When family is available but not the best solution for the day to day challenges of aging with health issues:
Many aged seniors live in large homes which become impossible to manage themselves. They want to age in this home and maintain their current lifestyle for as long as possible – and the only way to do that is with help. Although their family may live near by, helping them maintain their lifestyle is a full time job and they do not want to burden their kids with having to be around all the time.
Many individuals in these circumstances hire uninsured, often insufficiently trained private caregivers and either pay them cash or make them employees and manage their taxes and required source deductions etc….. Although many people do this, it can be risky, quite time consuming to handle the scheduling, and very stressful if ultimately multiple caregivers are needed to manage a 7 day, 24 hour requirement.
Most importantly, as the client’s needs change, and risks increase, they are reluctant to change caregivers even though the current one may no longer be a good fit for the health, safety and care needs that inevitably come.
One of our longest term clients has worked with us for almost 8 years. The client lives in a farm home in Vaughn (one of the last hold outs from the development mania). She has a lovely home, barn and garden and loves to keep them all in working order. She has a condo in downtime Toronto so she can spend the night after a long day in the city. We started with traditional daytime support and she slept alone overnight. That evolved to 24 hour live-in care for a number of years where the caregivers could sleep at night as well. More recently, due to additional mobility challenges and the need to get up often at night, care has evolved again to awake overnight care.
One of the most important considerations when providing caregivers for 24 hour/7 day a week care is to develop an excellent team who can stay together over the years – and 24/7 care, even for generally healthy people, takes a team and scheduling. Caregivers get sick, their own families have needs and last minute changes occur. The client’s needs may change temporarily and a new team member needs to be added. The best way to manage this so that the client’s changing needs are met and the core team stays involved, is to use a professional care provider.