The 5 Considerations of Quality Senior Care

Affordable Home Care, At-Home Caregivers, Care for Older People, Eldercare at Home, Aged Home Care, Home Care in Eden Prairie, Home Care in BurnsvillePrior to beginning homemaking services I usually tell my clients, “If our services don’t make your life easier, then they are not working the way they are meant to be working.”  Receiving services such as light housekeeping, laundry, and meal prep frees up a client’s time and physical and emotional energy to do things that are more important and meaningful to them.  Maybe it’s recuperating from a recent hospitalization or healing from a fracture.  Perhaps it’s finishing a quilt or blanket for a new grandchild or baking something for new neighbors who just moved in next door.  Maybe it’s recording memories, sorting through keepsakes, or putting family photos in order.  For many people, these tasks are more important, more meaningful, and easier to accomplish than vacuuming or scrubbing the toilet and surely do add to a better quality of life.

As you look outside the family for assistance in taking care of your elderly parents, it’s important to find a company that addresses all of your parents’ needs.  This means that in the initial assessment process, it’s important to consider not only the physical issues and limitations which likely prompted you to seek services in the first place but to also consider several other aspects of a person’s well being.  Before beginning services, your elderly parents’ unique and specific needs in each area should be communicated to the caregiver who will be providing the service in the home.

Areas other than physical that need to be considered include the following:

1.  Mental Health:  Does the client have mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or dementia that will impact the care that will be provided?  Is the client comfortable discussing those issues and how they manifest themselves in his or her day-to-day life?

2.  Emotional Health:  Are there emotional issues such as grief because of the recent loss of a spouse, life partner, close friend, or pet?  Or is there grief around other losses such as mobility, independence, and home?  How does the person deal with this (or not)?  In what ways can a caregiver recognize and support the client around these issues?

3.  Social Health/Support:  What are the social support systems that are in place for this particular client in addressing mental, physical, and emotional needs?  How will that system, or lack of it, impact the care that is to be provided?  How does family dysfunction impact the client?

4.  Spiritual Health:  To what degree and in what form does the client find (or not find) support and comfort from a spiritual source, and how will that impact the care to be provided?

5.  Financial Health:   Is there enough money to cover monthly housing expenses and utilities?  Are there financial stressors and concerns that could be addressed and/or alleviated by the family?  Can suggestions be made to enhance the care by tapping into other resources, and if so, what would those resources be?


In order to provide quality services and to improve your parents’ quality of life, it’s important that all areas be considered for each individual person.  Of course, these considerations vary by degree of need and on a case-by-case basis; however, they all play a part in understanding how to shape the care your parents receive.

Julie Ellingson, LSW



March 26, 2012

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