Most of us seek to broaden our horizons in any way we can, but there are a few topics that we tend to avoid. Preparing for our long-term health and medical needs is one of them.
In general, this is a tough topic to face. It can be compounded by the natural fear that comes from the unknown. We ask ourselves questions such as “What are my options?,” “What can I afford?,” and “How do I even know what to ask?” We simply don’t know what we don’t know. Kelly Miller, community relations director at Morning Pointe of Louisville and Scott Jerke, director of rehabilitation services for VNA Health at Home, met with me to discuss the numerous options available in our community and to try to answer some of those pressing concerns.
Should I stay or should I go?
For most people, it is preferable to stay in their own homes as long as possible. The real trick is figuring out when it is the right time to leave. Scott suggests asking yourself a few simple questions:
- Can I stay safe at home (here’s some help)?
- Will I be able to overcome my health obstacles?
- If I stay home and do need some assistance, what do I need to do?
Most often, home health care is first considered after a surgical procedure or general decline in health. Skilled services such as those provided by VNA can offer a team of individuals who come into the home for scheduled visits to provide therapy and medical assistance until that particular medical need has been met. VNA does not provide 24-hour service, but if that level of care is needed, home healthcare agencies can fill that gap.
One key aspect to consider is the availability of one’s caregiver and support system. In today’s society, people work later into life than ever before, and they may not be available to care for their loved ones in the way that they’d like. With enough support, staying home can be a viable option. If not, assisted living or personalized care communities may be the way to go.
— By Megan Willman