The wellbeing of your family members is often a top priority for many. However, when signs of declining health or reduced daily living abilities begin to show, you might be placed in the challenging position of deciding what type of care is in the best interest of your loved one.
Once you have decided that your loved one needs extra help, nursing homes and assisted living communities may be the first couple of options that come to mind. However, those are not your only choices. Home care is an alternative caregiving arrangement you can consider for your loved one.
Home care is a service in which a professional caregiver is hired for scheduled visits or to live with your loved one to tend to their needs while in the comfort of their own home. In comparison to other care options, home care has shown to provide many benefits.
How do I know if my loved one needs extra help?
Many family members are faced with the responsibility of deciding when their loved one requires aid to get through daily life, but the question is how do you know when to make this difficult call?
Awareness of changes in your loved one’s behavior is key. If you notice signs that suggest reduced physical function, changes in mental status, a decline in personal hygiene, and unattended household responsibilities, it is time to consider hiring home care services. Home care services are recommended for those who are chronically ill, recovering from surgery, have a disability, or are simply ageing.
Benefits of Elderly Home Care
In comparison to other care options, home care has shown to provide many benefits, such as customizable care, increased independence, and one-to-one connections between caregivers and care recipients.
1. Customized Care
You can select caregivers based on the specific needs of your loved one. Examples of services provided by home caregivers include:
- Care Companionship: Aid with daily and recreational activities
- Medical Escort: Help with transportation to and from medical appointments
- Personal Care: Help with bathing, toileting and dressing
- Homemaking: Home cleaning, yard work, laundry, and cooking
- Therapy: Rehabilitation and exercise
- Health Care: Treat illness or injury
In addition to varying service options, home caregivers also offer different duration of service ranging from hourly shifts to round-the-clock care. The ability to hire customizable care offers an increased sense of control for both you and your loved one.
2. Increased Independence
Home care allows your loved one to remain in a setting that they are most comfortable with because they are familiar with their environment and feel in control. Staying at home preserves their sense of dignity and encourages them to be independent. With this independence comes a maintained sense of purpose and fulfillment.
The importance of independence for elderly health was demonstrated through a study that compared 184 elderly people living in nursing homes versus their own homes. The results concluded that the elderly living in nursing homes had lower levels of mobility and quality of life. Functional independence scores were also found to be higher when the elderly lived at home rather than in a nursing home.
3. One to One Connection
In comparison to nursing homes or assisted living, home care offers a personal one-to-one connection, enabling the caregiver to devote her undivided attention to your loved one’s changing needs.
This one-to-one attention offers a dimension of companionship that combats social isolation. The elderly who live alone or are isolated from family are at risk of worsened health. An analysis of the results from 148 studies examining the relationship between social isolation and health found a direct correlation between social isolation and mortality. In other words, lack of social relationships “is as strong a risk factor for mortality as are smoking, obesity, or lack of physical activity.” The companionship that forms from home care in comparison to nursing home has also been linked to reduced symptoms of depression.
Deciding on the best care arrangement for your loved one is not a decision that should be taken lightly. The environment and method in which seniors receive care influences their current and future levels of health, happiness, and quality of life.
Home care offers a customizable, empowering, and interpersonal experience for your loved one. Why not consider home care services for your loved one today?
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