Having a disabled senior in the family that needs continued care can be a very difficult experience for the rest of the family. Even routine tasks that we take for granted such as eating, grooming, toileting, etc. can assume extremely challenging dimensions for the patient, and more so if there is a need for delivery of complex care. In case, the person is suffering from a lifelong disability he will require a continuous caregiver. However, when the caregiver is a family member, it can change the family dynamics, creating distance between spouses and making children feel unloved because of the amount of time required to care for the disabled senior.
Since care responsibilities for disabled persons can be overwhelming, caregivers should definitely seek out support resources. The internet has lots of forums, chat groups, etc., that can help people reach out for assistance and knowledge. Local communities can also provide opportunities to seek help from support groups as well as contact providers of respite services when caregivers need to take a break for any reason. Local communities are also a valuable resource for daycare or school programs that can help disabled children to learn as well as engage with other children. Caregivers can also find providers of speech, occupational, or physical therapy that can be provided both at home or in a special facility.
Delivering Appropriate Level of Care
The level of care required to be given depends on the type and extent of disability and in many cases require family members to devote considerable time. In many cases, it may be difficult to care for the adult at home, especially when caregivers need to go out to work or when nobody else is available for the patient’s continuous care. Depending upon the disabled person’s need there are numerous adaptive devices that can make their life easier such as wheelchairs, adaptive rails, helmets, mats, shower chairs, hospital beds. However, the complexity of care required may make its home management impossible as the age, disability or disease progresses. It is best to consult the patient’s physician for advice benefiting seniors on any concern that family members may have on the level of care that is necessary.
Full-Time Nursing Care
Even though the decision may be very hard, there might come a time when the disability may require round-the-clock nursing care. This may happen due to the lack of availability of family members of when the medical requirements are too complex to be delivered at home. In these circumstances providing 24×7 skilled nursing care involving home health nurses and other assisted living professionals may be the only option available to keep the senior in a home-like environment. However, typically full-time home care is a very expensive proposition, which may not be affordable by many.
Independence and Privacy in Assisted Living
Family members will naturally be concerned about the extent to which, the senior will be comfortable in the assisted living environment and will have concerns about the extent of independence and privacy that will be permitted or possible. The option that is usually deemed to be most appropriate for them is establishing apartment-style quarters with assisted living facilities that provide the desired privacy as well as independence. Usually, this arrangement works out best for patients who while not being able to be cared for adequately at home may also not need 24×7 nursing care. A disabled senior can be provided many services in assisted living facilities ranging from basic housekeeping to helping out with daily living activities. A range of benefits is also available under Medicaid for persons with disabilities to get long-term home care.