What Level of Caregiving Do I Need?
At some point in their lives, most seniors will require additional assistance to do the things they want to do. Whether due to aging, chronic illness or a health crisis, their needs expand and they’re no longer safely or easily able to care for themselves in the way they wish.
It’s at this point that family members often step up to help and become their caregiver, but it can be challenging for a senior to accept care from a family member. It can also be just as challenging, and sometimes impossible, for these family members to provide this extra help. They often live far away, have demanding jobs or are going through a hectic time in their own lives.
When a Family Member Becomes a Caregiver
In some cases, a family member’s life situation can allow for him or her to help with their aging loved one’s needs, but this can also present challenges. We have spoken to many sons, daughters, and spouses over the years who have told us that, despite the best efforts of both parties, becoming a caregiver for their loved one has negatively affected their relationship.
“We want you to be the son or daughter or wife and not become a caregiver,” says Agnes Schare, RN, BSN, Vice President of Bridgeway Senior Services. “At the same time, we also want mom or dad to have a life of their own.”
As Schare points out, most families (seniors included) are not enthusiastic about bringing a caregiver into a home or making the move to a care facility, which is understandable. They also tend not to understand what their best options are. For these reasons, the process of getting a senior the support he or she senior needs is often delayed. This can leave families vulnerable to crisis and put unnecessary stress on them.
Achieving Their Best Life
At Bridgeway Senior Services, it’s our mission to assist seniors in achieving lives of dignity, quality, and respect. Because each family’s situation is unique, we provide a wide range of options to meet the specific needs of seniors and their families.
Most importantly, our distinction as a Care Management provider allows us to provide families with a level of care that a caregiver alone cannot provide. Our Care Managers, who are either nurses or social workers, coordinate, manage and oversee all aspects of care while maintaining consistent communication with family members and healthcare professionals.
“When people call us, they’re generally in crisis,” says Becky Eizen, Vice President of Community Outreach for Bridgeway. “The situation has become too much for them to handle, and they’re at their wit’s end. We want families to know that there are always options. Every family’s situation is unique, and what we do is put together a plan that will solve their unique challenges.”
To ensure that Bridgeway is delivering the best and most appropriate care, the first step for any of our services is always a comprehensive assessment. The assessment, which is performed by a Bridgeway Care Manager, includes a full review of medical, social, mobility and safety needs. From this, a Care Plan is created, which is presented to the family prior to the start of care to ensure that it’s agreed upon and understood.
“We cannot effectively put a caregiver in a home without a proper assessment,” Eizen says. “It’s like sending a skilled tradesperson into a home without the proper tools. He might be able to put a band-aid on the problem for a little while, but he’s not going to be able to solve the issues. That’s unfair to everyone.”
According to Eizen, approximately 80 percent of the seniors Bridgeway works with receive care in their own home. In certain situations, a care facility might be a better fit for their needs, be they physical, emotional or financial. The Bridgeway team is able to identify the care facilities that are the best fit for each situation. We also provide Care Management and caregiving services for seniors who live in a care facility.
“Sometimes, staying at home doesn’t match up,” Eizen says. “In the initial call or in-person meeting, it’s our job to help families understand what the best options are and the financial commitment for each.”
Don’t hesitate to call Bridgeway Senior Services at 248.702.6510 to take the first step in creating a care plan that will support your aging loved ones in living safe, healthy, and independent lives.