What kind of care does my loved one need? | SYNERGY HomeCare

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What kind of care does my loved one need?

What kind of care does my loved one need?

The Care Assessment Checklist can help you decide what help, if any, your loved one may need. This checklist was created by Carla Sutter, the Director of Operations at SYNERGY HomeCare Corporate office. She is certified as an Advanced Care Planning and End of Life Decision Making Instructor and Facilitator. This checklist is designed to be used as a tool to help you make a determination, but talking with your doctor or health care manager may shed some additional light on your specific needs and what assistance, if any, is needed.

Choose the one statement for each item that most closely fits your loved one at this time. Add up the numbers at the end of each statement to get a total. Then, go to the end of the checklist to see what this may mean.

  1. Able to take care of the house and yard
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some help (2)
    3. no (3)
    4. lives in housing where this is not an issue, or already has assistance (1)
  2. Able to clean house and do laundry
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some help, or with reminders (2)
    3. no (3)
    4. lives in housing where this is not an issue, or already has assistance (1)
  3. Able to identify strangers and seek help, if necessary
    1. without help (1)
    2. no (3)
  4. Able to get help in an emergency
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some guidance, or instruction (2)
    3. no (3)
  5. Able to drive
    1. without help, or uses public transportation (1)
    2. does not drive and heelps help with other forms of transportation (2)
    3. requires special medical transportation (3)
  6. Able to participate in social activities
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some help (reminders, scheduling, transportation) (2)
    3. only with help and supervision (3)
  7. Able to manage own money (balance checking account, pay bills, etc.)
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some help (reminding, writing out checks, reviewing mail) (2)
    3. no (3)
  8. Able to shop for food
    1. without help (1)
    2. with help (2)
    3. no (3)
  9. Able to make or arrange for meals
    1. without help (1)
    2. With help (including meals on wheels type of assistance) (2)
    3. No (3)
  10. Able to feed self
    1. without help (1)
    2. with help (because of physical difficulties, need for reminders) (2)
    3. No (including conditions due to swallowing difficulties) (3)
  11. Able to recognize surroundings
    1. always alert and aware of day, time and place (1)
    2. sometimes confused about day, time, and place (2)
    3. always confused about day, time and place (3)
  12. Able to make and keep appointments
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some reminders (2)
    3. only with help (3)
  13. Able to understand and follow directions
    1. without help (1)
    2. only after check directions several times (2)
    3. not even with help (3)
  14. Wanders or has gotten lost
    1. no (1)
    2. yes (3)
  15. Able to do personal grooming (brush teeth, comb hair, shave, etc.)
    1. without help (1)
    2. with reminders (2)
    3. only with help (3)
  16. Able to dress
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some help (reminders, choosing what to wear, etc.) (2)
    3. only with help (3)
  17. Able to bathe or shower
    1. without help (1)
    2. with some help or supervision (2)
    3. only with help (3)
  18. Able to control bladder and bowels
    1. Yes, or can use incontinence products without help (1)
    2. with reminders to use the toilet, or help with using incontinence products (2)
    3. No (3)
  19. Able to walk
    1. walks on own without falling (with or without cane or walker) (1)
    2. has trouble walking alone and/or has fallen during past 6 months (2)
    3. needs help to walk or stand (3)
  20. Able to transfer (from chair to walker, walker to bed, wheelchair to car, etc)
    1. without help (1)
    2. only with help (3)
  21. Therapy and rehabilitation (Physical, Occupational, or Speech)
    1. does not need therapy or rehab (1)
    2. takes care of therapy or rehab without help (1)
    3. needs some help to manage therapy or rehab (2)
    4. needs medical monitoring (3)
  22. Able to manage medicines
    1. without help (1)
    2. with help (to identify, open bottles, reminders) (2)
    3. no (3)

If your total is 30 or less:
Your loved one can function well, without much help, at this time. There may not be an immediate need for additional services, but now is a good time to start planning for the future. 

  • Plan: what medical, financial, and legal arrangements are in place or need to be put in place?
  • Ask: what are the thoughts, wishes, feelings, and preferences of your loved one and family? You may want to ask the elder to define their goals for ongoing living arrangements, or what they would want to have happen in the event that they get to a place where they need more assistance.
  • Facilitate: what can be done to help your loved one remain as independent as possible? Ask us about a home safety checkist to make adjustments now, or before a fall or incidents.
  • Learn: what community resources are available.

