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Nearly half of all older adults need help with daily activities.
Losing some independence when aging is a natural and normal process. That said, there are care options available that maximize a person’s autonomy, allowing them to live safely and happily in their own home.
Keep reading to find out how in-home care services for seniors can improve their quality of life.
What Are In-home Care Services for Seniors?
Also known as home health aides and basic assistance care, home care refers to support provided by non-medical professionals in a person’s home.
The goal of home care is to assist an individual with activities of daily living, which include hygiene, dressing, and getting around. By accepting in-home help, a person is able to stay home as opposed to going to a live-in care facility.
Examples of in-home care services include:
- Getting dressed
- Assistance with ambulation and/or transfer (i.e. getting out of bed and into a wheelchair)
- Cooking, food delivery, grocery shopping
- Transportation, errands, appointment reminders
Home care professionals also provide the seniors they care for a sense of friendship and companionship. This is a critical yet overlooked area of geriatric care, as social isolation can lead to a 50% increased risk of developing dementia and other medical conditions.
Each person’s needs and wants are different, making customization an important feature of this service. If you don’t need help bathing yourself but do need help with errands, you should be able to receive specific help to meet where you’re at.
Compared to other types of care, home care is accessible. A person doesn’t need a prescription to receive it and they aren’t required 24/7 care. That said, around-the-clock care is available for those who need it.
Otherwise, an individual may opt for short-term or long-term care, depending on their situation and their goals.
Home Care Versus Home Health Care
An important part of understanding what home care is includes realizing what it’s not.
Home care isn’t home health care. Home health care includes medical services offered by a professional such as a doctor, nurse, or therapist.
Home health care includes things like:
- Dispensing medication
- Injections and intravenous supplements
- Monitoring vitals
- Monitoring illness
- Wound care
The goals of home health care are similar to home care in that they strive to build a sense of independence for an individual. Home health care also has the goals of improving medical symptoms, maintaining current levels of function, and slowing mental or physical decline.
Home health care requires a prescription and is often paid for with health insurance.
It’s important to note here that an individual may need both home care and home health care depending on their situation. Most nurses and doctors don’t offer help with activities of daily living, making a home care professional necessary to help with chores and the like.
When is Home Care the Right Choice
Home care is the right choice when it will improve the lives of the person being cared for as well as their family members’ lives.
The main goal of in-home care could simply be to keep a person company by playing games, chatting, or being present. This would be helpful in a situation where an older person lives alone and doesn’t get out much.
It could be a way to gain assistance without going to a nursing home or an assisted living facility. For a variety of reasons, a person may want alternative care to support their needs.
For those who have a disability, are chronically ill, or are recovering from surgery, home care can help them accomplish their daily tasks while operating at whatever functionality they are able to. A home care professional can help this person remember and complete their to-dos while providing a safe home environment.
In-home care services can also be a temporary or more permanent respite for family members. It’s not uncommon for loved ones to experience caregiver burnout. This is described as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that comes from overextending themselves in the name of care.
Instead of failing at or resenting caring for your loved one, you can employ help and still show up for them as you’re able to.
Finally, in-home care is a critical tool when a person suffers from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other memory loss issues. An inability to remember can lead to a wide array of safety and health issues, making outside support an important part of living a safe and healthy life.
What to Look for in a Home Care Service Provider
Home care services are only as good as the individuals who are providing them.
That is to say, all of the services previously discussed are only beneficial if the organization is accredited and has experienced staff. Otherwise, untrained care can do more harm than good.
When looking for an in-home care service, you should also look for opportunities that offer customization and don’t force service contracts. You and your loved one’s needs and situations can change quickly, and you don’t want to pay for something you don’t end up needing.
With this in mind, you can tailor the exact support that you or your loved one needs.
Accept Help When It’s Needed
Now that you know more about in-home care services for seniors, you can accept the care you or your loved one needs.
Remember, a little goes a long way when talking about living your best life in your own home. Contact us to start the conversation about customized home care.