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Home Care as an Effective, Safe Alternative for a Growing Number of Seniors
Home care is proving to be an effective, safe alternative for more seniors and their families. Instead of receiving care in a nursing home, assisted living or other care facility, seniors receive help with the activities of daily living (ADLs) in the familiar surroundings of their own home, near loved ones.
Home care, which is also called in-home care, is commonly provided by family members, often in partnership with professional caregivers who come into the home to give family members a respite or to enable them to work and take care of other responsibilities. Professional caregivers provide family caregivers the peace of mind that their loved one is in good hands when they can not be with them.
Home care agencies provide non-medical services, such as companionship care, personal care, light housekeeping and help with the activities of daily living. They often partner with home health care agencies that can provide skilled care, such as nursing, wound care, physical, occupational and speech therapy, pain management and disease education. This type of care is often needed following a hospital stay.
Providers of home care partner with families to schedule the optimal amount of care to meet a senior's specific needs, from just a few hours of care a week to full-time, 24-hour care, assuring the senior's safety and well-being. The amount of service can vary depending on the senior's need for assistance and the availability of family members to provide care.
Caregivers can provide assistance with activities of daily living, depending on each individual's capability for self-care. ADLs include such activities as bathing and dressing, eating, talking, using the toilet and moving in and out of a bed or chair.
They also help with what are referred to as incidental activities of daily living (IADL). These include such things as light housekeeping and meal preparation, remembering to take medications, shopping and running other errands, transportation, managing money and other factors that impact a senior's ability to continue living independently.
In addition to providing caregivers, some home care providers also offer technology solutions that supplement home care, providing security for seniors at times when family or professional caregivers are not present. These solutions include devices such as an emergency alert system that can summon help with the push of a button when a senior becomes ill or falls at home. Other devices include fall detectors and medication management systems that remind seniors to take their pills. These technology solutions serve as a virtual caregiver when a senior is reluctant to have in-home care.