Though we’re all unique in the way we age and grow, a longer life expectancy often comes with its own set of distinct challenges. In our later years, there’s the potential for diminished physical capacity, limiting our mobility and our ability to perform activities of daily living. Our mental acuity can decline, resulting in the loss of cognitive function and problem solving. And, of course, there’s the possibility for the onset of age-related illnesses.
These age-related challenges can happen gradually or suddenly. Most of us don’t prepare to age and when families are faced with an unexpected physiological or medical problem, they’re often overwhelmed by worry and decision-making.
Should we place our loved one in a public or private residence? Should we keep our loved one at home with the help of a caregiver? How much will these different senior care services cost? Can we afford care?
These are some of the difficult questions families grapple with as they wade through what seems like a minefield of information and choice. There are myriad options and services available, making it critically important for families to find the right plan.
Here’s what families need to know as they consider their options:
FACT: Generally, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to remain at home as they age. However, lack of resources and access to care mean the majority of these seniors end up in public or private residences.
FACT: There’s no such thing as a one-sized fits all caregiving solution. Seniors have different needs. At Home Care Assistance Montreal, we begin every case with a free in-home assessment with the senior and their family. Our assessments are performed by a trained care manager/registered nurse and are designed to evaluate the care recipient’s:
- Daily living activities and routines
- Personal care requirements
- Hobbies and interests
FACT: Home care is more affordable than you might think. Many families believe their loved ones will need full-time care, but this isn’t often the case. Most of our care recipients require only 16-24 hours of home care per week. We provide a flexible solution that evolves with our clients’ needs while they remain in the comfort of their homes. This home care often comes at a fraction of the cost of a private care facility.
So, which home care solution is best for you? Your family’s current situation might be similar to one of these three care examples.
Mr. & Mrs. S
Mr. & Mrs. S have lived in the same house in Cote-St-Luc for the past 35 years. It’s where they raised their children, and they have no plans to move. They’ve managed quite well over the years, often going for walks through Trudeau Park. But Mr. S fell recently and had surgery. Mrs. S now takes care of all the daily chores, but has a hard time keeping up. Needless to say, those long walks through Trudeau Park are now a thing of the past.
The couple and their children decided to hire Monica, a caregiver, from Home Care Assistance Montreal. She goes in three times a week for four-hour visits. Each visit is a little different. For instance, each week Monica takes care of the cleaning, laundry and other household chores that Mr. & Mrs. S can no longer manage. When she’s done with the household chores, Monica devotes her full attention to Mr. S, helping with his personal care and grooming needs during his recovery. She’s able to provide Mr. S with a little added support when he walks, and a great deal of peace of mind to Mrs. S.
Solution: 4 hours/day, 4 visits/week
Approximate cost: $1250/month with provincial tax credit
Mr. F is 85 and struggling with mobility and personal hygiene. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago and doing simple tasks such as buttoning his shirt or bathing has become difficult. Alycia, his caregiver, bathes him, helps with his personal care and gets him dressed for the day. Looking good is still important to Mr. F! After he eats breakfast, Alycia engages him using Home Care Assistance’s scientific cognitive therapeutics method.
Mr. F enjoys these cognitive exercises referred to as ‘brain games.’ He particularly enjoys social reminiscence, because it gives him a chance to talk about one of his favourite subjects —his children. Alycia visits Mr. F Monday to Friday for five hours between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. On weekends, his children rotate the duties.
Solution: 5 hours/day, 5 visits/week
Approximate cost: $2000/month with provincial tax credit
Mr. B has Parkinson’s and has effectively lost all of his mobility. When we first started working with Mr. B, he spent the majority of his days in bed. His need for care is significant, so we put together a team of caregivers who have Parkinson’s experience. A head care manager/registered nurse oversees the team. Our caregivers focus primarily on Mr. B’s personal care needs.
To his family’s relief, Mr. B now spends a good portion of the day out of bed. His caregivers accompany him on outings and to his doctor’s appointments. The high quality of care Mr. B receives means he can remain in the comfort of his own home.
Solution: Live-In Care, 7 days/week
Approximate cost: $9,000/month with provincial tax credit