When it comes to choosing the best care for your loved ones as they age, there’s a lot to consider. We want to make sure that your loved one is safe, cared for, and happy. But how do we know what type of care to choose?
From assisted living to nursing homes to home care and everything in between, there are a lot of options – and they each have their own pros and cons.
For many families, the answer is simple: they want their loved one to stay at home. That simple answer becomes more complicated when they consider how they might accomplish this. If mom or dad is at home, who will care for them? Will a family member have to step in, or can they hire someone to help? Is the house safe for an aging senior? Will they be able to socialize, or will it be too lonely at home?
If your loved one wants to stay at home, but has no family available to care for them, then this may seem like it’s not an option. That’s where home care comes in.
Home care is customized to an individual’s specific needs, likes, and routines which make it an ideal choice for many families and for their loved ones. This is the ideal option for seniors who need or want to stay home but don’t have family to care for them.
However, if a loved one requires medical care that will require an RN or LPN then the family will need to speak with their loved ones physician about Home Health Care.
Even if seniors do have a family member who can step in, home care can be an excellent form of respite care and delegating some of the other tasks that the family member is responsible for.
One family member should not have to be responsible for 100% of the work that goes into caring for a loved one. That’s why home care is a wonderful option for all seniors staying at home. The home care provider can provide full personal care, memory care, companionship, respite, and anything in-between. The needs of everyone is unique to them and with home care it will be customized to them.
On today’s episode of All Home Care Matters, we’ll let you in on 10 things you might not know about home care. We hope that by the end of this episode, you have a better idea of what to expect from home care and can decide whether this is the best option for you and your loved one.
To learn more about the other types of care, check out our episode on choosing the right type of care for your loved one. There, you’ll find information regarding nursing homes, assisted living, family caregiving, and more.
Now, let’s get started.
Number One: Home Care is becoming one of the most popular forms of long-term care. According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the demand for home care services have been growing each year and it’s expected to continue to rise.
More and more people are realizing the importance of aging in place. Research has shown that there are enormous benefits for seniors on a physical and emotional level, which we’ll dive into deeper below.
Number Two: Seniors get to stay in their comfort zone. For many seniors, aging at home is just more comfortable. They don’t have to go through the stress of a move – or give up any of their favorite possessions and pieces of furniture. They get to stay in the home they love, without a roommate, and without adhering to the limiting rules and regulations of most nursing and assisted living homes.
When it comes to hiring home care services, they can rest assured that their beloved home will be properly cared for and tended to, so they won’t ever need to worry about plants dying or grime building up. They can be comfortable in the place they love. It really is that simple.
Number three: Seniors can choose their own caregiver. When a senior decides to age in place with home care, they are able to choose a caregiver that fits their personality and that they can bond with. When meeting with the Home Care company the Case Manager will typically develop a plan of care and help identify a caregiver who will best match with the person that they will be caring for to ensure the best fit.
However, if requested the senior and their family can interview multiple caregivers until they find that perfect match. In facilities, seniors do not usually have a say in who cares for them, and they might have to deal with a rotating staff of faces and names – which can make forming a bond nearly impossible.
Families and seniors alike want to know that they can trust their caregivers. This is an incredibly important relationship – not only is a caregiver responsible for the safety and health of your loved one, but we want them to form a friendship, too. When families get to choose their own caregiver, they can make sure they can choose someone who is dedicated to keeping their loved one happy and fulfilled and they will have the support of the Case Manager as well who will help make sure that their needs are being met and that the caregiver is the right fit.
And, because they’re at home, they can take your loved one on walks through the neighborhood or play their favorite board games from the living room shelf. The options for activities are far less limited.
Number Four: You can hire skilled nurses to care for your loved one at home. Not everyone realizes that they can request home health care. Skilled nurses are available to work with your loved ones at home as their health needs increase. Whether you need 24 hour care or someone to come in once a day, you can find that in home care. Just remember that most Home Care companies do not employ nurses or provide skilled nursing care and you may need to look outside of the home care provider if your loved one is unable to utilize Home Health Care and requires a nurse.
Just make sure that the nurses are certified, skilled, and knowledgeable of the skilled need that your loved one has.
In a facility, your loved one’s health can get lost in the shuffle. One aide might be responsible for 14 patients. At home, your loved one’s caregiver or aide is only responsible for one person and that’s your loved one. That means it’s far less likely for anything to slip through the cracks.
Number Five: Your loved one can be released from the hospital faster. Yep, you heard that right. Anyone with an aging loved one knows that a hospital stay can go on and on and on for seniors. Before they can be released back to their assisted living home or nursing home, they might have to meet with therapists, caregivers, social workers, and nurses.
