What Is Home Care For Seniors?
Home care for seniors is a kind of care exclusively for older people who prefer to stay in their homes than move to a residential care community as they age. Older people who prefer aging in place rather than moving into a retirement or long-term care facility can benefit from home care for seniors. Home care for seniors is long-term care that allows the elderly to maintain their independence and live their golden years to the fullest.
Home care for seniors offers a range of services to the elderly in order to help them with their daily activities and improve their quality of life. Their daily tasks may include doing some housework, cooking meals, and taking prescription medications. Home care for seniors also offers assistance with mobility for people with disabilities.
How Does Home Care For Seniors Work?
Home care for seniors works in several steps. The first step is to find a home care provider, such as a home health aide or a personal care aide. A home health aide or a personal care aide must be someone that the senior and the family members feel comfortable with because the family members will not always be present when the home health aide takes care of their senior loved one.
Seniors and family members can choose between working with a home care agency or an independent provider. Home care agency provides many professional caregivers that the senior and family members can choose from. Independent providers are relatively cheaper and are suitable if they go along well with the senior and family members.
The next step is to discuss with the home care provider what kind of home care the senior loved one needs. The senior loved one may need home care in the following areas like personal care, homemaking, medical care, and emotional care.
The next step is to choose how long and how frequently the home care provider will be providing care for the senior loved one. It could be for 20 to 40 hours a week or a 24-hour coverage, depending on the assistance needed.
The next step is to evaluate the home care cost. Home care cost depends on the kind of assistance the senior will need. Seniors and family members pay an average of $20 per hour to home care aides, homemakers, and elder companions. This amount may vary because of several factors like the training and experience of the provider, location or state, income, and services provided. Independent or private home care providers usually charge less than home care agencies.
What Are The Benefits Of Home Care For Seniors?
There are several benefits of home care for seniors. The first benefit is that home care for seniors fosters independence. Retaining independence or autonomy is one very important benefit for seniors. Seniors can still enjoy freedom and independence to do their daily activities, hobbies, and social interactions while being assisted by a home care agency staff from time to time.
The second benefit of home care for seniors is that it has a positive impact on their mental health and cognitive skills. Mental health and cognitive skills, as well as emotional health, are benefited from long-term care when seniors can spend their golden years in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. Seniors can also maintain good memory skills, which is crucial in the prevention of mental diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The next benefit of home care for seniors is that it can be a feasible option financially for family members. Family members can avail their senior loved ones of home care programs that are more affordable and based on income than care homes and senior living communities. Care homes and senior living communities can be very expensive and become a financial burden for seniors and their families, especially those who are low-income individuals. Seniors and families can choose the amount of time for home care since it is usually paid by the hour.
Another benefit of home care for seniors is that is personalized for their specific needs. Seniors have a wide range of types of assistance or amounts of support required from home care agencies or individuals. Home care agencies and individuals that offer senior care services can make a personalized and custom care plans for seniors. A personal care plan program allows seniors to enjoy one-to-one attention, which can develop into a solid and close relationship between caregivers and seniors.
One more benefit of home care for seniors is that it allows their families to be involved in their care. Care homes or assisted living centers can be too far for families to be physically present for their senior loved ones. Seniors, through home care, can enjoy all the support and attention they need from their families without restrictions.
Why Is Home Care Important To Some Elderly?
Home care is important to some elderly who wants to maintain an independent living and those who meet the following criteria:
- Seniors with memory issues like memory impairment in the early stages
- Seniors with motor skills impairment who need assistance with activities involving housework
- Seniors with mobility issues who need assistance in moving around their home
- Seniors with needs for assistance with ADLs or assisted daily living, such as bathing, meal preparation, and more
- Seniors with needs for housekeeping services such as cleaning and grocery shopping
- Seniors with needs for transportation to medical appointments, personal visits, and other errands
- Seniors with the need for the companionship of an adult caregiver
These criteria can also be interpreted by some signs that seniors may need home care, such as weight loss or decreased muscle mass, decreased mobility, increased forgetfulness, worsening hygiene practices, neglecting to maintain home cleanliness or organization, inability to drive or any incidents while driving, isolation or signs of loneliness, having chronic conditions, and occurrence of accidents and injuries like falls.
What Are Examples Of Home Care For Seniors?
