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February 25, 2014

Home Care Services Promote Senior Independence

With the help of home care services, seniors can extend the time they are able to live independently in their own home.

In broad terms, home care services include:

  • Personal care services, which provide for seniors' personal, physical needs, such as assistance with hygiene and mobility
  • Companionship services, which include the companionship of a home care services provider who comes into the home to conduct a variety of household tasks while engaging the senior in conversation and shared activities, such as eating together and playing games

Following are examples of home care services in these categories:

Personal Care Services

  • Hygiene and grooming - These home care services provide the help seniors need, due to their diminishing physical abilities, to continue looking and feeling their best. By protecting their self-esteem and dignity, these services promote seniors' mental health.
  • Mobility and transferring assistance - These services, with the help of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers and lifts, help seniors maintain as active a lifestyle as possible, promoting their overall well-being, physical health and mental alertness. 
  • Toileting and incontinence care - These home care services also are critical in helping seniors maintain dignity and an optimal quality of life.
  • Specialized care - This may include home care services especially designed to promote the health and safety of persons with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, as well as supportive services to help promote the comfort and quality of life of persons receiving hospice nursing care.

Companionship Care Services

  • Light housekeeping - This includes interior cleaning, such as vacuuming, bathroom and kitchen cleaning, sweeping and mopping floors and straightening rooms. Laundry is another common home care service.
  • Nutrition - This includes preparing meals according to a senior's dietary requirements. These home care services are especially important as they provide seniors the energy and nutrients required to maintain as active and healthful a lifestyle as possible. Home care providers often eat meals with seniors to also promote their emotional well-being.
  • Medication reminders - Persons providing home care services are not qualified to administer medication to seniors, but they play an important health-promoting role by reminding seniors to take their medication as it has been prescribed.
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