Deciding whether or not to hire an in-home caregiver is a big step. While some seniors like the convenience of living in an assisted living facility, others prefer the comfort and familiarity of staying in their home. In-home caregivers make it easy for seniors to remain at home while still getting the care and attention they need to remain happy and healthy. Hired caregivers can provide assistance with a wide range of activities of daily living (ADLs), as well as companionship and certain nursing services. Here is a closer look at the average day in the life of an in-home caregiver.
Grooming and Personal Hygiene
The day of the average senior begins when they wake up in the morning. This is when they will need to perform basic personal hygiene tasks. An in-home caregiver can help your loved one perform these tasks to ensure that they get done properly for optimal health. Caregivers can assist with bathing, including getting in and out of the shower or bathtub. They can also provide assistance with shampooing, washing, shaving, hair combing and styling, and other grooming needs.
Many seniors struggle with balance and mobility. Something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult for seniors who have problems with their muscles or joints. However, remaining active is crucial for seniors who wish to maintain their independence and a higher level of wellbeing. An in-home caregiver can assist seniors with mobility, whether it is walking to the breakfast table or walking through the park for exercise. The goal of in-home caregivers is to help keep the body flexible while helping seniors get from place to place as safely as possible.
Toileting and Incontinence Care
Another part of an in-home caregiver’s day is helping seniors with toileting and incontinence care. While many seniors find it difficult asking for help when it comes to toileting, in-home caregivers deliver the utmost level of professionalism to ensure that your loved one is comfortable receiving assistance. Receiving help with toileting and incontinence care is essential for good senior health. Poor hygiene habits can result in unpleasant odors, skin infections, and similar problems. If your loved one is able to use the toilet on their own but has mobility issues, an in-home caregiver can also help transfer him or her on and off the toilet.
Maintaining good nutrition is more important than ever as we grow older. Unfortunately, many seniors do not receive the nutrition they need for optimal health. In some cases, certain conditions can make it difficult to eat, resulting in a lack of nutrients. Other times, seniors do not want to prep and cook meals that they will ultimately eat alone, causing them to seek out convenience foods. An in-home caregiver can ensure that your loved one receives adequate nutrition and balanced meals. This is accomplished through a variety of services, such as food shopping and preparing healthy meals together.
Companionship and Conversation
Many seniors live alone which means minimal opportunities for companionship and conversation. Without someone to talk to, many seniors will become lonely and depressed. Many studies have proven that seniors who remain socially engaged have a better quality of life. In-home caregivers can provide the companionship and conversation that many seniors seek. Providers often visit patient homes every day where they engage in friendly conversation throughout the day, including at mealtimes. Caregivers can also spend time with their patients playing games, watching TV, or going on walks.
During the day, an in-home caregiver may assist seniors with light housekeeping duties. As many seniors are unable to do their own cleaning, having help can make it easier to maintain a healthy, neat home. Light housekeeping may include cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, and cleaning kitchens. It may also mean taking out the trash, doing laundry, and washing dishes. In some instances, an in-home caregiver may provide additional housekeeping services, such as helping their patients organize their closets or drawers. Having this type of help can ease the mind of family members and reduce their burden.
Many seniors who require the care of an in-home care agency are no longer able to drive. This means relying on family members and other people to visit the supermarket or go to a doctor’s appointment. An in-home caregiver can provide essential transportation to seniors who need it. Transportation can be provided to a wide range of destinations, such as to the store, pharmacy, post office, beauty salon, or barber. Caregivers can also give your loved one a ride to and from doctor appointments. Once at the destination, help is provided by pushing a wheelchair or helping the senior walk to and from the doctor’s office.
Research shows that the average ambulatory elderly fills between 9 and 13 prescriptions each year, and the average elderly patient takes more than five prescription medications. As prescriptions are written by trained health professionals and are deemed essential, it is important that your loved one not miss any dosages. However, many seniors struggle with memory loss with age making it difficult to remember to take certain medications at various times of the day. An in-home caregiver can provide your loved one with medication reminders. They can also help seniors open medication bottles, read labels, and remind seniors when their next dose is due.
Contact an In-Home Care Agency Today
If your loved one requires regular care but does not want to leave the comfort of their home, an in-home care agency can help. These agencies have trained and background-checked staff on hand that are able to deliver professional and courteous services to seniors who need assistance at home. In-home care is not only beneficial to seniors, but also to their families. Trying to juggle caring for your own family, work, and all of your other duties can be difficult. Contact an in-home care agency to see how they can help take some of these responsibilities off your shoulders.