The wake of tragedy is a time for both grief and reflection. The recent fatal shooting involving a 92-year old mother shooting her 72-year old son for wanting to move her to assisted living in Fountain Hills, AZ has many people wondering “am I sure I know how my parents wish to be cared for as they age?”
It’s never too late to talk to your aging loved ones about their wishes. If you haven’t had this conversation already, a great place to start is with the Conversation Project. Understanding your loved one’s preferences as they age, can assist you and your family to be prepared when the time for making important decisions comes. With so many options out there, recognizing a reputable referral can be difficult. FOX10 reached out to Bob Roth, Managing Partner of Cypress HomeCare Solutions, as a source expert on the matter. He shared (1:36 in video) how important it is to have this conversation ahead of time to avoid any difficult choices or situations.
Assisted Living vs. Home Care
The majority of older adults prefer to age in the comfort of their own homes (AARP, Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices). Under the homecare umbrella there are even more options. Bob Roth co-founded the Safe Home Care Coalition with the sole purpose of educating consumers on what a “safe” home care referral is by laying out the difference between an agency and a registry (independent contractors). Simply put, a home care agency has policies and practices in place to protect the client and their family whereas when engaging an independent contractor, all responsibilities and possible issues fall to the family to address. There are a number of benefits to engaging a home care agency. The following will be true of agencies and the caregivers they employ:
- Caregivers bonded and insured with liability and worker’s compensation
- Background checks/drug screenings completed prior to hire
- Payroll and taxes taken care of
- Caregivers trained extensively
- Client/Caregiver match – based on personality, not just schedule
- Care coordination and oversight – backup caregivers provided in case of emergency
- No contract – care can start and stop when you choose
None of these services are covered by an independent contractor. Check out the full list of differences here. Private caregivers or those found on Craigslist aren’t always reliable or trustworthy and rarely have the training necessary to ensure your loved one gets the care they need.
Just as with home care agencies, there is no shortage of options when it comes to assisted living facilities. Thankfully, the Arizona Department of Health Services makes it easy to gather information about deficiencies found against facilities in Arizona. Their AZ Care Check should be on your list of places to explore before choosing to engage any facility providing care to a loved one.
Whether you choose home care or placement, keep one thing in mind: as Americans, we spent an average of $556/week on childcare at home in 2016. Care for older adults can be just as expensive but also just as important! The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true for both childcare and aging adult care.
Feeling a little lost still? Cypress HomeCare Solutions will gladly help you determine if home care is good for you and explore other options if necessary. Call 602-264-8009 today.