This post is part of our ongoing series, “Connecticut Home Care Answers” where our team of experienced pros answers your questions about Assisted Living Service, Inc. and the business of caring for Connecticut’s seniors at home. If you would like to post a question, feel free to do so in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall or Twitter page.

Ron D'Aquila Head ShotToday we follow-up with Ron D’Aquila, Assisted Living Services, Inc.’s Co-Founder and Vice President. Ron has 30 years of Community Health and Management experience. He is the former Director of Emergency Services at MidState Medical Center and also worked at Yale New Haven Hospital / Trauma Center. He’s the “go to” guy on questions related to funding sources, business operations, and home care trends in Connecticut.

Q: Matching an elder with the right caregiver can be a challenge. How do you go about doing that?

We always say “it’s about the match,” and for good reason.  For example, if someone needs a Live-in Companion to stay with their mother who has two cats – it just won’t work to send someone who dislikes cats!  It will only lead to making a change in caregiver and upsetting the apple cart – causing more work and stress. We try very hard to do an in-depth initial intake which includes information about personality traits, habits, hobbies, special interests, food likes and dislikes, routines, pets…etc. then we look at our resources with their previous client experiences to help make the match.  We encourage our clients to interview our proposed match and arrange for them to speak to a client or loved one that our caregiver recently cared for – if possible – for objective feedback.

Q: What are the advantages to home care vs. moving a person into assisted living?

That is a very personal choice and really depends on how much the individual wishes to stay at home.  In fact, assisted living communities can offer many benefits over staying at home such as activities, great meals, socialization, nursing supervision, and so on.  We enjoy a great relationship with numerous assisted living communities across Connecticut and routinely refer to them.

Q: Being a family caregiver can be incredibly challenging, what advice would you give to caregivers who are looking after an elderly loved one at home?

Caring for an elderly loved one at home can be extremely stressful especially if the person has Alzheimer’s, which can put you at risk of becoming a  secondary victim of the disease.  In addition, nearly a third of all caregivers caring for the elderly are also caring for children under 18!  Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t try to do it all yourself.  You must set limits to survive and stay healthy.  Remember that you need to stay healthy to help your loved one.
  • Accept help when it is offered. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and relatives to help – they may be waiting for just that.  At first you may hesitate about leaving your loved one in someone else’s care, but you will learn to trust others while you get an opportunity to replenish your energy and patience, as well as your ability to cope.
  • Utilize available resources such as a home care agency you are comfortable with.  And seek out and participate in the various support groups that are available specific to your needs, the sharing and caring at these meetings is invaluable.
  • Lastly, be good to yourself.  Remember yourself. Give yourself little treats often — a good book or a special dinner out with friends.

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Look for more articles in this series in the coming days and weeks. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss anything. For more information on home care services in Connecticut, feel free to drop us a line at 203.634.8668 or contact us via our website.