If your loved one is staying at home, though, then all these meetings can happen at home. That means that they won’t have to spend all those extra hours or even days in the hospital – which is a huge plus for both the senior and their family members.
Number Six: Your loved one can be much more independent. With home care, your loved one is cared for by one caregiver, instead of an entire staff. They are not obligated to follow rules and restrictions. They are free to move around their home as they please. They can be as independent as they want to be, for as long as they can be.
If your loved one wants to go out for the day – to a social event or another activity – they have the freedom to do so, and the help and support to make it happen safely. Instead of needing permission from a staff to leave their room, they can ask their caregiver to take them anywhere they’d like to go.
This means they won’t miss dinner parties or outings with friends unless they want to. So, not only are they more independent, but they can also keep their social life alive.
Independence is a big one. One of the biggest worries we hear from seniors considering nursing homes or assisted living facilities is that they will lose their independence. With home care, this just doesn’t need to be a worry. Your loved one can relax knowing that they can continue living their normal life, for as long as possible, with home care.
Number Seven: They have unlimited access to friends and family. At hospitals or in facilities, the number of guests a person has might be limited. At home, your loved one can visit with as many people as they want to, whenever they feel up to it.
They will never have to pick and choose which friend or family member to visit with, and their loved ones won’t have to go through any forms or desk services to visit. They can simply pull up the driveway and head inside.
This also means that if your loved one is used to hosting Thanksgiving or other holidays, they can continue to do so. Their caregiver can make sure the house is clean and ready to go for any guests, and the family members can arrive to make the feast. Your loved one will be so happy to not have to sacrifice special holiday traditions that they love.
Number Eight: With Home Care the caregivers can help with errands. Some families think that even if they have home care, they will still be up to their necks in grocery shopping or running other errands for their loved ones.
This is actually not true! With home care, all of your loved one’s errands will be taken care of. You won’t have to worry about making sure your loved one’s pantry is stocked with their favorite healthy meals and snacks. Plus, if your loved one is up for it, they can join on the errands and get out of the house for a few hours.
Number Nine: There are two types of home care agencies. Not every home care agency offers health care – but non-medical home care companies are still an excellent choice for many families and can provide assistance for all of their ADL’s and help them to continue living safely and independently in their home.
The two types are medical and non-medical. Medical agencies provide skilled services like nursing, occupational therapy, and social work. This is the better choice for seniors who need specialized health care but want to stay at home, but will be limited on the amount of visits, time, and tasks that they can assist with. Many medical home health care agencies accept Medicaid and other insurances.
Non-medical home care has home health aides, certified nursing assistants, homemakers, companions, nurse aids, Case Managers. These types of caregivers are able to help with daily living activities, tracking health, running errands, memory care, personal care and hygiene, laundry, meal prep, and housekeeping and Case Managers to oversee them and to insure that your loved ones needs are being met.
Non-medical care is a great choice for seniors who want companionship and care that goes beyond medical assistance (for instance, someone to participate in activities and conversation with them, and who will be personally dedicated to their emotional wellbeing). It’s also great for families who need respite care from family caregiving, or have a loved one needs care day-to-day or may just a few days a week to help with anything from memory care to full personal care and everything in between.
Non-medical care is not usually covered by insurance, and the cost can vary widely depending on the state. Still, lower income seniors might be able to qualify for financial assistance through Medicaid or non-profit organizations. Veterans can get assistance through the Veteran-Directed Care Program or if the care needed is the result of an auto accident the auto insurance can help provide payment for the care or another option is if the person has a long-term care insurance policy to help with the coverage.
Number 10: Home Care helps delay memory loss. When seniors with dementia or other cognitive problems age in place, they can actually delay the decline in their memory.
This is largely because staying in familiar surroundings helps with memory recall. In a new environment, there are little sentimental or familiar surroundings for seniors to latch onto.
When you decide that Home Care is the best option for your loved one, you can keep your loved one at home, where they might have a better chance of keeping their memory alive longer. The caregivers can help your loved one with activities meant to engage their memory, that will be individualized for your loved one’s interests and personal life. This can make an enormous difference.
It’s not easy to choose the best type of care for your loved one – especially when there are so many options available. If your loved one wants to stay at home, but you want to make sure they’re being cared for by professionals on a regular basis, then home care is the answer for you.
We want to thank you for joining us here at All Home Care Matters, All Home Care Matters is here for you and to help families as they navigate long-term care issues. Please visit us at allhomecarematters.com there is a private secure fillable form there where you can give us feedback, show ideas, or if you have questions. Every form is read and responded to. If you know someone who could benefit from this episode, please share it with them.
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