It’s never easy when it’s time to look into senior home care for a loved one as they age. It’s also not easy for your loved one to experience the frustration, isolation, and feelings of helplessness either as they struggle to maintain their daily routines.
Providing care for aging loved ones in their home through senior home care services gives them the assistance and support they need while they remain in familiar surroundings.”
Benefits of senior home care
Utilizing senior home care provides multiple benefits for your aging loved one and eliminates the guilt often associated with moving family members into an assisted living community. Although you may initially believe you can serve the role as caregiver for your loved one, when you have a family, job and house of your own, adding more responsibilities can become overwhelming and create family conflict. With senior home care, you and your loved can maintain a healthy, loving relationship without the burden of caregiver roles.
Some of the benefits include:
- Companionship – Many seniors feel isolated because they can’t travel as they used to and/or have limited mobility. Socialization helps maintain cognitive function and supports emotional health and senior home care provides that social aspect with a personal companion. The home care companion gives your loved one someone to talk to regularly and partake in favorite hobbies or tasks all while fulfilling a genuine need for assistance from seniors living at home.
- Transportation – Many aging adults lose their ability and/or privilege to drive and this can leave them trapped at home with no means of transportation. Senior home care companions can take your loved one where they need to go so they can continue attending social events and running necessary errands.
- Independence – Senior home care provides consistent, ongoing care that enables your aging loved one to continue their independent life while remaining in their familiar home. Some older adults only require minimum additional support to maintain a sense of independence in their home and even a small amount of help can greatly boost their self-confidence and create a more positive outlook on life. Familiar surrounds are comforting to everyone, especially seniors, and senior home care enables them to stay at home longer than if they lived alone.
- Watchful eye – With your busy life, you can’t be with your loved one every moment, but a senior home care companion can watch over your loved one and inform you if they’re losing weight, becoming forgetful, missing medications or not eating well. The home care companion can help your loved one in situations where they can’t communicate changes they’re experiencing or seem unaware of their diminishing capabilities. The care companion can protect your loved one from unintentional self-harm and give you insight into their behavior so you can make informed decisions about their care.
- Reduce worry – Whether you live across the street or across the country from your loved one, it’s normal to worry about them and wonder how they’re doing. Senior home care companions provide the personalized care that your loved one needs and this can ease your worries and give you peace of mind. The home care companion helps your parent, grandparent or other relative feel and remain safe while taking care of their needs.
Utilizing senior home care alleviates your concerns about your loved one’s safety living in their home and removes the burden of being the sole caregiver for them.”
Additional advantages of home care
Along with caring for your loved one, senior home care provides additional advantages beyond companionship. With home care, you don’t have to worry about the room and board costs and housekeeping fees associated with senior living communities, rehabilitation facilities, and similar assisted living institutions. If your loved one suffers an injury, studies show that patients recover fast in the familiar surroundings of their home and the home care companion can provide services specific to your loved one’s needs.
Senior home care can serve as a supplement to care already provided by family and friends and home care companions have the training and expertise necessary to keep your loved one safe. A senior home care companion can help you and your family deal with concerns you or your loved one have about home care services and address any emotional barriers preventing the acceptance of proper care.”
Working with a home care agency
When you’ve decided that senior home care is the best option for your loved one, it’s time to investigate home care agencies in your area.
Directly hiring someone to care for your loved one doesn’t offer the same benefits as working with an agency, which include:
- Freedom from employer – If you hire a nurse or home health aide directly, you take on the role of their employer and all the responsibilities that come with it. You have to pay their payroll taxes, workers comp, liability and unemployment insurance. Should the home health aide suffer an injury while working for you, you’re financially and legally liable. However, working with a senior home care agency means they take on those responsibilities and you don’t have to worry about being the employer.
- Background checks – Senior home care agencies conduct thorough criminal background checks on their home health aides, but if you hired someone on your own, you would have to pay for such a check and it might not provide the same comprehensive data. The agency background check alleviates your worries about who’s caring for your loved one.
- Protection from theft or abuse – If someone you hire directly steals from your loved one or harms him or her, you’re still liable. Home care agencies have insurance that protects their client and investigate any complaints regarding theft or abuse. In addition, if the home care companion can’t provide assistance due to injury, sickness or a job change, the agency provides a replacement without disruption of assistance.
- Continuous training – Home care agencies ensure that their companions receive up to date training on all the services required of them. These care services can include fall prevention, personal care tasks, infection control and emergency preparation. If you hired someone directly, you would have to provide training and be responsible for supervision of the home care companion.
When home care may not be viable
In-home care of your senior loved one can be the best choice for maintaining independent living in familiar surroundings. An example of when home care may not be the best choice is having a loved one with moderate to advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that requires more experienced monitoring and assistance than a home care companion can safely provide.
Other instances where home care may not provide effective care occur when a senior has extremely limited mobility or lives in a home that would be too difficult to modify to meet the changing safety needs of aging adults.”
Prior to deciding if your loved one can live safely with senior home care or needs to move to an assisted living community, discuss their health with their primary doctor so you can make an informed decision. Home care can be the ideal caregiving solution for your loved one as it keeps them safely in their home and gives you peace of mind.