As we get older, there may be certain things that we can no longer do. Eventually, you may not be able to engage in even basic daily living activities, like brushing your teeth or cleaning the house. Unfortunately, millions of elderly people across the United States are forced out of their homes because they can no longer take care of themselves. Thankfully, there are some services available that allow elderly loved ones to stay at home while using in-home care. Private care for elderly at home is an option available to many.
Private Care for Elderly at Home
In-home care offers a way for seniors to stay in a place where they are comfortable—their own home. When seniors head to long-term care facilities, they often feel robbed of their independence and autonomy. They may feel depressed or angry that they can no longer take care of themselves, and have someone watching over them constantly only makes this feeling worse.
How In-Home Care Helps
With in-home care, elderly loved ones can continue to do the daily tasks that they can, and the caregiver attends to the rest. This arrangement provides a good compromise for loved ones who do not need 24-hour care but still need some help around the house. It also encourages your loved one to remain active and take care of themselves, which may be a real concern if the elderly person seems to “give up” when they cannot do certain tasks. Staying active, even if it is just to do simple chores or recreational activities, will help maintain mental and physical health.
Services that in-home Care Provides
in-home care services vary significantly depending on the needs of the individual. Some people may need full-time care while others may only need help making meals or doing chores. One of the many benefits of in-home care is that it is tailored to the individual. Few assisted living centers or nursing homes can offer these individualized benefits in the same way that in-home care does.
Some of the services that in-home care providers may help with include:
- Meal preparation
- Shopping and running errands
- Chores around the house
- Bathing and dressing assistance
- General companionship
- Medication reminders
- Walking/movement assistance
in-home care service aides also frequently work with medical doctors, social service providers, and family members to develop a care plan that fits the needs of your elderly loved one. It sometimes takes more than one source of information to get the full picture of what an individual needs regarding daily care.
In-Home Care and Serious Illness
In some situations, in-home care may also mean dealing with serious illnesses or wounds. Injections and intravenous medications may also need to be provided. Perhaps one of the most valuable services that in-home care provides in these situations is a simple monitoring role. It is helpful to have someone with knowledge and experience nearby in case the unthinkable should happen. It takes a specially trained individual to deal with more complex issues like these.
In-Home Care for Dementia
Care for patients that have mental issues, including dementia, is also available. Family members may not be able to handle a loved one who has dementia, but a specially trained in-home aide can help. Caregivers often struggle to watch their loved one deteriorate when they have dementia, so having the daily helping hand of an in-home care aid can be a vital asset.
In-home care providers also offer educational resources for the patient and other caregivers. That way, other caregivers can become more knowledgeable about what their loved one needs and how best to fulfill those needs.
Home Health Care Based on a Doctor’s Recommendation
Some private care for elderly at home plans at home are triggered because a doctor has specifically ordered or suggested an in-home care plan. If this is the case, the health care agency may call to schedule an appointment to discuss your loved one’s healthcare needs soon after the doctor’s order. You may also be able to choose which care agency you would like to use.
Doctor-Ordered Private Plans
In doctor-ordered private plans, the care provider communicates frequently with the doctor to update him or her on your loved one’s progress. The doctor then provides recommendations regarding changes in medication or activities based on these updates. This set up is beneficial because it gives the doctor educated observations that he or she can base recommendations upon. In some cases, this can avoid additional doctor’s appointments, which may be stressful for your loved one.
Benefits of in-home Care: Privacy and Independence
It can be extremely stressful to be relocated from the home where you have spent many years of your life, especially when you are leaving to go live with strangers. The vast majority of elderly individuals would prefer to remain in their home as long as possible compared to leaving to living in a nursing home or assisted living facility. For some seniors, however, living at home alone is not a good idea because it is unsafe or they have certain health conditions that require additional care.
One of the major benefits of private care for elderly at home is the privacy that it offers. Seniors can live at home, allowing visitors to come and go as they please when they have in-home care arranged. Nursing homes or assisted care facilities often have restrictions on visitors, including who may visit and when they may visit. This lack of privacy is concerning to many elderly individuals and their families.
Independence is also a major selling point for private care for elderly at home. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes sometimes offer too much care—babying their residents. Maintaining the ability to do certain daily tasks increases the life satisfaction of elderly individuals, which can stave off depression and even some health conditions.
In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, your loved one may have to share their room with another senior. Since many elderly individuals have not had a roommate in years, this may be an unwelcome adjustment. Of course, families can occasionally pay extra to ensure that their loved one receives a room of his or her own. Regardless, few other locations can really take the place of their own home.
Dignity Factors of in-home Care
Respecting seniors and maintaining their dignity in care is extremely important. Seniors may not be able to voice concerns about their care as well as they once could, so they are sometimes taken advantage of in a nursing home setting. This may, unfortunately, mean that seniors are not treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.
Seniors may have problems with the following in a nursing home or assisted care center.
- Failing to knock before entering
- Imposing on alone time, such as bathing or grooming
- Personal records shared among staff or even other residents unnecessarily
- Lack of privacy when visitors stop by
- Lack of privacy in personal and sexual relationships with other residents
- Going through personal belongings, including mail or e-mail
- Having to use shared facilities
- Failing to allow room personalization
- General invasion of personal or private space
- Lack of space for private conversations or telephone calls
- When care centers abuse a resident’s privacy rights, they are not treating the elderly individual with the respect that he or she deserves.
With in-home care, the vast majority of these privacy concerns are not an issue. The elderly person knows they can shut the door and be alone whenever they need to (assuming that this type of behavior is not a health risk). In many situations, the in-home aide can be sent away if your loved one does not want to see anyone that particular day. There really is no similar option in a nursing home or care facility. Even if the resident shuts the door, there is no real way to prevent a caregiver from coming in anyway.
In situations where seniors are treated poorly in an assisted living center or nursing home, there are few options to “escape” treatment. Studies indicate that older individuals are being treated with insensitivity and being generally disrespected at alarming rates in these types of facilities.
Using in-home care avoids these sad and unfortunate occurrences. If the senior is unhappy with the care that they receive from an in-home service, they can simply request that the service provider not returns in the future. There is a lot more control available to seniors who utilize private care for elderly at home.
In-Home Care Offers Flexibility
Private care for elderly at home is much more flexible than nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Your loved ones only get care that they actually need, and they receive it in a way that respects their independence and privacy. There are few replacements for this type of respect for your loved one.