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Where Will You be Needing Care for your Loved One?


By: Cindy Hasz, Geriatric Care Manager

San Diego presents the elder care consumer with multiple choices. The basic question is, where will you be needing care for your loved one?

If you need to provide care at home then you can look at one of the many home care companies in San Diego for a caregiver to provide in home personal care services. These caregivers are considered “non-medical” personal care attendants and it’s important to understand the scope of their service. They are not allowed to do anything “medical,” from taking vital signs (blood pressures etc.) to blood sugars, to giving medications or doing anything “invasive” such as giving suppositories, insulin injections etc.

This comes as a big surprise to those who assume that caregivers can do all these things or that they are medically trained in any formal sense of the word.

Caregivers are allowed to give care around the activities of daily living or “ADL’s.” The term “activities of daily living” refers to a set of common, everyday tasks, performance of which is required for personal self-care and independent living. The most often used measure of functional ability is the Katz Activities of Daily Living Scale (Katz et al., 1963; Katx, 1983). In this scale, the set of tasks assessed are bathing, dressing, transferring, using the toilet, continence, and eating.

The ADLs are increasingly being used to measure disability. In general it has been found that ADL status is a good predictor of a wide range of health-related behavior.

This is important to understand as many families hire caregivers through a home care agency thinking they can perform quasi-nursing duties, assume responsibility for attending doctor’s appointments and transmitting doctor’s orders for care at home. They can do none of these things. They able to perform services based solely on ADL’s and not related to any medical need based on chronic illness.

If you need a medically trained professional to oversee care in the home and act as a liaison with your loved one’s doctors you will need a professional geriatric care manager who is either a nurse or a social worker. Medicare reimbursed “Home Health” Agencies cannot assume these longer term functions either. They are greatly limited by Medicare to simple home visits on what is usually a very short term basis.

Other options for San Diego Elder Care include: smaller residential care facilities for the elderly; larger Assisted Living Facilities; or Skilled Nursing Facilities.

San Diego has many options for quality elder care. If you have questions about how to assess your situation and find the elder care option that best suits you, please feel free to contact us. There is no one size fits all answer. Call today for your customized assessment.

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