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How many hours a day and how frequently should I schedule assistance?

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It is not unusual to underestimate the number of hours or the frequency a caregiver should visit. As older adults rarely need diligent one-on-one care, in-home care can feel somewhat unusual when first arranged. These feelings change over time as the older adult grows accustomed to accepting services, and as a friendship and trust develops between caregiver and the older adult.

Most caregivers have a two-hour minimum, and two hours fly by in no time. If you are arranging care for an older adult, consider arranging care in 3 or 4-hour blocks of time at a minimum. This allows the caregiver to meet the psychosocial companionship needs of the older adult. Requesting a combination of chore, personal services and companion services will offer the most financially favorable and the most cost effective means of services. Social needs can be of equal importance to one's personal care needs.

Consider arranging a minimum of three days a week in four-hour blocks of time. This amount of service will achieve a base line of service and human interaction to allow for future development of trust and acceptance when care needs increase. It is common for older adults to be more accepting and interested in receiving help once they know and trust a caregiver and the care agency.

In-home care can offer live-in caregivers and even three 8-hour shifts of staffing to meet an older adult's care needs. This is called "24-hour care." There is a tremendous difference between 24-hour live-in care offered by one individual and 24-hour awake staff provided by three individuals who work an 8-hour shift.

Depending upon the social ability of the older adult and the available finances, the older adult may or may not be interested in considering a move to a senior housing or care community as care needs increase.

CHOICE Advisory Services is a FREE senior care referral agency.

We help define the options that will be of greatest interest to you.

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Last update: 2013-02-19 22:01
Author: Tech Support
Revision: 1.2

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