You hear the stories and worry, “Will that happen to my loved one?”. Or, you look at the costs and wonder, “how could we ever afford that?”.
Sending a loved one to a nursing home can seem daunting to both the family and their elderly loved one. There is, however, another way. More and more families are choosing home health services as their health care option.
Home health care is great for elderly loved ones who want to maintain a sense of independence and age within their own home. There are many steps you can take to make their home more safe and comfortable, like adding in a wheelchair ramp or modifying their bathroom.
But, they also need someone to help them at home and make sure they’re doing well. That’s where home health care comes in. There are many benefits to home health care. Your loved one will be able to stay comfortably in their own home as they gradual age and need more care.
Less pricey and provides custom care plan
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are a huge industry in America today. Every family wants the best for their family member. But, they often can’t afford the high costs needed for adequate care.
If your loved one is somewhat capable of their own care, and only need help in certain areas, home health care is a great option. In this case, home health care is statistically half the price of a skilled nursing home. When you hire home health nurses and caretakers, you are employing a small, consistent team of people to care for your loved one.
These skills nurses will also know the exact custom care plan your family member needs. They can help your loved one follow a specific treatment plan and help advocate for their care. Whereas in a nursing home, they will not receive much one-on-one care.
Helps with activities of daily living (ADL)
A home health aid will help your loved one with any daily living tasks. According to the independence and ability of your family member, they will provide:
- Help with personal hygiene, such as bathing, grooming, brushing teeth, nail and hair care
- Help with properly using the bathroom
- Help with getting dressed appropriately
- Help with feeding and drinking
- Help with walking and transitioning from different positions
Keeps them safe at home
Besides installing a walk-in tub and wheelchair ramp, having a home health care worker can help keep your loved one safe. Do you ever worry if they have fallen or hurt themselves? It can be nerve-racking to leave an elderly adult home alone.
Thankfully home healthcare workers are trained in keeping a close eye on your loved one. They will also be trained in any necessary emergency measure including first aid and CPR. With a trained professional at home, you don’t need to worry about your loved one’s safety.
Gives homecooked nutritious meals
As people age, they often lose the ability or enjoyment for cooking their own meals. This can lead to malnutrition and a variety of health problems. It’s life-threatening especially for those with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Home health aides can help with meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and serving meals. They can help your family member follow a nutrition plan from a dietician and give gentle reminders of what and when to eat.
Manages medications and therapies
Many older adults take a variety of medications and supplements. Do you ever fear that they will forget to take it or maybe even take too much? A home health aide can help with this.
Home health workers will help organize and give medication. They can also teach your loved one more about each pill they are taking and why. This goes for physical and occupational therapies as well. They will help your loved one follow the exercises given by their therapist.
Gives them a companion
Loneliness and isolation are common issues with older adults. Maybe they are unable to get out as much as they would like, or they don’t really know where to meet with other likeminded people.
A home health aide would give them a consistent friend who is willing to help. Not only can they engage in activities at home, such as board games or going for walks, but they can also provide transportation. If your loved one enjoys attending senior day centers or a religious center, then a home health aide can help them get there.
Respite for Caregivers
If you are the main caretaker for your loved one, it can be exhausting. Not to mention the negative side effects is can have your relationship. Older adults can struggle with a sense of dignity when a family member does a majority of their care. It can be embarrassing to be seen as weak or needy.
Home health aides and nurses can give both people a break. You are able to get some time off and not worry about their well-being. And, they can receive care from a professional.
Maybe you or your loved one is nervous about at-home health care. Respite care is a great option for both of you. Talk with your family member about having someone care for them just for a few days to a week. You can ease into a transition from you being the primary caregiver to having a professional take care of them.
Many Older Adults Want to Stay Home
You will find that most older adults would prefer to age in their own home, or at least stay there as long as possible. With home health care, that is possible. You can rest assured that your loved one is being taken care of one-on-one instead of juggled in a group of other seniors.
It’s also helpful to recognize that most people don’t go from being completely independent to needing 24/7 care. Home health care is a good way to ease into senior assistance. Maybe it starts with just a few days per week or a couple of hours a day.
You have the option to help your loved one get the care they need in their own home. Sit down and talk with your family member about their wants and needs. Home health care could be a great option for them.