When asked, most seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible without going to an assisted living center or nursing home. While there are those people who enjoy change and would prefer to live in an assisted living facility where they have their own apartment, new friends and help when they need it, the majority would rather grow old in comfortable and familiar surroundings.
Those seniors who do go to nursing homes are not often admitted because of complex medical conditions but rather because they aren’t able to take care of their personal needs on an independent basis. But, unfortunately, many of these seniors, who are forced into this situation, become depressed and discouraged. Many see this situation as a place to wait until death.
Loss of independence is, for many, one of their greatest fears. Home care for seniors is a good option for those who are able to stay in their homes and in familiar surroundings to decrease the likelihood that they will become depressed. By staying at home individuals have more choice in the time they get out of bed in the morning to the time they eat their meals. Home care is often more cost-effective than care in a nursing home as well.
There are many different types of services that are available for seniors who want to live at home. The first is homemaker services that can include help with cooking or light cleaning as well as doing the individual’s laundry, grocery shopping and some other light household chores. Sometimes homemaker services are all that are really needed and take a large time-consuming burden off the shoulders of family members.
Personal care services include assistance with a variety of daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming and eating. Other seniors are able to take care of their own personal care or home care services but need a daily phone call from a buddy or a daily visitor for companionship.
Moving along the continuum of home care options is a home health care aide who will help with nursing needs, speech, occupational, physical or respiratory therapy as well as social care or psychiatric care. Senior community centers or adult day care centers, or daily facility-based programs that meet the needs of seniors through monitoring or companionship during the day.
Another option for senior in-home care is a respite care. Often times the care of an adult senior falls on the shoulders of their family members. Sometimes this care is time-consuming, physically taxing and emotionally challenging. Respite care workers are trained volunteers or paraprofessionals who stay with your loved one and take over your caregiving role for several hours or several days that gives a reprieve to the caregiver. These reprieves are important for the caregiver’s own mental health.
Some seniors require more consistent and intensive care and are best suited by live-in help. This type of care is important when family members live a long distance away or when the primary caregiver cannot be there in person. Room and board and an additional salary is often provided in exchange for a meal preparation, light housekeeping and other nonmedical services.
It is currently estimated that there are approximately 22 million Americans who are providing care for an elderly or aging parent. After a lifetime of performing their own everyday personal care activities the progressive inability of senior adults to continue to care for themselves can be devastating.
Seniors may require home health care enough they are unable to bathe or shower on their own, wash their hair or brush their teeth, if they are unable to dress themselves in the morning or undress at night, if they cannot move around on their own or drive themselves to the doctor or the grocery store.
Homemaker services may be necessary if an aging parent is unable to do their own light housekeeping, wash the dishes, clean their bathrooms, do laundry ironing or change the linens or prepare meals and cleanup afterwards.
Even as family members are able to provide the majority of care for their aging parents it is important to have a backup services in line in case of a medical emergency for the family or if other commitments take a short time away from caring for their family members.
In-home senior healthcare has been a blessing to many families. It enables them to keep their aging relatives home and happy while being cost-effective at the same time.