Carney Hospital, Dorchester’s main health care facility, continues to face financial challenges as its leadership juggles rising costs, an unresolved labor contract and a dysfunctional insurance reimbursement system. But its owner, Steward Health Care Network, is committed to keeping the hospital open.
This week, unpaid carers came together for a celebration of their work and to discuss plans to make Dorset more carer-friendly.
What is a Carer?
A Carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, frailty, disability or a mental health problem or addiction cannot cope without their support. They could be young or old, male or female and live with the person they are caring for or provide support from a distance.
Caring can include a range of tasks and responsibilities including feeding, washing, dressing, toileting, administering medication, taking someone to hospital appointments and more. A carer might do this all the time or occasionally, depending on the person they are caring for and their needs.
People often don’t see themselves as a Carer and instead, just get on with what needs to be done. This is because the role can be demanding and can have a big impact on a person’s life. It is important that the right support is in place for both the person being cared for and also their Carer.
Why Live-In Care?
Live-in care is when a fully trained carer moves into the client’s home to provide round-the-clock support. This can include anything from companionship and help with medication management to providing transportation to and from appointments, assisting with household tasks, and even cooking meals.
It also offers highly personalised care that reflects the person’s choices, wishes and social preferences. Unlike in a care home where there is a revolving cast of carers, the same caregiver will be with the client for their entire stay, helping them to develop a level of trust and friendship over time.
In addition, it allows families and friends to visit without having to worry about visiting hours, and the family can have peace of mind that their loved one is receiving consistent, dedicated care. Combined with waterproof emergency alert buttons, this type of care can be particularly beneficial for those living alone. It is important to note that a private domiciliary carer can’t provide nursing services but they can assist with bathing and grooming, moving around the home safely, dressing, and feeding as well as administering medications.
How Are Home Care Agencies Regulated?
Home health is a highly regulated industry with rules and regulations that fill volumes. Home care agencies are subject to rules and compliance from their state departments of health as well as CMS (Centers for Medicare Services).
Home care agencies must also make sure clinicians they employ have active and discipline-free licenses. They must routinely document patients’ conditions and compare progress against their plan of care. Medicare reviews this documentation regularly as well as surveying home health agencies for quality and safety compliance.
There are medical skilled home health agencies and non-medical home care agency businesses that offer personal and companion services for seniors. These services can include meal preparation, housekeeping and transportation for errands or doctor appointments in Dorchester. Non-medical home care agencies do not provide nursing services or medical treatment but can assist with daily living activities like bathing and dressing as well as medication reminders. Many of these agencies are private pay and do not accept 3rd party billing.
What is the Expectation of a Live-In Carer?
A live-in carer lives in your relative’s home to help with daily tasks and support them in their own home. The exact duties will vary from person to person but may include personal care (washing, grooming, dressing), medication management, transporting them to appointments, meal preparation and cleaning, and general household chores.
If your loved one requires specialist care, a nurse-led clinical carer can be hired through the same agency. These nurses can also give injections and other medical services such as managing diabetes or administering oxygen.Carer Dorchester