My Mom Needs Home Care, Now What?
A home care assessment is when a care manager visits the senior’s home, screens for various risk factors and red flags, and assesses the need for in-home care, with a focus on providing a solution that supports the senior to live independently at home for as long as possible.
On average, a home care assessment will take 90 minutes, during which time the care manager speaks with the senior and involved family to fully understand their needs and desired outcomes. The issues reviewed most commonly include, functional requirements, social engagement, emotional well-being, financial resources, and safety concerns.
When done well, an in-home care assessment presents critical information about how to best care for your aging parents and later determine if home care is needed. A care manager will then make suggestions for immediate changes and finally devise a concrete home care plan to take action.
What Assessments are Recommended?
The highest-quality elderly care assessments are carried out by a credentialed geriatric care manager who conducts an extensive evaluation of the whole person and whole family. To be truly effective and comprehensive when starting home care, a home care assessment must include:
1. Home Safety Assessment
A home safety assessment should be carried out by professional care managers who have experience identifying all the red flags in a senior’s home which might create dangers or cause a hospitalization.
At LivHOME, our care managers use a customized home safety assessment checklist to identify the most immediate potential dangers.
For example, each care manager conducts an extensive fall risk assessment, searching for things such as throw rugs or wires on the floor that could cause a fall. Our care specialist then creates a home care plan based on the fall risk assessment and core findings.
But we don’t stop there.
A home safety assessment checks whether smoke alarms and bathroom handrails are correctly installed, and estimates how much maintenance the home and yard require. Other examples found in the home safety assessment checklist include:
- Are all cords safely away from walkways?
- Are there sturdy and easy to grip handrails?
- Is the senior able to see the edges of steps?
- Are sinks and counters at an appropriate level?
- Are appliances in good working condition?
- Is the furniture arranged to provide ample space?
- Is an automatic chair lift needed?
- Are bathmats securely fastened to the bathroom floor?
- Is there a raised toilet seat?
- Are there rails and handles for the bed?
- Is there a first aid kit available and easy to access?
- Is the home inside and out adequately lit?
Completing a home safety assessment and implementing the home care plan means older adults will remain safer and in their homes for far longer than they might have without taking this essential step.
Not only is living safely at home a more cost-effective solution compared to relocating to a nursing facility, but it also enhances a seniors’ quality of life by helping them age in the manner of their choice, feeling happier and more independent.
2. Daily Activities Assessment
When asked how they’re managing their daily activities, many seniors will say “fine.” But are they really fine?
LivHOME’s home care assessment examines seniors’ ability to safely carry out activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, laundry, cleaning, shopping, and cooking—all of which contribute to their functional well-being.
For instance, is your senior loved one eating healthful, quality foods, or are they merely eating what is most accessible and convenient, thus placing themselves at risk for imbalanced nutrition? Our health risk assessment will reveal whether or not your loved one is eating well.
Similarly, a medication review will reveal whether your loved one can manage their medications at home, are taking the right prescriptions at the right times of day, and are following instructions correctly such as taking their medicines with food and water.
LivHOME’s senior transportation assessment helps to ensure your loved one can get out of the house and remain socially engaged without jeopardizing personal safety in the process.
By identifying any impediments to daily activities and detailing the right kind of support, a geriatric care manager assessment can help your loved one remain in their homes longer and enjoy a more satisfying quality of life.
3. Physical Health Assessment
In consultation with each senior’s medical team, a physical health assessment can identify physical challenges that may need to be incorporated into the professional care plan, including steps to improve mobility and address vision and hearing loss. A care provider’s evaluation of a physical health assessment and the need for personal home care can include:
- Can the senior move safely about their home, or do they need extra supports?
- Do visual impairments call for changes in the home or plan of care?
- Does hearing loss prevent an aging parent from recognizing when the doorbell or phone are ringing?
A thorough physical health evaluation by your care provider will spot these obstacles and provide a professional nursing plan of care with solutions that work seamlessly.
4. Mental Health and Cognition Assessment
Many seniors experience mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety as they cope with changes and losses that accompany the aging process. With the assistance of care expert, our companion care services can take into account your loved one’s hobbies, passions, and unique circumstances to maximize their quality of life—wherever they call home.
