Aged and nursing care for relatives
When a family member suddenly or gradually requires nursing care, it is not easy for other members to balance work and family life.
The need for aged and/or nursing care is always a tricky matter, which raises a host of questions and creates a great deal of uncertainty. Generally, there are two kinds of care situations:
Situation 1: A family member's health gradually deteriorates and the need for care increases slowly and in stages.
Situation 2: Sudden deterioration requires immediate and far-reaching measures.
Nursing care needs arise gradually
Aged and nursing care gradually becomes necessary when:
- minimal or occasional help is no longer sufficient.
- strength and physical abilities deteriorate.
- psychological problems become noticeable.
- household tasks become increasingly difficult.
In these cases, there is a large range of individual help tailored to the care receiver's daily habits and preferences.
In order to navigate your way clearly in the vast sea of providers and services, you should certainly contact an expert. This is why the City of Hamburg has established district Pflegestützpunkte or nursing care offices. To ensure that everyone's interests are being served, the care receiver should be as involved as possible in the process.
If you see a need for nursing care forming on the horizon, you usually have time to gather information, exchange ideas, talk about and try things out. And you can often plan the next stage of care.
The Office for Health and Consumer Protection (BGV) can provide comprehensive information on advising services, Household Help, and Home Nursing Care. The information is easy to understand, thorough, correct, and updated regularly by the Office's own experts.
Aged and nursing care is required immediately
Accidents and sudden illness can necessitate immediate care for family members, regardless of their age. "Sudden" means that the person can no longer lead the life he or she led before.
You will need to think first and foremost about organizing care and may have to consider a nursing home. These decisions have far-reaching consequences, are emotionally fraught, and usually need to be made under enormous time pressure. You should definitely contact experts and discuss the situation with people close to you.
When making a decision, you need to consider the following:
- your own ideas and needs
- the care receiver's wishes
- concrete aged and nursing care and health needs (level of nursing care, mobility, etc.)
- independent criteria for nursing homes (e.g., established by insurance companies or consumer agencies)
You should check out offers and nursing homes thoroughly and compare these carefully to make sure you have considered everyone's needs.
The BGV also has several brochures on aged and nursing care at home, in external institutions or in hospices.
Support at the University for employees providing care
The first thing to do if you need to take care of a family member is notify your immediate superior. Together you can think about the next steps.
You can also receive help from:
- Department 6: Legal Affairs, Personnel and Organization (leave, special leave, time off, aged and nursing care hours in accordance with the care act, flexible hours, working from home, information sessions, seminars offered by the ZAF, etc.)
- Arbeitsmedizinischen Dienst (only in German) of the City of Hamburg (municipal medical and health sevices providing medical advice and exams in case of health problems caused by care duties)