Many people value their independence, but daily tasks that used to be routine can become increasingly difficult with advanced age or illness. Aspects of daily life such as personal care, taking medication, cleaning the house, preparing meals and running errands directly influence a person’s quality of life, and a qualified in-home care provider can step in to ensure these important tasks are properly addressed.
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, around 28 percent of older adults in the U.S. live alone. Many seniors are capable of living independently but may need assistance with certain tasks. In-home care is a good option for elderly or sick people who prefer to live in their own home but can no longer do everything on their own. It is also helpful for seniors who live with family members who are unable to provide an adequate level of care due to work and family constraints.
In-home care is also an option for people of any age who are sick or injured on a temporary basis, such as those who are recovering from a major operation or accident and have reduced mobility.
The Duties Of In-Home Care Providers
The duties offered by in-home care providers will vary depending on the needs of the individual patient. The provider is there to take care of any household and personal tasks a person is unable to handle on their own, whether they are mostly independent or need help with all aspects of daily life.
In some cases, the support may be largely emotional and social, providing platonic companionship and engaging in conversation, games and hobbies while checking on their welfare. For others, it may be more extensive, covering dressing, bathing, medication help, light cleaning, exercise, meal preparation, feeding and transportation to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments.
Here is a look at some of the specific duties of in-home care providers.
Provide Emotional Care & Support
Loneliness is not uncommon among the elderly, The National Institute on Aging reports that social isolation and loneliness in older people poses health risks such as depression, heart disease and cognitive decline. Having regular contact with a provider helps seniors to enjoy social connections that can improve their mental health.
In-home care providers can offer friendly companionship if needed. For some patients, their visit might be their only personal interaction, which makes it incredibly valuable. They might engage in activities such as arts and crafts, reading aloud, or going on social outings together.
Ensure Easy At-Home Life
The help provided by in-home care providers extends beyond their visit. They also take steps to ensure that the patient will have an easier home life when they are not present.
They can help seniors improve their self-care abilities, such as showing them how to use a cane or the right way to get in and out of the bathtub. They can also look out for potential safety issues in the home, such as poorly placed furniture that could lead to a life-threatening fall or other accident.
In addition, they can leave meals prepared for later, set out appropriate clothes or sleepwear and prepare medication that needs to be taken after they leave.
An in-home care provider can help people with daily chores. They might assist with personal services such as dressing, grooming and bathing. For example, many in-home care providers arrive around the time a patient wakes up for the day, helping them to get out of bed, go to the bathroom, bathe, get dressed and have breakfast. Bathing can be particularly challenging given the potential for accidents, and having the extra help means patients can maintain good personal hygiene safely.
In-home care providers can also help patients with grooming, such as shaving and oral care. They are also trained to deal with the sensitive area of toileting, providing as much help as needed with the bathroom without unnecessarily invading the patient’s privacy. They can also help with incontinence care, such as changing adult diapers or emptying catheter drainage bags.
These providers can also help with dressing, whether an individual just needs help with buttons and other closures or they need assistance with the whole process from outfit selection to putting on shoes.
Many home health aides provide patients with nutritious meals and help with feeding if needed. They can also prepare meals for the patient to enjoy later if they are unable to do so on their own. Aides can assist with grocery shopping and ensuring the food in the patient’s home is fresh and properly stored.
They can also help with exercise, walking around the neighborhood with a patient and assisting with simple therapeutic physical activities.
Assist With Medication
Many patients in need of in-home care have complex medication regimens, and it is not uncommon for them to miss doses, accidentally repeat a dose or become confused about which medications to take on which day. In these cases, the in-home care provider can supervise the medication, ensuring the patient adheres to their prescribed schedule.
In addition, because they are regularly around the patient, they might observe changes in their health or behavior that could indicate a medication adjustment is needed and report them to their doctor. They also help with condition monitoring in general and can provide valuable reports on a person’s overall health condition from day to day.
Although in-home care providers do not generally provide medical services, some have undergone specialized training that can allow them to help in specific cases, such as addressing the challenges that come with caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Contact The Professional In-Home Care Providers
If you or a senior loved one need some extra assistance and companionship, get in touch with the professional in-home care providers at Comfort Home Care. A registered nurse will carry out a complimentary evaluation to determine the level of care needed, taking into account your loved one’s goals, needs and any special requirements. They will then create a custom care plan and match your loved one with a care provider based on personality compatibility and needs.