It’s not always easy to determine the proper moment to let an elderly loved one receive in-home care. Some older individuals may also show resistance to this idea, even though studies show most people prefer in-home care over treatment at medical facilities, as the environment is more familiar. There are also fewer incidents of hospitalization when elderly people receive some kind of treatment (at home or at licensed medical care facilities). According to a 2017 study by VITAS Healthcare, hospice care recipients are five times more likely to die at home than those who don’t receive hospice care. They also found non-hospice patients had higher hospitalization rates than their hospice-receiving counterparts (65.1% vs. 42.3%).
According to a report from Statista, roughly 814,300 individuals in the United States worked as home health aides in 2016. Additionally, 69.3% of home care agencies in the nation offered assisted living services.
The National Center for Health Statistics also reported in 2016 that in 2015, 4.5 million patients received and finished in-home care at any point during the year.
With all this in mind, here is a guide toward learning the best time to consider in-home care services for an elderly person.
Self-Care Warning Signs
Perhaps the most evident indicator of a need for in-home care is when an elderly person struggles to perform basic daily living activities like bathing, eating, dressing, grooming, walking, and using the bathroom.
Statista also revealed that around 97% of Americans (over the age of 65) who receive home care needed help with bathing and 91% required aides for getting in and out of bed. In total, 81% needed assistance with using the toilet.
Other signs that your loved one needs home-based care is the buildup of clutter, stacks of unopened mail, and late payment notices from bill collectors. Poor diet or weight loss, extreme changes in mood or mood swings, missing appointments, and unexplained bruising are also all red flags to heed.
It’s important to alert a specialized care treatment facility immediately if you are ever concerned that your loved one can no longer live his or her daily life without assistance.
Marked Differences in Task Completion or Daily Routines
When an elderly person starts taking long amounts of time to complete tasks like cleaning, folding clothes, or organizing other belongings, this may be another sign that home care is a sound option. Forgetting to regularly take medication (or taking an incorrect dosage amount) is also a warning sign. Carrying out these tasks incorrectly is also an indicator of irregular behavior, so it’s important to keep an eye out for this.
Vital Information from Physicians on Care Needs
Before the care process formally begins, an elderly person’s physician must be provided key information that may be relevant for treatment. This includes your loved one’s medical history (including incidents like strokes and any chronic health conditions like diabetes that run in the family). Once this information is submitted, a detailed treatment plan can be created that dictates whether there is a need for occupational or speech therapy, how many hours of care each week is necessary, and what form treatment should take.
However, research has shown many physicians don’t always completely understand all Medicare rules for in-home care eligibility, which means not every medical professional interprets these rules in the same way.
Loss of Independence for Daily Functions
This point can’t be stressed enough. It’s crucial that any elderly person receives thorough assistance with daily life functions if he or she becomes incapable of performing certain tasks alone.
How to Approach Your Loved One
Your elderly loved one may feel offended by the suggestion that he or she needs in-home care, so it’s important to know how to approach this subject with him or her.
Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to listen to them as much as possible to fully understand their feelings, wants, and needs. Some of the things they say may even surprise you. You should also emphasize that you will be there to provide as much physical and emotional support as possible, whether or not you act as an official caregiver. Open and regular communication can accomplish greater things than most people realize.
Connect with Comfort Home Care for More Resources
Reach out to the experienced professionals at Comfort Home Care to learn more about specialized care for elderly patients. Founded in Rockville, Maryland, in 1999 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., CHC is dedicated to offering compassionate in-home care for senior citizens and disabled people in and near Montgomery County. Their services include treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s, as well as end-of-life care, fall prevention, respite in-home care, sick and injured recovery care, and special needs care.
It has been proven that there are many benefits to receiving supplemental care at an assisted living facility. These advantages include improvement in cognitive stimulation, greater mobility thanks to transportation services, greater socialization, stronger health and physiology, and safety supervision.
Comfort Home Care’s team of medical workers includes certified nursing assistants and geriatric nursing assistants licensed in Maryland and boasts years of experience. CHC’s hiring process is extremely thorough: it includes both written and verbal skills assessments, in-person interviews, criminal background checks, health screenings, and reference checks (personal).
CHC is licensed by both the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Health Regulation and Licensing Administration in D.C.
Call Comfort Home Care today at 301-984-7681 or contact them online for more information about their services or to receive a free assessment of in-home care needs. You’ll hardly find a more compassionate in-home care facility in your area.