A mental health assessment or a cognition assessment by a care manager can help identify a decline in older adults, especially those who require dementia home care such as Alzheimer’s. It takes unique skills in both psychology and gerontology to untangle these symptoms and their causes, and adequately screen for the mental health issues a senior may be facing.
Our care managers also screen for social isolation and elder abuse, as we pride ourselves as great senior advocates to ensure your loved one is safe and gets the needed care that enhances their sense of well-being.
When starting home care for a loved one, make sure the professionals you turn to have the right training and know-how to perform a comprehensive elderly care assessment. At LivHOME, our professionals on staff have the expertise to identify mental health and cognitive decline.
Benefits of a Home Care Assessment
The quality of a geriatric care manager assessment is like the quality of a building’s foundation. A quick or shoddy assessment, like a swift or shoddily built foundation, will only lead to more significant problems down the road. The more extensive the evaluations and screenings, the better the results will be for seniors living at home.
When assessing home care needs, a professional care assessment results in a comprehensive look at all the issues a senior is facing, which in turn leads to a care plan that is tailored to fit your aging loved one’s exact needs and desires.
When the assessment is thorough, nothing slips through the cracks—and nothing unnecessary is paid for.
A good care plan means your loved one will stay healthier, remain more independent, and stay in control of their surroundings for much longer than they might have without a proper professional care assessment or the appropriate home care services.
How is LivHOME’s Home Care Assessment Different?
At LivHOME, our process of assessing home care needs is far more comprehensive and detailed than most assessments offered by other agencies. Our credentialed care managers can perform a thorough biopsychosocial assessment of your loved one, assessing their cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual needs for overall health and well-being.
LivHOME’s professional biopsychosocial assessment is performed by professionals who have respected credentials and experience in social work, nursing, gerontology, and/or mental health.
LivHOME’s Biopsychosocial Assessment
As your partner in aging well, we’ll devise a thorough and sustainable home care plan or elderly care plan that honors the commitments of everyone involved, looking at the whole person and whole family.
Caring for the Whole Person
The LivHOME home care assessment will, of course, evaluate your loved one’s functional needs. Because the social worker or nurse also takes a look at the whole picture, we’ll assess so much more. A biopsychosocial assessment will understand the whole picture, such as:
- Personal values and preferences
- Physical health and medications
- Emotional health
- Functional abilities
- Home and neighborhood safety
- Cognitive ability
- Risk factors for falls, nutrition, depression, and isolation
- Socialization needs
- Review of insurance, legal, and financial issues
- Quality of life concerns
Your social worker or nurse looks to understand who your loved one is, what used to bring her joy, and how we can bring some of that joy back into her life.
Supporting the Whole Family
When sharing the biopsychosocial assessment findings, your social worker or nurse will work to devise a sustainable elderly care plan that addresses everyone’s concerns, giving peace of mind to the whole family. We will create an elderly care plan that will ensure your loved one enjoys:
- Respect and dignity
- Safety and security
- Choice and autonomy
- Meaningful and joyful activity
- Connectedness to the world
Think of your care manager as someone experienced who can guide you through the journey of aging—whether it’s finding a caregiver or home care agency, dealing with resistance to care, managing difficult life transitions, accepting a new health diagnosis, or something else.
If at any point, the home care plan requires adjusting and you need some weight taken off your shoulders and a break with respite home care, we will happily adapt our responsibilities and give you a chance to refresh.
Because LivHOME’s care managers know what to look for and what questions to ask, they are better able to assess and evaluate a senior’s mental, physical, emotional, and everyday needs.
Schedule Your Home Care Assessment!
Families of seniors often feel overwhelmed by the challenges of the aging process—and that’s perfectly normal. There are so many aspects to consider, and so many options to choose.
The best way to decide what type of care is best for your loved one is to gather more information about their in-home situation, and the best way to do that is through a home care assessment.
By engaging with an organization that can provide a comprehensive biopsychosocial care assessment, you will also learn the costs, the benefits, and the time requirements of in-home versus institutional care, and how to best bring safety and happiness to your aging parent or loved one.
Knowledge is power. A LivHOME home care assessment comes with no obligation and will provide you with the information you need to do what’s best for the aging adult you love.