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Home care can be essential for older people who find themselves in challenging situations. Enlisting the services of a home health nurse or home caregiver can allow elders to maintain their independence and age while gaining access to the support and care they need.
Home care can make aging in place more manageable and safer for older adults of all skill levels. Home care enables millions of elders to age in place each year. They can continue to live where they feel most convenient and comfortable: at their homes.
What is Home Care?
Home care is non-medical care and assistance provided at the client’s home. Care may include assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, moving, and preparing meals; transport; companionship; and more. It does not include medical care or therapy. Depending on the client’s needs, they can receive home care assistance ranging from one hour a week to 24 hours a day.
Many elders and their families are choosing home care to remain in their own homes as their needs and abilities change, rather than moving into a shared apartment. Home care, combined with necessary modifications or assistive technology, can allow elders to spend their golden years in the comfort of their own homes. Family care givers may also use home care services to take a break to make caregiving more manageable.
Who is a Good Fit for Home Care?
Home care often serves as an alternative to assisted living for elder care who want to live independently. It can be a good grooming option for those who meet the following criteria.
Elders who want help with ADLs inclusive of meal preparation, bathing, and more
Seniors in need of home tasks offerings consisting of cleansing and grocery shopping
Old age people who struggle with mobility and want help properly transferring at some stage in their home
Elders with impaired motor talents who want help with day-by-day family tasks
Senior citizens who want assistance with transportation to appointments, the grocery store, friends’ houses, and more
People living alone and choose the companionship of a caregiver
Older adults in the early stages of memory impairment
Who is Not a Good Fit for Home Care?
While it is a good care solution for many, home care is not for everyone. Below are some reasons why a elder may not be suitable for home care. Please note that this list refers to standard home care services, not home health care.
Those who seek the company of their peers rather than an assistant or caregiver
Elders who need regular nursing or other medical care
Those who desire an all-encompassing lifestyle, such as that offered in many residential communities
Elders with advanced memory impairment who need a safe environment and 24-hour care
How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs Home Care?
Many older adults reach a point over time where they are unable to take care of themselves the way they used to. Home care is an appealing option for many elders and their families because it can be used for just a few hours a week or on an as-needed basis for those who are having some difficulties, but do not need constant care. It can act as a go-between for older people who are struggling to care for themselves or their household fully independently but do not need 24-hour assistance.
It’s also a good option for elders who may have resisted moving out of their home but need help with some of their daily activities. While everyone is different, there are some signs that it might be time for home care.
Weight loss or decreased muscle mass
Worsening hygiene practices
Neglecting to maintain home cleanliness or organization
Inability to drive or any unfortunate incidents while driving
Isolation or signs of loneliness
The occurrence of accidents and injuries such as falls
Some elders may also need home care on a short-term basis, such as when they are recovering from a surgery or health emergency like a stroke. In these cases, elder care will be better suited for home health care than standard in-home personal care assistance.
Home Care for Elder People
Choosing the right type of home care will ensure your loved one’s comfort and improve their quality of life. But if you’re unfamiliar with the different types of home care, deciding between them can be confusing.
The good news? Selecting the right home care service is simpler than you might expect.
Types of Home Care
Under the umbrella of in-home care, there are several different types of assistance and different roles of those who deliver these services. The type of care one needs will depend on their health, abilities, and sometimes, budget.
Companion care services, personal care assistance, and home health care are three common types of home care. Keep in mind that as the client’s needs change, they may transition from one type of home care to another.
Companion Care Services
Companion care services are ideal for elders who live independently and do not need much assistance with their activities of daily living. Those in need of companion care services oftentimes live alone and feel isolated in their day-to-day lives. The aide provides the much-needed social support.
A home care aide providing companion care may simply spend time with the client and engage with them, read to them, participate in the client’s hobbies such as board games or walking, or provide supervision. An elder companion may also provide transportation services and assist in medication management. Though, it is to note that typically companion care aides are not certified to administer medications or otherwise provide any type of medical care.
Companion care services are also a good option for those in the early stages of memory impairment who do not yet need much assistance, but who may not be able to be left alone. These clients may live with family members who cannot be with their loved one full-time due to work or other obligations.
Personal Care Assistance
Personal care assistance is ideal for elders who need regular help with their activities of daily living. Personal care assistants can provide a broad range of services, including help bathing and toileting, grocery shopping, and mobility assistance to prevent falls.
These aides may not provide any medical care beyond medication management. This type of home care is comparable to the services residents receive in assisted living communities. So personal care assistants can certainly provide help to make the client’s life easier and safer. But it is not suited for those with regular medical needs.
Many families providing caregiving services for a loved one seek personal care assistance to perform the tasks that they are unable to safely or comfortably perform for their loved ones. For example, a wife who cannot safely support the weight of her husband who needs help getting out of chairs and their bed may hire a home care aide to help with her husband’s transfer. Personal care aides can also be used as respite if a family caregiver needs to travel or knows that they will be out of the home all day.
Home Health Care
Home health care differs from the other types of home care in that home health care aides carry certification to provide medical assistance. Unlike standard home care, which a elder or their family can seek out when they feel the time is right for them, home health care is typically recommended by a physician and may require a doctor’s written order to have the services covered by insurance.
Elder care who requires frequent medical services, such as injections or infusions, can work with a home health care provider on a regular basis. Others may seek home health care on a short-term or as-needed basis, such as when recovering from an injury or surgery.
The range of services that one can receive from a home health aide is similar to what one would receive in a nursing home. Wound care, IV infusion, occupational and physical therapy are all available with a home health care aide. Unlike companion care aides and personal care assistance, home health aides must have specialized training and certification, such as a nursing certificate, in order to perform these services. Those who have the proper certifications can even administer skilled nursing care in clients’ homes.
Get the TAH App
We believe that the essence of exceptional connected health care is effective collaboration and that the best patient outcomes can be achieved through relationships supported by technology.
To be better connected, download the TAH App today.
Having theTreat at Home App allows you to
– Book a Home Doctor service
– View your home doctor’s profile and track their live location
– Download Virtual Prescription written by your doctor
– Receive notifications about your booking
– Schedule home care services like lab test easily at any time