Today, more seniors are choosing to stay in their homes as they begin what is known as, “aging in place”. Whether it is an issue of senior preference, finances or just of circumstance, as seniors age inside their home they may find a need for assistance in areas in which they once had complete independence. An industry of medical assistance and service for seniors that has grown significantly due to demand is Home Care.
According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, it was estimated last year that 7.6 million Americans receive this particular type of care in their homes, with early indications that number is steadily on the rise. The benefits of this type of care to both the senior, and to the relief it gives their family are numerous. If regular medical assistance, house cleaning, meal preparation, or transportation can help a senior remain independent in their homes, Home Care may be the solution that is needed.
Medical Home Care agencies provide a wide range of services to seniors, bringing assisted living care to their home. Medical home care staff hold two types of certifications – a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) to assist with particular medical need(s). Depending on what type of care is needed from the hired caregiver, a home health agency can consult with a senior and their family to determine which type of care giving they are able to provide. Typically a prospective agency will provide a free in-home consultation, or guidance can come from the senior’s primary care physician.
A clean home is indeed a healthy home. Whether you require daily care or would like a few scheduled visits a week, Home Care companies can assist with regular house keeping. From dusting, vacuuming and kitchens to floor scrubbings and bathrooms, these are just a few examples of tasks that may have once been easy to do independently – but can now be assisted by a Home Care professional to help seniors stay in their homes.
Even if it’s just a temporary home care situation, house cleaning is a helpful service that lets the senior focus on their wellness, rest and rehab while the home is kept up to promote a healthy healing environment.
Regular meals and fresh food preparation are one of the many necessities of health that tend to get neglected by seniors as they age in place – and a sure sign that in home care may be needed. One of the many consistencies of care can simply be preparing a meal and going shopping with a senior to pick out which groceries they would like in preparing well-balanced meals for their diet. Cooking specialty meals alongside the senior could also be a good way of developing a trusting bond between the senior and their caregiver. As Home Care Agencies may share with you, the satisfaction they get from this type of relationship building and care giving is why they chose to do what they do.
One of the most difficult losses of independence for a senior is their ability to drive and get around as easily as they used to. When this occurs, Home Health Care is able to provide solutions to the senior’s needs. The most important type of transportation a caregiver can provide is to medical appointments and regular check ups. Since these happen mainly during the working week, it is difficult for family and friends to assist. Not only is having a driver to these appointments helpful to a senior and their loved ones, it is also in good company that they can travel with a trusted hired caregiver. If needed, a physician can even go over any new medical developments with their home care companion that may come from these appointments.
Many Home Care agencies can also provide transportation for in-town errands and getaways. There may be an additional cost for these services, so you may want to inquire during consultations when hiring a caregiver.
Because there are many Home Care Agencies and options to choose from, find the one that is right for you and your loved one by calling and discussing what is needed. Take advantage of free in-home consultations and prepare any questions you may have for the caregiver. It is also important for the senior to be a part of this process.