The good news is that people are living longer. As a result, many of us are fortunate to have our parents remain part of our lives as we age. Yet, this situation may sometimes bring heartache because it means watching as our parents struggle with everyday tasks, and in many cases, knowing that we, ourselves, cannot provide the fulltime care they need.
There is an alternative: Alternate Choice Home Care (1644 East 14th Street, 718-336-9400 or 212-877-0859) under the direction of Charlotte Wein, registered nurse and owner. The agency’s goal “is to provide all necessary care and services while allowing the client the highest degree of independence possible,” says Ms. Wein. Most elderly people are comfortable in their own homes and want to remain there. Alternate Choice Home Care makes this possible.
Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions many families face is whether home care is needed. This is an area in which the agency can provide guidance. “We will come to the home, meet with and advise the family,” Ms. Wein says.
“The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that one exists,” says Ms. Wein. Seniors are often reluctant to admit that they are experiencing difficulties. Family members should be aware of signs that may indicate mom or dad can no longer function without some assistance. If your parent always took pride in their home, do they still do so? Is the home dirty or neglected? Is mail unopened, are bills left unpaid? Is there food in the refrigerator? When you speak with your parent, do they seem to make sense or are there signs of confusion? Do they seem happy or feel isolated and alone?
Do they still care about their appearance? Is their clothing clean? Are they taking medications correctly and still visiting doctors? “Forgetting that they may have left the flame on the stove could be a life-threatening situation,” says Ms. Wein. Experts suggest checking pots and pans to see if they are scorched.
Ms. Wein is personally involved in all cases. During a visit to the home she points out possibilities that the family may have overlooked and together, they will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various scenarios.
Alternate Choice Home Care provides all types of care to clients. They provide care for those who are seriously ill, as well as those who need companionship and help with daily activities. They will ascertain that special diets are followed. They will also advise and assist with concerns about payment for care.
All workers are trained and have certification as Home Health Aides. “Working in your home is not merely a job,” Ms. Wein says. “A degree of genuine concern for the welfare of the client must be exhibited. “We take pride in matching the appropriate worker with the level of care that is needed, while also considering personal compatibility. Each case is supervised by an RN who does an initial assessment and will visit periodically.”
Ms. Wein assures, “We are with you every step of the way.” Clients and their families may phone the office at any time for assistance. Help is available 24 hours a day. During business hours they’ll be greeted by Thelma Wingate, the office manager, who is always available to discuss any issues. She can reach Ms. Wein if necessary. Alternate Choice Home Care accepts most insurance plans, and will work directly with the patient’s insurer if desired.
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