There are several examples of home care for seniors, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The first example of home care for seniors is personal care services. Personal care or custodial care services include simple tasks bathing, washing hair, getting dressed, and others. These personal or custodial care services are provided by home health aides. Home health aides can provide personal services for a few hours a day. Personal services can also be up to 24 hours of live-in care to seniors. Seniors can also be assisted by home health aides in other things, such as taking blood pressure and medication.
The next example of home care for seniors is household maintenance services. Household maintenance services include doing the laundry, going shopping, gardening, housekeeping, and handyman services. These services are a big help to seniors because managing a household can take a toll on them. Seniors can be assisted by housekeepers with some household chores, by grocery stores that offer phone orders and delivery of grocery shopping, and by drycleaners that have clothes pickup and delivery services.
Another example of home care for seniors is transportation services. Transportation services are very useful for seniors who can have difficulty running errands, especially at night. Seniors can also benefit from easy access and discounts on transportation. Transportation such as buses, trains, taxis, and ride-booking apps are beneficial for seniors. Seniors can prolong their independence and maintain their social network with home care.
The next example of home care for seniors is money management services. Money management services help seniors on getting on top of their financial responsibilities, such as bills and other payments like rent. Seniors can avail the help of volunteers, financial counselors, or geriatric care managers in these financial management tasks. These financial management tasks can also be made easy with the use of online payments and the auto-deduction feature from the seniors’ bank accounts.
Another example of home care for seniors is meal preparation services. Meal preparation services can be done through shared cooking or potluck meal with friends. Seniors can also search for nutritious meals that are served at nearby senior centers or houses of worship. Nutritious meals can be assured by asking someone to prepare and bring the food to seniors’ houses through meal preparation and delivery programs. Meal preparation and delivery programs may charge a reasonable fee for meal preparation and delivery services.
One more example of home care for seniors is health care services. Health care services may include medication management for seniors. Seniors can utilize devices that give out notifications and medication reminders for the next dose or special pill boxes that organize their pills for a certain duration. Health care services may also include nursing care by a home health aide for a short period of time through the help of a hospital discharge planner and Medicare. Medicare is a federal health coverage program for seniors and people with disabilities.
What Skills Do You Need To Care For The Elderly?
There are several skills that you need to care for the elderly. The first is having good communication and listening skills. Having good communication and listening skills build a strong relationship between you and your senior clients. Your senior clients would love spending time with them and listening to what they have to say.
The second skill that you need to care for the elderly is being a skilled multitasker. Being a skilled multitasker can be very helpful in completing simple tasks like cooking, cleaning, running errands, grocery shopping, or accompanying your senior clients to their appointments with their health care providers.
The next skill that you need is being responsive and flexible. Being responsive includes working well under pressure and reacting quickly to sudden changes in the situation. Being flexible is being able to respond to the different needs and wants of your senior clients.
Another skill needed to care for the elderly is being physically fit. Being physically fit is important since you will be doing a lot of daily physical activities, such as helping them with mobility issues, doing housework or assisted daily living activities (ADL), or running some errands.
Home Care For Seniors Pros And Cons
Home care for seniors has its pros and cons. For the pros, home care for seniors allows the primary caregivers to take a short break in order to manage their other affairs like school, and work or just have some downtime to relax and recuperate. Another advantage is flexibility in choosing the schedule and frequency of home care sessions. Home care also allows seniors to remain living in a place that has been familiar to them for many years, unlike in care homes or assisted living facilities. This also allows seniors to continue living with their family members.
For the cons, home care for seniors can still be challenging for the primary caregivers and family caregivers in terms of managing caregiving with other responsibilities. Another disadvantage is that in-home care for seniors needs to keep up with home maintenance and repair to ensure safety and ease of living. Another is the high demand for home care can also drive home care average costs high. Home care also demands available transportation to appointments and to the house of the senior being taken care of. Seniors may also experience social isolation and lack of exercise with home care. Other skilled services, such as skilled nursing care, may not be applicable to home care but to home health care. Home health care offers different medical services like medication administration, occupational therapy, physical therapy, IV therapy and infusions, first aid and wound care, respiratory therapy, management of chronic conditions, and post-surgery care. These medical services are provided by healthcare professionals, nurses, social workers, and other health care experts.
For more information on Home Care for Seniors services contact Specialized Home Care today.