Who do I call when I unexpectedly may need in-home care?

Asked by

I need someone who can come stay with Mom for a few days should I suddenly need emergency care? I care for Mom 24/7 but what if I suddenly need to be in the hospital for a few days?

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Top Answer
Nan, in addition to contacting the home care agencies, write up a "care plan" for your mom. This is necessary for anyone coming in to keep your Mom's routine as normal as possible. Write down her medication schedule, normal meal times and what she eats, shower/toilet information etc. While most agencies have a minimum of 4 hours, I found one that I like that has a 2 hour minimum. I have a caregiver come for 2 hrs one evening a week, to help with my husband. Since I don't have any family here, the agency is my back-up plan. The caregiver has told me that lack of instructions is the largest hurdle she faces when she is assigned to care for a new patient on an emergency basis.
Nan, I can understand your concern. I've run into thinking the what-ifs for myself since I am also a senior citizen with my own age decline, and my parents were in their mid to late 90's and still living in the own home alone by choice. Made me a nervous wreck.

Your best bet is to call the various professional home health care Agencies in your area and ask them is this something they can handle. And what is the hourly rate. The rate will be higher than normal for last minute requests as it is harder to fill the time slots.
Your family physician may have recommendations (ours did). There are many agencies advertising, and many online resources. Although my mother is currently in a memory care ward of a rehab facility, my father recently took ill (C-Diff infection) after a hip replacement. I live in another state and have already spent 5+ weeks with them in FL this year, and couldn't return so soon. I'd NOT been happy with their previous caregiver agency's personnel, and after conferring with many local contacts went with Dad's physician recommendation. We have been very pleased due to their CNAs considerate care of my father in his home, and it is keeping him out of the hospital we think gave him the C-Diff infection to begin with!
Nan- great suggestions so far and great to be thinking of the "what if" scenarios. It is much easier to be planful than to operate in crisis mode. I would add to the suggestions to actually "hire" an agency. Two definitions here for hire since all agencies should create a plan of care. 1) complete the paperwork and go over what care needs your mom needs. Daily routine, medication reminders, meal prep, menus of food she likes, activities, where supplies are, etc. in this scenario actually have someone come during the day and you and mom can meet one of the agencies care team. Also helps mom get familiar w the concept of outside help.
2) fill out the paperwork as above and have it on file. That way when an emergency arises those papers are completed. Now the challenge with that is moms care will change with time. But most of the info, emergency contacts etc will stay the same. And mom won't have met an outside professional. That's why I like #1 better personally.
So just two ideas to get closer to having that emergency support. Good luck.
Do you have any children or relatives that could help you out? Perhaps a neighbor? Whoever you get i would try and have them spend some time with you and your mom so they know the routine. College students studying nursing might be willing to help you out. Good luck
This is what I did.
I called Comfort Keepers (a local agency) and they came for a home visit. So the paperwork was done anytime I needed someone to come and care for my mother.

I also went to the closest residential facility that takes respite care. They also did a home visit and I prepared the paperwork.

That way if there was an emergency, I had backup help (from 2 different sources). They had all of my mother's updated medical info. etc. and were a phone call away if I needed help. I would suggest this to anyone. My mother (when she lived with us) could not be left alone at all so even if my husband and I were invited to the neighbor's for dinner we needed someone to come into the home.

Good luck!

Yes I totally agree with Brian, its important that you have an agency hired and in place for backup. This way the agency will come in access your mom and have their plan in place if you call. You can keep them up to date as things change and you could test them out now by using them for a few hours here and there to give you some me time and also to see what type of caregivers they send. If you dont like what you see you can move to another agency without being under pressure. Another option is to find an adult family home that does respite. It would mean moving mom while you were gone but you would not have to worry about someone being in your home while you were not there. You have great insight to think ahead.
Great ideas above about hiring an agency now so that they would have all the paperwork just in case you are unable to provide information.

Another thing to think about is having a key box on the front door so that a caregiver can get access to your Mom should there be an emergency and you aren't there. The big box hardware stores sells a variety of different front door key boxes, or you can buy one from a locksmith who can show you how the box works, some are tricky to set up.... you would need to give the code to the caregiving Agency.
There are RN'S out there who do this type of work. My friend is one of them.
All good input including the lock box also for EMT if they need to get in. Does mom have a emergency pendant.

Only other comment is, call SYNERGY HomeCare too. I happen to be biased toward them.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support