Is In-Home Care Right for You?
As kids, we can't wait to grow up. Achievements like getting your driver's license, graduating college, finding your true love, having a family, buying a home... these are our focus as we grow through adulthood. We forget that it is just as important to have a plan when we begin to slow down and maybe need assistance.
The signs you may recognize happen to all of us as we grow older, like not having the same endurance as you once did working all day without frequent breaks, or finding you lose track of things like keys, wallet, or appointments more often. When you or your loved ones become aware of changes in your mind, body, and spirit, it is essential to have a plan.
Designing a plan for your golden years should include preserving your independence, self-reliance, and dignity along the way. The levels of care you may need can range from companionship to medical assistance, and can be accomplished all within your own home. Your desire to stay in the home you built over the years is not only understandable, but can be essential to preventing a decline in mental and even physical health. In order to make this a reality, you may need a hand.
There are many reasons people look to in-home care as they age. Whether you are suffering from Alzheimer's or other health issues, recovering from an injury, or caring for a disabled child, hiring in-home health care can help you shoulder the burden. Nurses and advocates assist you in maintaining your independence, making your life more fulfilling and enjoyable as a senior.
Assessing your current situation is the first step in deciding if in-home care is right for you. Factors include comfort and accessibility, home maintenance, transportation, your support network, medical conditions, and financial situation. Once you evaluate each of these factors, the decision is simple.
Comfort and Accessibility:
Your home is your sanctuary, a place to rest after a long day. Do you have many stairs? Is it difficult to maneuver easily around your home? Can your home be easily modified as you grow older, replacing steps with ramps or living on one floor? These questions may affect your decision if in-home care is right for you.
As we grow older, taking care of tasks like yard work or minor repairs around the house can become gradually more difficult. This can be made doubly challenging if you have had any injuries or surgeries limiting your physical capacity. Do you have a large yard that needs regular maintenance?
Are you in an urban, suburban, or rural area? Do you drive yourself to run errands or rely on public transportation? How far away are your medical appointments, your local hospital, and pharmacy? Getting from place to place can be an obstacle as we grow older, so this is an essential factor.
If you find yourself isolated because of physical impairments, your socializing opportunities are drastically reduced, often leading to depression. Do you live close to neighbors, friends, and family? Are you involved in your community, church, or other activities? When we lose the ability to freely enjoy our hobbies and passions, it is important to find ways to reconnect.
Do you have any progressive conditions or medical issues? Identifying the progression of your medical conditions will help you decide what is right for you regarding care in the future. If you or your loved one suffers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or any other progressive illness, knowing how to manage the symptoms will reduce stress later in life.
Once you have an idea of what kind of care you will need for your future, you can decide what makes financial sense for your budget. Research what your insurance covers, and what you will have to pay out of pocket for in home care, assisted living, and full time/24-hour care. Creating a budget and a financial plan now will save you worry down the road.
Now that you have answered these important questions, understanding the services that in-home care offers can help you decide if it is the right thing for you. Choosing the level of home care you need now and for the future is a decision you and your loved ones can make together to help you live your fullest, brightest life.
Medical In-Home Care
If you have had a surgery or are recovering from an injury such as a fall, in-home care services can be more conducive to a speedy recovery. There are options for long-term care, short-term recovery, and permanent home care, depending on your needs.
An in-home care service, like A Hand to Hold, offers a fully trained medical staff to help care for you or your loved ones who may be in need of:
- Assistance with medication, such as scheduling and keeping an organized system in place, as well as IV administration
- Wound, post-surgery, or injury care
- Pain management
- Family training (to help reduce the costs of in-home nurses)
- Orthopedic conditions or issues
- Burn care
- Spinal or brain injury assistance
Many Reasons to Choose In-Home Care
When you have a parent or spouse suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, it is a painful experience. Watching their condition deteriorate over time is heartbreaking. In-home care can help in many ways, from caring for your parent or spouse to ensuring communication with family and loved ones is meaningful and timely, as well as offering support and guidance to family members and spouses. All of these services lead to living a better life and staying connected with family and friends.
