The caregiving landscape has changed dramatically since the pandemic started in 2020. As months went by, families of loved ones living in long-term residential communities made decisions to move their elders back home.
Fast forward two years to 2022, to an unprecedented caregiver shortage, caused in large part by the impact of the pandemic. The caregiver shortage has contributed to a bed shortage in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. As adult children and extended family members have returned to work and school, the challenges to continue to provide quality care for their aging loved ones can feel overwhelming.
- Adult Day Programs: These programs follow two types of models, the social model, and the medical model. If an elder would benefit from socialization, recreational activities, and support for activities of daily living, a social model program would be a good fit. If, in addition, an elder has complex medical needs, e.g., insulin-dependent diabetes, wound care, supplemental oxygen, etc., a medical model program that is staffed with a nurse or similarly licensed/credentialed healthcare provider, may be a better choice. Many adult day programs provide transportation to and from home. Day programs provide caregivers with respite time and are less expensive than paying for hourly care in the home.
- Home Care: While there continues to be a paid caregiver shortage at this time, it is still possible to identify, hire and retain in-home aides. Home care agencies are always willing to work with families to meet their needs. At this time, agencies typically require at least a 4-hour/day minimum. Caregivers are more likely to accept assignments that offer consistent weekly schedules.
- Meals on Wheels (MoW): Communities offer a no-cost or low-cost meal delivery service 5 days a week for seniors who are unable to leave home. Some MoW providers have waiting lists.
If you or a loved one are looking for a care manager that you can trust, contact Preferred Living Solutions at 919-554-0675 and let us help you make a plan and ease the way.
Written by: Vivian McLaurin, Certified Care Manager at Preferred Living Solutions.