If you have an elderly loved one that requires professional support services, you may be weighing your options. Some of the most common housing options for seniors include nursing homes and home care services. While both choices have their own set of benefits, in-home care services are often preferred by seniors who wish to remain in the comfort of their own home. Home health care is also targeted to older adults who are able to live independently but may need assistance with certain tasks. Learn more about the benefits of In-Home Care Services and how they differ from nursing homes below.
What Does In-Home Care Services Include?
As adults grow older, they often find completing daily tasks to be much more challenging than before. Difficulties with ADLs (activities of daily living) and IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living) is fairly common in seniors, making in-home care services an invaluable option for families.
ADLs include a range of basic activities that are performed on a day-to-day basis, including:
- Bathing – This may include help with showering or getting in and out of the bath.
- Grooming – Grooming may include shaving, hair styling, teeth brushing, and performing other tasks designed to maintain one’s appearance.
- Dressing – Aids may help in the selection of clothing, as well as putting them on and taking them off.
- Toileting – Toileting services may include help getting to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning up afterwards.
- Feeding – Feeding services include help with meal prep and assistance eating.
- Walking – This involves assistance with walking in and out of the home.
- Transferring – Adults with mobility problems may require transfer services to get in and out of bed or wheelchair. Extra support when using walkers and other assistive devices may be necessary.
IADLs are also common daily tasks but tend to be more complex than basic ADLs. Some examples of IADLs include:
- Finance Management – Some seniors may need help managing their finances – e.g. paying bills.
- Transportation – In-home care services may include transportation or the organization of transport for elderly adults who can no longer drive.
- Shopping – Aides may provide seniors with assistance with shopping, including purchasing groceries and other essential items.
- House Cleaning – Senior care services may include light housework and home maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the kitchen after meals.
- Communication Management – This includes assistance with all forms of communication, such as returning telephone calls or responding to emails.
- Medication Management – An in-home care provider can help seniors obtain their medications and help them avoid forgetting to take their meds on time.
How Does In-Home Care Differ from Nursing Homes?
While nursing homes are still commonplace in today’s society, more and more seniors are choosing to “age in place.” With the ability to remain in their own homes, older adults can continue to maintain a sense of independence while still receiving the professional help they need with daily activities. There are some distinct differences between in-home care and nursing homes, starting with differences in health access.
Living in a nursing home allows seniors to receive immediate access to medical care which can be helpful if your loved one has established medical problems or a severe disability that requires round-the-clock care. In-home care services are better suited for seniors who have the ability to live on their own. However, that does not mean that these adults cannot receive adequate medical care. Many in-home care agencies provide services like palliative care, as well as physical and occupational therapy.
Familiarity is one of the biggest factors that families consider when deciding between in-home care and nursing homes. Many seniors prefer to stay in their own home where they are comfortable and have happy memories. Nursing homes can sometimes feel “cold” and many residents are forced to share rooms. In addition, moving to a nursing home requires downsizing as residents are often limited to the number of items that they are allowed to bring with them.
Cost is also a major consideration when deciding between in-home care services and nursing homes. As a general rule of thumb, the more care that a senior requires the more expensive their care will be. In-home care facilities typically charge by the hour and are usually not in the home around-the-clock, meaning lower costs for families. As nursing homes act as a residence for seniors, the cost can be much higher. The average cost of hiring a home care aide is $20 per hour or $160 per day, compared to a skilled nursing home cost of around $220 per day or about $80,000 annually.
Why Many Families Choose In-Home Care Services
Many families find it increasingly difficult to care for their aging loved ones, especially while juggling other responsibilities like work, home, and children. Some adult children live far away from their aging parents, sometimes in other cities or states, making it difficult to assist with care. In-home care services are designed to take the heavy burden off of family members while allowing seniors to receive the level of respect and care that they deserve.
In-home health care professionals can be there when you are not able to be. Not only can this provide families with peace of mind, but seniors are able to remain safe and secure in their own homes while having all of their unique health needs met by industry professionals. Home care professionals can assist with ADLs, IADLs, as well as skilled nursing care. They can also provide support for nutrition, diet, and medication management. You can also count on care providers to provide social interaction and companionship.
Learn More About In-Home Care Services
It is natural to feel hesitant about your aging loved one’s future. However, know that when you choose in-home care services, your loved one is in good hands. With help from an in-home care expert, you can develop a home care schedule that works for your family and includes the personalized services your loved one needs to thrive. For more information about in-home care services or to request a consultation, contact Comfort Home Care today.