Leading a life of independence as a senior can be inhibited by mobility issues, injuries, or illness. Sometimes it just isn't as easy as it once was to get to the market, pick up prescriptions, visit the doctor, or even collect the mail. An in-home caregiver can assist with all of that, including light housework, cooking and sharing meals, and much more. Knowing you can maintain your independence and freedom through your senior years is uplifting for many, giving them confidence and the great attitude needed to stay healthy and happy.
Every family dreads the news that their loved one has a chronic, fatal illness like cancer, a major heart attack, or stroke, causing the quality of their life to drop dramatically and quickly. It can leave a family unprepared to care for their loved one because of work or miles separating them. In-home caregivers not only allow your loved one to stay in their own home, but assist with tasks such as dressing, toileting, paying bills, and overall home organization and personal care.
Seniors are extremely vulnerable to exploitation, especially financial. Many seniors live alone or with other seniors who are equally at risk of being taken advantage of. Having an in-home caregiver helps to not only watch over and assist you or your loved one, but to prevent nefarious characters from robbing their charges blind in financial scams. Until these people are put out of business for good, having an in-home caregiver to oversee business dealings can save you or your loved one their financial future and peace of mind.
In-home caregivers are trained to uphold you or your loved one's dignity, and ensure their physical safety and comfort. A tragic illness does not have to be devastating to a family, but it can turn into a time when you or your loved one are able to focus on good health, and the family can enjoy whatever time they have left to spend with their loved one. Not only are in-home caregivers a blessing, but they often become members of the families they care for, because it is such a personal job.
The benefits do not only belong to you and your loved ones, but to the caregiver as well. It is an extremely rewarding experience to the caregiver, becoming part of a family and helping an aging friend cope with the changes in their life. The opportunity to share in the love, joys, and pain of aging with a patient is an emotional experience, leaving caregivers enriched for the time spent with their patient.
Overall, having a caregiver to help families navigate the journey of growing older is a relief and brings a sense of peace for all involved. The caregiver advocates for the senior and the family, keeping the focus on what is best for their loved one. Without one, going through the final years of life can be uncertain.
Many families are seeking alternatives to nursing homes or rest homes because of the prohibitive costs and the determination of seniors to remain in their own home. The average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is over $6,000 per month, adding up to over $72,000 per year. If you are or your loved one is living on a fixed income, this choice is not usually an option. Even if you have managed to build up an excellent retirement account, it can be quickly drained in living and medical expenses. People are living longer now, leading to higher costs in medical insurance, living expenses, and prescription medication for all seniors. The Baby Boomer generation is the largest in our time, and senior living operations are cashing in on this influx of residents.
Financial challenges always play a role in deciding the best care for you or your loved one as they age. Nursing homes are often too expensive or, if they are affordable for the average senior, the quality of care and living may not be up to your standard. In-home care is a more affordable option; depending on your situation, it may be fully or partially covered by Medicare or insurance. Also, it is a less expensive choice to assisted living, which can add up over the years, adding financial stress no family and loved one wants.
Every child wants to see their parents enjoy their golden years, without suffering or being lonely. While medical issues are bound to arise, sometimes the psychological ones can be the most heartbreaking. Having an in-home care companion can be a rewarding relationship for seniors and families alike.
Someone will be paired with your loved one, fully trained in the scope of the situation, who can connect, socialize, and assist with everyday needs and wants. Often seniors begin to isolate themselves as friends pass on and physical limitations affect their mobility. With an in-home care companion, they can count on having regular visits, as well as someone to help with light housekeeping, errands, and even simple meal preparation.
Maintaining connectedness and dignity that you are accustomed to living is the key to a long, joyful life. In-home care can help you achieve these goals, and more, allowing you freedom and sociability for as long as you live.