Elder Care: A Family Affair

When we think of elder care services we tend to assume that the aging adult is the only client receiving services. However, at Sound Options we understand that elder care is really a family affair. Adult children of aging parents and in-laws are usually intimately involved in finding solutions to care needs, managing crises, and helping make decisions. When it comes to housing, healthcare and long-term services, there is a steep learning curve.

Sound Options began as a Care Management firm that put Registered Nurses and Masters of Social Work who specialized in elder care at the disposal of families. The wide-ranging services allow family to just be family while a professional acts as advocate, guide and care coordinator.

Examples of what a Care Manager can do for your family are:

  • Eldercare coaching for family
  • Mediation to navigate family dynamics
  • Disease education
  • Act as a neutral third party
  • Research and arrange care options and safe living arrangements
  • Communicate with long-distance caregivers and family
  • Navigate the Medicare and healthcare maze
  • Address specialized care needs for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Advocate for clients in hospital and housing settings
  • Liaison between multiple doctors and care partners
  • Manage Medication
  • Accompaniment to doctor appointments
  • Oversee care and create a plan of care for the future
  • Partner with other professionals such as attorneys, trusts, guardians, wealth managers, and hospice
  • Assess living environment for safety and quality of life
  • Make recommendations for appropriate care and housing options

As adult children, when we hear the term “family caregiver” we might not think of ourselves, but even those that are not providing full-time care are bearing much of the responsibility and need assistance. If you are doing one or more of these activities, you are a family caregiver:

  • giving or preparing medications
  • transportation
  • food preparation
  • grocery shopping
  • housekeeping
  • bill paying
  • laundry
  • assistance using technology
  • coordinating doctor appointments
  • bathing/ grooming
  • toileting
  • home management and repairs
  • financial support
  • research  and arranging elder care services or housing options

Worklife

For the adult children that are working, balancing the responsibilities of work, family, and elder care can be overwhelming. “6 out of ten family caregivers hold a paid position,” according to a MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs in 2010. Baby boomers, who are at the height of their earning potential and should be socking away retirement savings, are often taking a financial hit by reducing time working or leaving the workplace to deal with caregiving responsibilities.  

A professional Care Manager can be an invaluable asset to families, working caregivers and aging adults. As professionals in the field, they can efficiently address elder care needs, while reducing stress and allowing family to maintain balance. Both our Care Management and Home Care focus on quality of life which starts with the aging adult and spreads to their family and loved ones around them. Whether you need a guide to make good elder care decisions or a professional to take some of the responsibility off your plate, we’re here to help. Find service details online at www.SoundOptions.com/Service or give us a call at 800.628.7649.   

Published on May 1, 2016.