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Jeruba's avatar

Right now, in covid time, which care option is the best when amateur nursing at home is no longer enough?

Asked by Jeruba (51083points) 1 month ago

When someone needs more health care and attention than untrained family members can give or sustain or even physically perform, what is the best choice as things are right now?

Among hospitals, subacute care facilities, nursing homes, visiting practitioners, and I don’t know what all else, what is the best way to proceed when caring for someone becomes too much for the household? I mean right now, with covid raging and facilities overwhelmed and healthcare workers burning out. Are there any choices that seem more promising than others?

Realistically, I have to think ahead a little and consider the options. I would appreciate any advice that comes from knowledge and experience.

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9 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I would look into precautions being taken in your state and local long term facilities to see if you feel comfortable. You might be able to get a hold of covid statistics for specific facilities. In Florida long term care nurses are supposed to only work in what would called a pod now I guess. Only specific groups of patients, and they are tested regularly. So, if there is an outbreak it’s less likely to spread to a lot of patients. We still have some outbreaks in nursing homes though, it isn’t fool proof.

If it is for you or your husband, I don’t want to assume, I would want to know visitation rules.

I know people here where I live who live in independent living facilities that have step up if you start to lose ability to completely care for yourself and they feel very safe. One woman I know gave a presentation about her experience choosing a facility and what it’s been like during covid. It might be recorded if you want me to ask I can find out and get you the zoom link.

A friend of mine, her mom had someone come to the house to help and felt overall ok with the precautions. I guess she had to hope the woman is being careful on her personal time. It was temporary.

If I had to have someone come to the house I would want to interview them and see their philosophy about covid in general.

It looks like soon healthcare workers will be able to get a vaccine, maybe that will help a lot.

canidmajor's avatar

My sister is a nurse who works for a private firm that contracts for in-home care. Right now, before the vaccine is available, it is a doable option for a lot of families that need some help.
It might be worth looking into such a thing.

Good luck with this.

janbb's avatar

A retirement community near me that has graduating levels of care instituted a very strict lockdown in their facility and has not had an outbreak. I think I would look into the policies and procedures of any facility I was looking at as well of course as their Covid record.

From personal experience, my folks were in a continuing care facility in NJ at which there were independent apartments and a nursing care wing. They were in an apartment together for a few years and then my father was in the nursing care wing for about three. That worked out fairly well.

When I broke my ankle last year, Stanleybmanly recommended a skilled nursing home in Pacifica that was excellent. The food was good – which is more important than you would imagine, it was kept very clean and there was physical and occupational therapy. I’m not sure if they have long term residents but PM me if you want their name.

Also when I was out of the facility and staying at my nephew’s I got visiting nurse services, physical therapy and home help three times a week through an agency free through Medicare. The home help was for an hour and a half or two hours two or three times a week and would help with cleaning, meal prep and bathing. You might inquire through your doctor’s office or a social service agency about that. The workers were all pleasant and a godsend at that time. Usually, your doctor has to order it and it is certified for a certain amount of time. I would suggest looking into that at least sooner rather than later.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

My mother was in assisted living, specifically memory care. Meals and activities were communal. It was great because she had withdrawn from socializing.

She got the coronavirus but I don’t feel the facility was doing a bad job. They locked down in March. Without forcing employees to live on site I don’t know how they could completely safeguard the place.

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kritiper's avatar

With COVID marching steadily onward and upward, there will be no care option. People will be lucky if the morgue can send out a van to pick up the body.

jca2's avatar

A friend has a personal care aide come take care of her husband. It’s actually a series of aides, from an agency. The aides get switched out because they can only work so many hours a week and some get fired or take vacations or have other time and leave issues. My friend’s husband’s not gotten sick yet, so I guess the aides are staying safe.

A nursing home is an option, but since the staff goes home and who knows how safe they are on their own time, you’d kind of be at the mercy of not only the facility, but the staff staying safe and taking precautions.

zenvelo's avatar

@Jeruba Part of the decision is what kind of care is required and how often.

If daily nurse visit for an hour or two will suffice, a visiting nurse would be best, both in terms of cost and patient well being, since it is best to be in one’s home if possible.

My mom (97 next Saturday) needed a 24 hr attendant, but not skilled nursing. We had to move her into a board and care facility because a 24/7 attendant ran over $5,000 a week.

Visiting nurses are quite up to speed on Covid protocols for their own safety,

Best wishes to you, this isn’t easy.

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