How In-Home Care Helps Families

24 hour home careBasically, in-home care can be medical or socio-medical and is provided to seniors who wish to age in place for as long as it is possible. Being at home, in their usual life environment is presented as a viable alternative to moving in a facility that provides permanent care; this is why there is a general awareness on the necessity of finding a global response to seniors’ needs, especially that the entire population is confronted with an aging tendency.

The four basic requirements of in-home care

  • Specialists – qualified, trained and experienced professionals
  • Adequate working environment – which situates the in-home care in specified limits: time, place, status, working contract, ethics.
  • Personalization – people have different situations and lifestyles and this is why services must be personalized according to demands from patients, their families or social workers
  • A guarantee of the quality and reliability of the services provided

The advantages of in-home care

  • In-home care allows families to remain united, preventing ruptures and allowing seniors to keep living in their homes, surrounded by everything that is familiar to them
  • Many seniors prefer to receive care while living comfortably in a family environment, rather than in permanent care facilities. This option can bring many positive results, slowing down the process of psycho-somatic degradation
  • In-home care promotes quicker recovery. Even if it is just for a few days, hospitalization can be traumatizing, but these negative consequences, as well as the overall costs can be reduced by using the home care option
  • Local authorities are forced to become more and more involved in finding ways to increase the quality of life of the senior population
  • Other people and the local communities also become more and more aware of the importance of in-home care and thus the provided services will continue to develop.

In-home care can be provided during a limited number of hours per day or constantly, depending of the patient’s needs. Often 24 hour in-home careis the best option for those that are truly struggling with their activities of daily living. Caregivers will provide the necessary help with the household and the lifestyle, thus providing support for the elderly and allowing other family members to have more free time:

  • Preparing meals, shopping, doing housework, cleaning and maintaining a healthy indoor environment, taking care of pets and plants, doing the laundry etc.
  • Establishing daily routines, providing assistance with regular activities
  • Providing companionship: making conversations, social contact, assisting seniors in various activities
  • Providing medical assistance: administrating medication, applying bandages, giving insulin shots, checking the level of glucose in the blood using test strips
  • Making appointments
  • Providing help with maintaining personal hygiene, dressing/ undressing, eating and drinking, walking etc.

The caregiver will carry out these activities according to the law and the contract signed with the assisted person or family members/ authorized representatives. The services required may be different from case to case, depending on the patient’s condition and the instructions given by a medical doctor.

In-home care honors a senior’s independence and dignity, which is the most important psychological factor to consider, as well as keeping the whole family more at ease. Assisted people can keep living according to their own rules instead of being subject to the regulation or a permanent care facility.

Considering Senior In-Home Care For Your Parent

Senior Home CareSome people, when they reach old age, need special assistance. Some of them may not be able to climb stairs anymore, drive or even eat by themselves. It is an uncomfortable and sad perspective, but it is better to make the needed preparations in due time, rather than ignore it and refuse to talk about it. This piece of advice stands true for parents and children alike.

There are many things we don’t want to think about, but just because we adopt this attitude it doesn’t mean that they will not happen. Adult children may have to deal with making new living arrangements for their elderly parents, who, in their turn should remain open to different options. Family dynamics are various and there are no recipes that will make things go well in each case – but avoiding the “big talk” and treating this issue as the elephant in the room will definitely do more harm than good.

So, where should you start?

The first step is arranging a direct family meeting, with your parents and siblings, because everyone should be involved. Avoid passive-aggressiveness and anything else that may lead to awkward conversations, and make sure to ask the others to do just the same. The discussions should be as objective as possible to ensure positive results, so get your thoughts  together and write them down, just to be sure that you do not forget something important. Learn about your parents’ wishes and needs, determine what you can do for them and what your limits are. Discuss all the options and put the pros and the cons in balance.

There are many types of elderly care solutions, from nursing home, assisted living communities and retirement villages to day health care and in-home care – making the best choice will depend on everyone involved, the particularities of your parents’ condition and the available resources.

Important considerations regarding in-home care

In-home care is a very popular solution for seniors for many reasons.

  • These services provide different levels of assistance for the elderly according to their needs and health status, while allowing them to live in their homes.
  • They allow a lot of room for flexibility, offering your parent as much or as little help as they need.
  • In-home care is more affordable than permanent care provided by a specialized facility
  • Your parent can maintain contact with neighbors and friends and will have the peace of mind that they are in a familiar environment, they are not alone, and they are well looked after.
  • If your parent has pets, they will not need to give up on them, as it happens in the case of nursing homes.

As advantageous as it may be, in-home care is not always viable, however. For instance, unless you hire a live-in caretaker for your parent, the senior will not have 24/7 support, and this may pose problems in some cases – for instance, if your relative needs assistance when going to the bathroom. Moreover, some age related conditions or illnesses may require constant surveillance in a medical facility, and thus in-home care may not even be an option. Therefore, opting for this assisted living option should be done after careful consideration of all aspects involved.