If you total is between 31 and 50:
Your loved one can no longer do many daily activities without supervision or help. You may want to consider some of the following options for community-based services or senior housing.
SYNERGY HomeCare: An in-home service in which supportive assistants/certified caregivers help with shopping, meals, housework, and other daily tasks. They can also provide assistance with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and medication reminders. They can come to the home for 1 hour and up to 24 hours at a time. The management staff is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help with all your home care needs.
Home Health Care: Medical services provided in the home. These services may be provided by a nurse, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and/or physical therapist. Home health aides may also be available and these services are often covered under Medicare, but require a physician's order and a skilled service need. Home Health Care can work alongside Home Care, such as SYNERGY HomeCare, as one can provide medical assistance, and the other can provide non-medical assistance.
Assisted Living: Long-term senior housing that provides more health care services and social activities than most independent living communities. These communities offer 24-hour security and on-site staff. Residents can purchase the level of medical and health care services that they need, or bring in services from the community.  Many services, if purchased in house, can be offered in 15 minute blocks. Meals are served and are part of the package offered. Residents have their own living area and many units have small kitchenettes. Some assisted living communities offer a separate secure unit for those with Alzheimer's or Dementia. Assisted living communities that don't have their own caregivers in house will assist clients with arranging care through a non-medical home care provider, like SYNERGY HomeCare.
Resedential care or memory care facilities: A residence specifically for those with Alzheimer's or another form of Dementia. Residents may have a single or shared room. The staff are trained to manage the special needs of seniors with memory loss. This type of residence offers residents companionship, security, and care in an environment developed to meet their special needs. May be free standing or part of a larger senior care community. If the community doesn't have enough caregivers in house, arrangements for care can be made through a non-medical home care provider, like SYNERGY HomeCare.

If your total was 51 or higher:
Your loved one can no longer take care of their own needs. They may have a serious acute or chronic medical problem as well.
24 hour home care: Many seniors prefer to remain in their own home and receive 24 hour care services from a home care agency, such as SYNERGY Homecare. If someone requires round the clock care, the staffing schedule will depend upon their care needs, particulary at night. You may be able to have a live-in care service which is where one caregiver stays in the home 24 hours a day. This is an option only if the caregiver is able to sleep at night for at least 6-8 hours uninterrupted. If the senior needs assistance throughout the night or gets up regularly then you will need caregivers who are awak during their shifts. Shifts are often scheduled for 8-12 hours at a time. Although live-in care is less expensive thand 24 hour awak care, it is not the right fit for everyone. 
Long-term care facility: 
Nursing home/home health care center: A facility that provides health care to people who cannot manage independently in the community, even with caregivers coming in. Often these residents have higher medical needs that require an LPN or RN to be available round the clock. Nursing homes also may provide short-term rehabilitation as well as care for long-term chronic conditions. Medicare only covers short-term rehabilitation as well as care for long-term chronic conditions. Medicare only covers short-term rehabilitation in a nursing facility after certain criteria is met, and does not cover long-term stays.
Residential Care/Assisted Living Facility: As discussed previously, these facilities offer senior housing with health care, meals, and social activities as part of the rent through an al-a-carte package. When your loved ones scores a 51 or higher, they will require a facility that can provide more staff interaction and supervision than what may have been needed when they first began their residence. This is another opportunity where home care, like SYNERGY HomeCare, can step in to provide additional services or even solely client engagement on top of medical services already being received.
Hospice: Hospice includes medical and social services for terminally ill patients and their families. Hospice is not a place; it is a philosophy of care and a provision of care by a team of health care providers. Clients who are certified for hospice care are covered under Medicare and/or private insurance. Care can be provided in the client's home or senior housing communities. Hospice care is for those clients who have chosen comfort care and symptom management and are not actively seeking treatment for their advanced illness. Hospice provides coverage for intermittment nursing visits, social work, spiritual care, medications related to symptom management for their hospice diagnosis, and durable medical equipment. Many hospice providers also have a volunteer staff component along with massage and music therapy. Nurses are available 24/7 for emergenices and to assist with questions. Hospice does not, except under certain defined circumstances, provide extended hours of care. If families are unable to provide assistance with supervision and personal care they will be recommended to a home care provider, such as SYNERGY HomeCare.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this checklist, please feel free to call us anytime at (405)254-3046

Abbey Trammell

Abbey writes for SYNERGY HomeCare of Edmond, Ok. She obtained a degree in Business Administration with a major in Management Information Systems. She is a creative thinker and marketing strategist. Working with people is Abbey's greatest joy, whether it's customer service or getting to work with a team. She loves creating new ways to reach clients over social media and various marketing channels. Receiving home care is a very personal experience and she helps you get the information you need to make the best choice for your family.

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