Whether it's a partner, a child or a parent who needs care, there's one question that relatives ask themselves time and time again: Can I do this at home, or do I have to put my loved one in a nursing home or care facility? Of course, the answer first depends on the individual's need for care. If the decision is made to provide care at home, there are a lot of items that need to be organized, planned and taken care of. Based on our many years of experience, we have put together a few tips to help you get started.
What changes with a person in need of care at home?
Caring for a patient at home not only means a big change in life for the person being cared for, but also for those around them. Daily routines have to be restructured, care services or day/night care have to be coordinated and private life has to take a back seat. Especially often, an additional financial burden arises. However, the legislator has designed measures to support caregivers. There are a number of funds that relieve the burden and often make home care possible in the first place.
A detailed table with an overview of all amounts, broken down by care level, can be found here.
A care degree supports
If a person needs care, he or she is usually entitled to a care degree.
The degrees of care are primarily about supporting independence and one's own abilities or promoting them with resources. Where can someone manage on their own, and what do they need help with? With the help of the care grades, the insurance companies can get a precise picture of the need for care. There are a total of five degrees of care. The first degree means the person is only slightly restricted. Care degree #5 means the person is very severely impaired.
There is therefore no fixed care level for a particular illness, such as dementia or Parkinson's disease. The degree of care depends on the physical, mental or intellectual limitations of the person and how pronounced they are. In addition, it must be foreseeable that the person is also permanently restricted - for at least half a year.
Apply for a care degree
Contact your relative's long-term care insurance fund. This is affiliated with the health insurance fund. An informal letter is sufficient, which the insured person must sign. With some insurance companies, you can also easily request the application by phone or via their website. The nursing care insurance company will then send you an application form. It is best to fill this out together with an expert (e.g. from a care support center) who knows and explains the many technical terms. Return the form, usually signed by the insured person, to the long-term care insurance fund. The long-term care insurance fund will then initiate all further steps for you and your application. An expert can also best support you in the event of queries from the insurance fund.
What services are still available
In addition to cash benefits, the nursing care insurance fund also provides support in the form of technical nursing aids such as equipment that is necessary for nursing care. Furthermore, it also provides aids that alleviate discomfort or maintain independence. These include standing aids, shower stools, dressing aids for compression stockings, cutlery holders or wheelchairs.
Auxiliaries for consumption: Auxiliaries that are necessary for nursing care but are consumed in the process, for example, disposable gloves, disinfectants, disposable bed pads, aprons, face masks. These aids are also conveniently delivered to your home, so that they do not have to be additionally organized in the "free time" of the caregiver - more about this here.
If modifications in the house are necessary, so that e.g. the bathroom on the upper floor can be reached again by the person to be cared for by means of a stair lift, the nursing care insurance fund grants a subsidy of up to € 4,000! You can find advice for an individual offer here.
Caring for loved ones is a big task for a "non" expert. Have no inhibitions about turning to experts. The long-term care insurance companies, independent care consultants, your family doctor or home care services will help you with your questions about care at home or applying for care aids, for example.
Take care of yourself
Caring for a loved one is not easy and will take a toll on you both physically and mentally. This is quite normal, because at the end of the day, very few relatives are prepared for care at home. Take time for yourself to recharge your batteries. Use the statutory support benefits to "clear your head" financially and take advantage of amenities such as free delivery of care products.