Many seniors have worked their entire lives to be able to afford their own home and are deeply attached to all the memories and comfort it contains. For their peace of mind and mental health it is often extremely desirable for seniors to remain in their own home for as long as possible. Home healthcare allows family members to arrange for their older relatives to remain in their own home and receive the health care they need at an affordable price. Home healthcare can take away many of the challenging decisions that relatives are faced with regarding the care of older family members; it allows them to receive the health care they require whilst remaining independent and in their own homes. Below we list some of the numerous benefits of seniors receiving home healthcare.
1. Senior family members can continue to enjoy home comforts
“There’s no place like home” as the saying is, and this is certainly true for seniors. Being able to remain in their own home is priceless for older people; having been there for so long, they know their way around a deeply familiar environment and neighborhood. This is particularly important for those suffering progressive cognitive degeneration from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, where being in familiar surroundings is a great benefit.
Many seniors rely on pets for companionship, and many care facilities will not allow pets on their premises. Apart from the heartbreak of having to leave a much-loved pet behind, it has also been shown that owning pets reduces loneliness, mitigates the risk of heart disease, and is soothing to dementia sufferers. Many home healthcare providers are happy to help seniors with the care of their pet as well.
2. Someone’s always there
Almost 5,000,000 families in the US have a senior member who needs care who lives a long way from their home. Using qualified home healthcare professionals means that a huge amount of worry is removed from families, and communications between the family and their senior member and health agencies, medical professionals and social care agencies are much easier.
Even if you live just round the corner from your senior relative, providing continuous health care for a family member can be deeply stressful; professional home healthcare workers can take some of the weight off your shoulders by allowing you to have days when you do not have to be a care provider, to take vacations, and so on.
3. Independence and dignity are preserved
Professional home healthcare workers can help seniors with any aspect of daily life that they find difficult, from bathing to dressing to grooming to remembering to take medication. Offering seniors this type of assistance allows them to retain the dignity and independence that is so easily lost in residential care facilities. Professional caregivers don’t just deal with health issues; they can often assist with household chores such as cleaning and vacuuming to ensure that the senior citizen enjoys a safe, clean, and healthy environment.
4. Expert professional nursing care in the home
It may be the case that your senior relative is suffering from conditions that require a greater level of care then you can provide, either because of time constraints or a lack of expertise. This does not mean that it is necessarily compulsory to move your loved one into an institution. Many professional home healthcare workers have received training and certification in nursing and can provide many of the same services as your senior relative would receive in a hospital. They can also assist with the administration of medication, making sure it is taken correctly and at the right time.
5. Assistance with nutrition
Seniors often need specialized diets to cope with illnesses and the body mass losses often associated with aging. Eating a healthy diet is crucial and not always easy for those who have problems preparing food and shopping for it. Professional home healthcare workers can ensure that your loved one is eating enough of the right sort of food, help them to prepare it, and advise them on what they should be eating.
One of the greatest concerns for seniors is that they may become isolated when they live on their own due to their inability to get out into their neighborhood and carry on with their daily tasks unassisted. Loneliness has been shown to be a key driver of mental health problems such as depression and also physical poor health. Professional healthcare providers offer seniors companionship and conversation, and they can help them to get out for shopping, medical appointments, entertainment, and exercise.
7. Personalized care
Professional healthcare providers can offer individual attention that helps create bonds of trust between seniors and medical professionals. Home healthcare providers can work to the schedule of their client, rather than the client having to work to the schedule of care providers as in assisted-living facilities. Home healthcare can be as flexible as you want it to be, anything from full-time provision to a few hours once a week to give you some respite.
Being able to afford long-term health care for a senior is an enormous concern for families. Home healthcare is enormously financially advantageous, with the average live-in facility costing around $544 daily and homecare costing an average $132 daily. Another economic benefit of home healthcare is that care workers can work alongside families, taking some of the caregiving pressure off them and so ensuring that they do not burn out and have to commit their loved one to a live-in facility earlier than necessary.
9. Home healthcare agencies
If you’re now convinced of the importance of home healthcare, you will have to decide between employing an independent home health aide or going to a caregiving agency. There are several things that need to be considered when making this decision.
If you hire an independent caregiver, you effectively become their employer, which brings numerous administrative duties with it, including sorting out taxes, worker compensation, healthcare liability insurance, unemployment insurance, and other such matters. Additionally, you may be liable for any injuries a caregiver incurs whilst in your employ. Agencies will ensure that their workers have full liability insurance and will also deal with all employment administrative matters.
12. Peace of mind
You will naturally want to ensure that your loved one receives care from a fully qualified and safe caregiver, but paying for background checks to guarantee that this is the case can be extremely expensive. A caregiving agency will be able to run a much more thorough check to make sure that your loved one’s caregiver is qualified, certified, and cleared as necessary.
Additionally, agencies must take out multiple healthcare insurance policies to cover for any events of theft or elder abuse that might regrettably occur, and they will be able to provide alternative care if your chosen caregiver is unavailable due to illness or other circumstances, something that can be a problem with individual independent workers.
13. Training and resources
An extra expense of hiring independent caregivers is that you can often be responsible for paying for them to be trained to meet any new standards or to help them learn new skills as required. Caregiving agencies take care of all training and ensure that nobody comes to look after your loved one who doesn’t have all the necessary training and certification to meet all their requirements.
As above, every caregiving agency is obliged to have full insurance, and any independent health caregiver should consider taking insurance out too. Visit this page for a full explanation of the types of insurance available and what it will cost.