An estimated 4.5 million Americans utilize home health care services each year. Why is this such a popular option?
One important reason is that senior home care makes aging in place a safe option. Many seniors desire to remain at home but this does require assistance over time.
However, it isn’t just about safety. Seniors who work with home health agencies also experience an improved quality of life. In other words, home health care aides provide more than just practical care.
How can senior home care improve your loved one’s quality of life? Let’s take a closer look.
Decreasing Dependence on Family Caregivers
Chances are, you are your loved one’s number one caregiver at this point. While this relationship is integral to your loved one’s quality of life, it can come with a few complications.
One major concern is caregiver burnout. When you don’t have time to take care of yourself, you can start to feel mental, emotional, and physical fatigue. This can also occur when you spend a lot of time stressing about your loved one’s well being, even if you aren’t by their side constantly.
Lowering Anxiety Levels
When seniors live alone and start to develop new or more serious needs, they may also begin to experience anxiety. This anxiety can stem from questions like, “What if I fall and no one is here? How will I get to my doctor’s appointment next week?”
That anxiety can also come from putting their needs on you. They may fear that they’re asking too much of you or that you’re suffering as a result of their aging.
Senior home caregivers can help to alleviate a great deal of that anxiety. Not only are people in and out of the house more but they can help to develop an action plan for emergencies, provide transportation, and more.
Seniors who live alone may also develop a deep sense of loneliness. This can come from social isolation but it can also stem from the sense that they’re losing their independence. Loneliness, unfortunately, has been linked to other illnesses or disorders such as depression, high blood pressure, and dementia.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, home health aides don’t just provide practical care. They also provide companionship. Over time, caregivers start to build up trusting and compassionate relationships with the people they care for and can alleviate some of the loneliness your loved one may experience.
Increasing Opportunities for Activity
Many senior citizens do not have easy or consistent access to transportation. Some may have given up their license for safety reasons. Others may have difficulty getting to bus stops or other modes of public transportation.
Home health care services include transportation services. Seniors can start to attend meetings or classes, spend time outside of the home with family or friends, and widen their scope of possible activities.
For a variety of reasons, seniors who live at home may not always get the most nutrition out of their diets. Many seniors have cognitive or mobility issues that make cooking a difficult task. Others may have started to lose their sense of smell and taste and stick to a small variety of foods in their diets.
No matter how old you are, nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle. Home health aides can assist with meal preparation on a regular basis, ensuring that your loved one is eating a balanced diet and getting enough calories and nutrients for their body. Improved nutrition can impact everything from mood regulation to energy levels to sustained good health records.
Better Day-to-Day Care
Whether or not your loved one has any specific disabilities or illnesses, they may start to struggle with what we call activities of daily living. This can include things that we tend to take for granted, like going to the bathroom, bathing and grooming, and tidying up the house. These activities may seem mundane but they are crucial to a high quality of life.
No matter what care plan you implement, assistance with activities of daily living will almost always be a priority. Home health care aides can ensure that all of these tasks are completed in a safe and efficient manner. Many activities of daily living help us to feel dignified and independent, even when we do require assistance to complete them.
Faster Medical Care
Senior home care professionals play an integral role in the medical care your loved one should receive. On a daily basis, they can provide assistance with medication schedules, helping your loved one to stay on track with treatment. They can also take your loved one to doctor’s appointments whenever necessary.
Over the long-term, home health care aides can also help you to monitor your loved one’s well being. They are familiar with the signs of potential decline and can keep you up to date on any changes. Together, you can ensure that your loved one is getting medical care as soon as possible, lowering their risk of missing necessary treatment.
Senior Home Care Is More Than a Practical Choice
Senior home care is a great way to ensure that your loved one can age at home in a safe and secure manner. However, it’s more than just a practical choice. Partnering with home health care aides can also improve your loved one’s quality of life in a holistic and impactful way.
Are you looking for an at-home caregiver in Venice, Sarasota or Charlotte County? Alternative Homemaking With a Heart is here to help. To find out more about our services or schedule an initial meeting, contact us today.