A caregiver can be an unpaid relative or close friend, or a hired professional who provides assistance with daily activities. Some caregivers provide a few hours of assistance each week. Others may need 24/7 care.
In Hawaii, family and close friends provide the majority of long term care. Many people receive care at home from a combination of family, friends, volunteers and paid caregivers. However, some family caregivers may become excessively stretched to the point of burnout or may not have the necessary nursing skills required to care for a family member. When they are unable to provide care, you can count on local community-based programs, home care agencies, assisted living facilities and nursing homes to provide quality of care your loved one needs.
Home care programs provide non-medical care such as companionship and assistance with daily needs, such as meal preparation, running errands, medication reminders, light housecleaning, incidental transportation to doctor visits and other non-medical tasks. Home Care can augment and caregiving provided by family and provide welcome respite.
Home Health Aides help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment with activities of daily living. They often help older adults who need assistance.
Home health care provides necessary medical and personal care in the homes of older adults or those who are disabled.
Homemaker provides assistance with preparing meals, shopping for personal items, managing money, using the telephone, or doing light housework.
Adult day care programs provide personal care for dependent adults in a supervised, protective setting for those who cannot safely stay at home during the day while family caregivers are away at work. Services may include physical, social, and recreational activities to keep older adults active and engaged.
Adult day health programs may be similar to adult day care, but also provides medical and nursing services for the participants.
Adult residential care homes offer personalized service to small groups of adults in a home in the community. These residential homes provide lodging, meal services and assistance with daily living activities.
A continuing care retirement community offers a combination of independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care all in one facility. This allows residents to transition to different levels of care as needed throughout the life.
Independent living communities are designed for active seniors who can live alone, while those at assisted living facilities may need some assistance with activities of daily living. Both may offer various amenities and activities for the residents.
Skilled nursing care can be stand-alone health care facilities or be affiliated with other health care facilities such as hospitals to provide intensive, restorative nursing services as well as supportive services for people who require continuous inpatient care but who are not in an acute phase of an illness.
My parents worked hard all their lives to make ends meet, and don’t want to admit they may need help someday. It won’t be easy but I know I have to tell them start planning now so that they can maintain a sense of control over their own lives.