Are you asking yourself: Do my parents need caregiving Or skilled nursing services? If you are, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, over 5 million people are caring for an adult who can’t fully care for him/herself. Most of these caring individuals have no prior knowledge of the caring system and are learning as they go.
This lack of knowledge could lead you to make some wrong assumptions based on a misunderstanding about what these services are. In this piece, we’ll shed some light on the differences between these services, who needs the services and how getting the right services can help.
What is Caregiving?
Caregiving is the act of providing for the physical and emotional/social needs of an individual who is not capable of providing for themselves. The individual being cared is often physically weak and may be confined to a wheelchair or bed.
Caregivers provide for basic physical needs like:
- Living in a sanitary space
- Transportation/Pickup services
- Comfort/Re-positioning (non- medical pain reduction)
- Medication management and distribution
- Making appointments
Emotional/social needs include things we may take for granted like:
- Hearing a pleasant human voice
- Being intellectually stimulated by reading, games or conversation
- Feeling connected to the outside world
- Feeling safe
- Feeling cared for
A Real Life Example of Caregiving
Charles is an 82 year old former firefighter who lives alone in a one bedroom apartment. His children and grandchildren call and come by when they can, but he understands that they are all busy with work and life and may not be able to spend as much time with him as they’d like.
Fortunately his family has made arrangements for a caregiver to stay with him for 6-8 hours each day, making sure he eats nutritious meals, feels clean and has someone to talk with throughout the day among meeting other basic needs. Having a caregiver in the home for most of the day helps him feel safer and more energetic than he would if he spent that time alone.
What Are Skilled Nursing Services?
In home nursing includes medical care performed by a trained and certified medical professional as allowed by California law. These services don’t replace a caree’s regularly scheduled visit with a doctor, but can ensure that the patient’s medical needs in between doctor visits are being met according to doctors orders.
These may include:
- Wound care
- Administration of infusions/injections ordered by the doctor
- Advanced medication management like those for pain
- Catheter care
- Feeding tube care
- Drawing blood for testing
- Educating family members and/or the patient regarding in home care
- Evaluating patient status
- Coordinating with the patient’s doctors and family to ensure everyone is on the same page
- Informing the patient and/or family when the patient’s condition is worsening and should see a doctor
A Real Life Example of Skilled Nursing Services
Sharon is a 79 year old former bank teller. She was diagnosed with diabetes 20 years ago. She also has COPD and obstructive sleep apnea. She is very weak and spends her days confined to a bed. She just got out of the hospital where she spent 5 days battling a severe infection on her abdomen.
The wound isn’t completely healed, but the doctors have allowed her to go home from the hospital as long as she continues her course of IV antibiotics and has her dressings changed at least once a day. Her daughter lives with her and is able to handle the cooking and cleaning, but isn’t trained to provide the wound care that Sharon needs.
Sharon’s daughter contacted a elderly home care agency and arranged with a registered nurse to administer the antibiotics and care for the wound. Sharon is very grateful that her daughter has the support she needs to provide for her since this medical service is so beyond what her daughter could do.
Why Sharon and Charles Chose Dynamic Nursing for their Care
Dynamic Nursing was able to work with them and their families to determine exactly what services they needed. They provided a free consultation and a case manager fully assessed their needs to determine exactly what they needed. They customized a plan to meet their unique needs. Does your parent need skilled nursing services nursing or caregiving services? Maybe you’re unsure which services Mom or Dad needs. Schedule an appointment today.