The advances in modern technology and the medical field have made it much easier for seniors to live longer, fuller lives. This means there are more elderly people than ever choosing to age in their own homes. Unfortunately, as they age, many seniors aren’t as independent as they once were, so living alone makes it difficult to do everyday tasks. Most seniors rarely go from having total independence to the need for round-the-clock care, but there is often a need for additional assistance and home health care. Fortunately, when the time comes that your senior loved one needs additional help, from a home health aide to private-duty nursing, there are a range of in-home care options available. If you are considering in-home care for an elderly loved one, here are some of the benefits that come with enlisting the assistance of home health care services.
1. Personal hygiene
It is important for seniors, especially elderly individuals who are homebound, to have the proper hygienic care. Unfortunately, many seniors find it difficult to shower or bathe without assistance, so they may delay showering or bathing, which may result in health problems, such infections. A home health aide can assist your senior loved one with their personal hygiene needs, including showering, grooming and dressing.
2. Light household chores
Maintaining a clean, safe and healthy living environment is critical for seniors. Unfortunately, many seniors who choose to age at home may struggle with the daily demands of household chores. In home care situations, aides can assist your senior loved one with a wide range of household chores, including:
- Basic cleaning.
- Lawn work.
3. In-home safety
Safety is an important issue for seniors. Private home care often provides safety services, such as being present for assistance for those who have mobility issues and/or trouble getting in and out of bed. One of the most invaluable services provided by in-home care providers is communication with family members. The key to creating a safe home for senior loved ones is to have open and productive communications with the family members about potential hazards and what the best ways are to make changes. Whether it’s helping to clear out clutter that may cause potential falls or suggesting changes, such as the addition of night lights, in-home care providers will work with residents and their families to make the changes necessary for a safer home environment.
4. Nutrition and meal preparation
Malnutrition is unfortunately a common problem among the elderly, either because they are unable to get out and go shopping or they have difficulties cooking for themselves. Seniors aged 65 and over, people with recent hospital discharges, and those with chronic health conditions have a high risk of poor nutrition. Also, those who are bedridden and/or have injuries are at a high risk of loss of muscle and body mass. Home health care services often include nutritional counseling as well as assistance grocery shopping and help with meal preparations, which ensure your senior loved ones are getting the nutritious foods they need to stay healthy.
Whether it’s assistance getting to doctor’s appointments, social outings or the grocery store, home health care providers often provide transportation for seniors who don’t have access to transportation. In addition to driving your senior loved ones to appointments, health care aides often remain with your loved ones, ensuring someone is with them while they speak to doctors and other medical providers.
6. Companionship and socialization
One of the best benefits that you can expect when utilizing in-home care services for your senior loved one is the opportunity for interaction and socialization with others. Home health care agencies can assign in-home aides and companions who will visit your senior loved on a regular basis. During these visits, your loved one will have someone to go on short walks with, play games with, do puzzles with, or simply talk with. In most situations, the basic companionship and ability to interact with in-home care providers can work wonders on a senior’s emotional well-being and overall health.
7. Medication management
One of the most common difficulties seniors struggle with is maintaining their medications, especially if they are on multiple prescriptions. In-home private duty nursing can help to ensure that your senior loved one is taking the right medications, at the right times, which can help to control health conditions as well as prevent the risk of dangerous drug interactions and overdosing.
8. Break for caregivers
If you are a full-time caregiver to your senior loved one, it can become a stressful and overwhelming situation. Many in-home care services offer brief in-home visits as well, when a home health aide or home care nurse sits with your loved one while you get some rest or run errands. In-home caregivers can help with a wide range of tasks, such as providing companionship while you take a well-deserved break, offering health monitoring and/or spending the night so your loved one isn’t left alone.
9. Shorten hospital stays
After suffering an injury or illness that requires a hospital stay, many seniors are often transferred to a skilled nursing facility for nursing home care to complete their recovery. Home health care services and private duty nursing allow seniors to go home for recovery after a hospitalization. The availability of in-home care often reduces the amount of time in the hospital and helps to prevent re-admissions.
Home care services are generally customized to meet the needs of each individual. In-home care is available from just a couple of hours per week to full-time, including overnight. Although the type of in-home care needs vary from one person to another, one of the best benefits that come with utilizing in-home care services is that seniors can continue to live independently.