caring for elderly loved ones to remain flexible and expect that their needs are going to change over time – and sometimes, those changes can be frequent and unexpected.
At Aaging Better In-Home Care[JL1] , we find that the best way to tailor services to each individual person is through a geriatric care assessment conducted by a trained RN (registered nurse) to evaluate a number of factors to determine what types of services are needed for an older adult.
A geriatric care assessment is designed to:
Evaluate all of the issues and challenges that a senior might be experiencing—socially, health-wise, physically and mentally (dementia, for instance)
Develop coordinated care plans to focus on interventions for identified issues
Assess an older adult’s access to supports that can help him or her live at home
Determine care needs and the frequency of care that should be provided, i.e., several hours a week to clean the house or possibly daily services to help bathe, dress, cook meals, take meds, clean, etc.
Once completed, a geriatric care assessment can lead to:
Improving health outcomes
Postponing the onset of disability
Recognizing health changes before they become acute
Improving quality of life
Saving on healthcare costs
Identifying rehabilitation needs
Planning services to increase safety
Discovering early-stage disease or dementia
Determining a senior’s ability to care for himself or herself
Identifying and correcting fall risks
During a geriatric care assessment, the nurse should also take the time to get to know the older adult for whom care will be provided - his or her life history, likes and dislikes, and sense of humor. Care should also be taken to get to know the senior’s family better. Understanding family dynamics, personal history, hobbies and interests and more can all help home care providers individualize the care they provide for the unique people they serve.
If your family is feeling overwhelmed with the care needs of an older loved one, why not explore the option of a geriatric care assessment to see how we can help? Our home care services [JL2] encompass everything from housekeeping and laundry, shopping, and meal preparation to assistance with hygiene, bathing, dressing, and skilled nursing care – and everything in between. Contact us [JL3] at 866-464-2344 any time to learn more.