Outpatient care - what to look out for?

Sooner or later everyone has to deal with the question: How should it continue in old age? Whether it's the parents' own or their future, it is important to have a plan before the strength wears off, the illness gets worse, or the memory weakens. Around 80 percent of people over the age of 50 would like outpatient care at home if they were in need of care. In this way, not only the familiar environment but also a piece of freedom and individuality can be preserved. But when choosing the right care service, there is a lot to consider.

Outpatient care: helper instead of intruder

Ideally, the life partner, a child, or another relative agrees to take care of the person in need of care several times a day. However, due to work, family or other responsibilities, this is not always possible - at least not fully - and a professional caregiver is needed to help.

This not only relieves the relatives, but also gives them more time. Instead of wasting valuable free time with feeding, washing and cleaning, such care services can also be left to a professional and, in time, take a walk with the patient, play cards or read aloud to them.

Although it is unusual for older people to share intimate matters such as personal hygiene or going to the bathroom with a stranger. At the same time, many people find it unpleasant, for example, to be suddenly washed or taken to the toilet by their children, who have been looking after them all their lives. Such situations may be less of a problem for a pro than for one's relatives.

Trust in the gut feeling

Nevertheless, the caregiver should treat the patient as lovingly as possible, as if she were related to him. There are qualitatively great differences in care services here. While some people work carelessly and in staccato fashion and dispatch their customers every minute, others take time to listen and listen to their individual needs. The choice of the right care service should therefore be well thought out.

Listen to the circle of acquaintances for experiences with care services, ask your family doctor and visit the services available to you personally. Get to know the employees there in a personal conversation. Pay attention to your gut feeling. Do the nurses feel happy and motivated, or stressed out and disinterested? During the interview, ask whether the same caregiver is always taking care of you, or whether you have to adjust to a new face every day.

Outpatient care: benefits vary

The better the nurses are trained, the better care you can expect from them. This is especially true if you need to take regular medications or get injections. The more help you need, the more comprehensive the offer of the service should be.

So first think about the areas in which you need help: Should the caregiver help, clean, bring food, administer medication, do shopping and run errands in the home? Or is it enough for someone to see what happens twice a week? Inquire in advance if the nursing service also provides all the services you want.

Outpatient care - around the clock in the vicinity?

Pay attention to cleanliness and hygiene: Do the employees wear clean clothes, do they look well-groomed, are they well equipped with auxiliary material? Last but not least, the physical proximity of the nursing service is important in order to be able to quickly be on the spot in an emergency. Inquire about whether there is a standby service on weekends and at night.

In addition, the care service should be networked with other institutions that are important for personal care, such as family doctor or social services. In general, it is of course important that the nursing service can bill its services with nursing and health insurance companies. Depending on the level of care, the patient receives the costs for the nursing service from the health insurance fund.

Care alone is not enough

In order to enable life at home in old age, a good nursing service is often not enough. If old, frail people live alone, various renovations should be made in the home to make everyday life easier and to prevent accidents. These include, for example:

  • the installation of ramps and stairlifts
  • the attachment of handrails and handholds
  • the lowering of shelves and wall cabinets
  • the installation of a shower seat or a bathtub lift
  • raising the bed and the toilet seat

If old people are supported by such help and a friendly, competent and reliable care service in their own home, then a self-determined life should stand in the way.

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