I give advice for a living to seniors and families reconciling their check list for aging in place. But when it came time to have the same “conversation” with my parents, it was a completely different story…
Recently, The Boston Globe published two unnerving articles about home care gone very wrong. As owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore I responded to Stranger in the House and its sister article The U.S. has Huge Need for Home Health Care. I described the “state of the state” of the home care industry in Massachusetts; a considerably complex business, with lots of moving parts, as one that lacks basic regulation and industry standards. This makes it attractive and easy to get into as a business without understanding the innate seriousness of it.
We hear it every time we get on an airplane, “in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, an air mask will be automatically released. Be sure to secure your own mask before helping others”. Why? Because it makes perfect sense to be in a good place ourselves before we take on the burden of caring for someone else, even if that person is right next to us.
As an owner of a private duty home care agency that deliver client-centric, nurse-led and managed care to hundreds to seniors in communities within the Globe reach, I was torn between great sadness, outrage and considerable frustration by the September 15 article written by Linda Matchan that appeared in the Boston Globe.
I am passionate and outspoken about helping our elders age in place. It began when I became involved in the leadership of my Synagogue, finding many of our older congregants struggling.
As the owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore I help my clients and their families make important decisions about their care plans at home. As a son (along with my siblings), I am also instrumental in helping my parents successfully age in their home in Virginia – an airport away from me here in New England. Both of these come with huge responsibilities and accountability.
Anybody who knows me and Senior Helpers, knows I have a passion for aging in place. I have always advocated for excellence – licensing standards for our wholly unregulated industry in Massachusetts, standards of care, of case management and caregiver certifications.
What I Have Learned From Caregivers
The Questions of the Future are Here Now
While Delivering Great Home Care is Serious Business, it Does not Have to be Complicated.
I was recently reminded that October is Patient-Centered Care Month. This resonated with me because I often talk about seniors being the center of OUR universe here at Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore, and I was more than curious as to how our approach to caregiving aligned with the “patient-centered care” model popularized in the broader healthcare system.
As owner of Senior Helpers Boston I love the fact that there’s an “Older American Month”, and this year’s theme is “Age Out Loud”. It speaks volumes about our seniors, the control they continue to exercise over their lives, and about the communities that care about them.
Google may be great at finding a local mechanic, but it’s lousy at helping consumers sort out the vast landscape of navigating care in the home. This is particularly true when leaving the hospital or a short term nursing and rehabilitation community to head home – leaving the comfort of acute care where all aspects of care are managed and controlled.
As owner of Senior Helpers Boston and South Shore, I am fully aware of the statistics following patients who return home from acute care. The harsh reality is that 1 out of 5 seniors return, within 30 days. It is one of the most troubling issues crippling our healthcare system in general, and for families, can prove devastating. Why does this happen? Where and how do things go so terribly wrong?
Why the Combination of Personal Support and Hospice Matters