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February 25, 2014

Home Care Promotes Better Senior Health

In numerous ways, home care improves the health and well-being of seniors.

Health benefits of home care include improved immune function, fewer illnesses, improved nutrition, better physical, mental and emotional well-being, and extended longevity. Seniors can gain all these benefits from home care despite the fact that home care providers do not provide medical services.
Many of the health benefits stem from the fact that home care prevents seniors from becoming isolated. Isolation alone can have a detrimental impact on seniors' health as it leads to depression, which also negatively affects the physical health of seniors.

When seniors become isolated, they are less likely to take good care of themselves, to take their medicine as prescribed, or to eat complete, nutritionally balanced meals. The result is poorer health.

Family caregivers and caregivers provided by home care agencies see to the needs of seniors and make sure they do not neglect their health. Health-promoting services provided by home care providers include the following:

  • Meal preparation. Home care providers prepare meals based on their senior clients' medical and nutritional requirements and restrictions. And they often eat with their clients, a practice that has been shown to encourage seniors to finish more of their meals for optimum nutritional gain. Having a meal companion staves off not just hunger but also loneliness and depression, for an improved mental outlook. And good nutrition helps support a more active, healthful lifestyle.
  • Medication management. Home care providers help make sure seniors take their medication as prescribed so they get the full health benefits from it. They remind their clients to take their medicine, help them read the small print on pill bottles, and remove stubborn pill bottle caps--anything short of administering the medicine. 
  • Opportunities for active living. As they provide routine caregiving services, such as housekeeping and help with personal care needs, home care providers find ways to involve their senior clients in activities that exercise their minds and bodies--from working on puzzles and reminiscing to taking walks in the neighborhood. This all contributes to improved physical and mental well-being.
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