Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs are in their mid-80s and still live at home. They are in rather good health for their ages with the exception of her moderate dementia. They have been together for more than 60 years and raised a loving family; all of the kids live out of state.
One day Mrs. Jacobs trips and falls, and breaks her hip. She successfully endures surgery and moves to a rehabilitation facility for healing. So what’s next? The children are concerned. Yes, their father is in relatively good health but can he handle the stress of caring for his wife? While it may not seem difficult, the strain can negatively impact the caring spouse’s health.
So the Jacobs are a middle-income couple with traditional values. Mr. Jacobs wants to bring his wife home and be her caregiver. The son has the foresight to wonder about the options so that he can counsel his father. It is highly recommended in such a situation, that the family introduce themselves to the rehabilitation facility’s social worker or discharge planner upon their mother’s admittance. It’s important to know the process early to avoid having to make a snap decision. Typically Medicare covers a certain length of time in the facility based on the progress of the patient. The social worker will discuss the options, placement in a skilled nursing facility or returning home possibly with assistance. It all depends on the patient’s recovery. If the family elects to have Mrs. Jacob’s return home, then a Medicare paid nurse will typically come in and train family on any care needs. If Mrs. Jacob’s did not live with family, then they would often provide nurse visits a few times a week. Medicare may also provide physical, speech and occupational therapies as well as a home health aide to provide personal care. This will be limited, especially because she lives with her husband. What isn’t considered is the stress and strain Mr. Jacobs may endure. Family should explore private duty home care to bring in a caregiver to provide personal care to Mrs. Jacob’s as well as assist with meals and household chores. The number of hours of care can be adjusted based on the improvement of Mrs. Jacob’s mobility. However her dementia may increase so family may consider retaining a caregiver to assist around the house and also give Mr. Jacob’s some respite. Private duty home care is a private pay service. Mr. Jacob’s has a good savings, but his son is concerned that he will be reluctant to part with it, wanting to ensure some inheritance for his children. The son described him as ‘old school’ which is not uncommon for that generation so it’s essential for the professionals involved to also urge additional care in the home to save Mr. Jacob’s health.
Originally appeared on: http://www.seniorsguideonline.com/helpful-information/home-care-helps-stave-off-family-caregiver-stress