My parents are in need of care: what does that mean??
Parents in need of care can cause great stress for relatives. Questions arise such as “What do we need to do to provide them with the best care??” or “What are the financial burdens ahead??”. But before you can answer these questions, it’s important to understand what needing care even means.
Basically, people are in need of care if they need assistance with everyday activities, such as washing or getting dressed. This assistance can be provided by family members or professional caregivers. The precise definition of the need for care in Germany and the criteria for classification into care grades have changed several times in recent years. However, it is important to know that there are different degrees of care, which are assigned according to the severity of the limitations of everyday competence.
What is need for care?
Dependency of care is a condition in which a person requires assistance with daily tasks that he or she can no longer perform alone. This can occur due to physical or mental impairment, age or illness. If your parent is in need of care, this means they need help with things like personal hygiene, food intake, or mobility.
To be classified as in need of care, a person must apply for care services and prove their need through an assessment. In Germany, the need for care is classified in five care levels, with care level five representing the highest care requirement.
- Care level 1: minor impairment of independence
- Care level 2: considerable impairment of independence
- Care level 3: severe impairment of independence
- Level of care 4: most severe impairment of independence with special requirements for nursing care
- Care level 5: most severe impairment of independence with special requirements for nursing care and additionally a high probability that life-prolonging measures are required
Depending on the degree of care, a person may receive financial support in the form of care allowance or professional care. The decision on the degree of care is made by an expert from the Medical Service of the Health Insurance Funds (MDK).
If your parent is in need of care, you should find out what support options are available and what care services are available to you. Counseling by a care counseling center can also be helpful.
What does it mean if my parents are in need of care??
If your parents are in need of care, it means that they have become dependent on care due to physical or mental limitations and need support with everyday tasks. This support can be provided by a caregiver, such as a family caregiver.
However, it can also happen that the support provided by a caregiver is not enough. In this case, people in need of care may be entitled to benefits from long-term care insurance.
These benefits can take the form of both benefits in kind and cash benefits. The need for care is classified into care levels, whereby the higher the care level, the higher the benefits to which those in need of care are entitled.
- In-kind services: This is where the provision of care by an outpatient care service or an inpatient facility is financed. These benefits in kind are paid directly to the care service or facility.
- Cash benefits: Here, people in need of care receive money directly and can use it to organize and pay for care services themselves.
To determine eligibility for long-term care insurance benefits, an assessment is made by the Medical Service of the Health Insurance (MDK). The assessment serves to determine the extent of the need for care and to determine the respective care level.
It is important to know that long-term care insurance only covers a part of the costs and that the financial burden for those in need of care and their relatives can still be high. For this reason, relatives of people in need of care should also find out about other support options, such as care benefits from social welfare or relief services provided by voluntary helpers.
Differences between inpatient and outpatient care
The need for care can affect any of us in the course of our lives. In Germany, many people are dependent on intensive and qualified care. But what does that mean?? What care options are available and the differences between inpatient and outpatient care?
In residential care, the patient is placed in a care facility. 24-hour care and medical care by specialist staff are guaranteed here. The costs of inpatient care are usually covered by long-term care insurance, but a co-payment is necessary.
Outpatient care, on the other hand, takes place in the familiar surroundings of the person in need of care. Here, an outpatient care service comes to the house and takes over the care. Here, too, the costs are borne by the nursing care insurance, but here, too, a co-payment is necessary. The advantage of outpatient care is that the person in need of care does not have to leave their familiar surroundings and can continue to live a self-determined life.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both inpatient and outpatient care. The choice of the right form of care depends on the individual situation of the person in need of care and the needs of the relatives.
Financial support for parents in need of care
When one’s own parents need care, this often means a great burden for the family members. In addition to the emotional burden, there can also be a financial burden. Because the need for care can lead to higher expenses, whether through the purchase of aids or through the move into a barrier-free apartment.
However, there are several ways to get financial relief if you want to support your parents in need of care. For example, there is state support, such as care allowance or care level. These can be applied for if a need for care exists.
In addition, there are also other offers of financial support, such as the assumption of costs for aids or the support of relatives in the care process. The health and nursing care insurance can also cover the costs arising from the need for nursing care.
It is important to obtain information and advice at an early stage in order to obtain the best possible financial relief and thus make long-term care possible.
- State support through care allowance and care level
- Cost absorption for aids
- Support from relatives
- Cost absorption by health and long-term care insurance
Effects of the need for care on the family
The need for care of a family member means a big change in everyday life for the family. Often, work and private matters have to be put on hold in favor of care. The care itself brings many challenges, such as changes in the living situation, financial burdens and the organization of care.
For those providing care, in particular, there can be a physical and emotional burden. It is therefore all the more important that caregiving relatives receive support. There are many support services available, such as care advice, care courses, or financial relief such as care allowance or caregiver time off.
- Care service: If care can no longer be provided independently at home, an outpatient care service can be used.
- Day care: Offers of day care facilities provide people in need of care with the opportunity to be cared for during the day and still remain in their familiar surroundings.
- Short-term care: if the caregiver is hospitalized or on vacation, short-term care can be provided in a care facility.
Ultimately, it’s important that care is shared across multiple shoulders and that those affected are not afraid to seek support. Open communication within the family and with professional caregivers is also important in this process.