As we grow older we have to strike a balance between independence and asking for assistance. Thanks to medical advances and new knowledge about health and fitness, longevity and quality of life are constantly improving. With a variety of homecare providers and services available, it is now possible for seniors to remain in the homes and communities that they have grown to love. Take advantage of as many or as few services as necessary to age gracefully without overextending yourself. What Can I Expect from Homecare Providers? Homecare providers work to help you with non-medical tasks and chores to lighten your daily burden. Often times, as we get older, taking care of ourselves while also maintaining a home can become too difficult. Rather than abandon a home we’ve raised a family in for a senior center or elderly home, homecare service providers can help us continue life as we know it at home. A caregiver can stop in daily or weekly to do some housecleaning, take you shopping, cook meals, or do some heavy lifting. If you have trouble driving, you can schedule a caregiver to drive you to and from doctor’s appointments. More personalized care is also available for those of us who need help getting dressed, bathing, grooming, or just moving about the house. You can expect to need more assistance as you get older, so remember that asking for help is normal, and trained professionals are available 24 hours a day. You may find one caregiver who you trust, or a small team of people who work to assist you as needed. If you do require medical or health-related services, you will need to find a certified nurse or therapist who can work with you at home. Home healthcare will generally be recommended by your physician as your medical needs escalate, and the costs can often be covered at least in part by your insurance. Available Services There is a wide range of services available to seniors who choose to live at home. If you don’t find the kind of customized help you are looking for in the list below, contact one of your local homecare providers to inquire further. • Assistant Homemaker – Covers routine household tasks like cooking, cleaning, shopping, and chores. • Personal Care – Ideal for seniors who have trouble grooming, bathing, or eating on their own. • Companionship – If you have outlived your life partner and many of your friends, a caregiver can stop by to call just to check-in on you and chat. • At-Home Health Care – These services range from speech to physical therapy – specially trained nurses or aides can provide respiratory therapy, administer shots, and monitor psychiatric care. Conclusion • Day Care – Senior centers often organize supervised daily activities for elderly members of the community who are interested in group activities and some added companionship during the day. • Respite Caregiver – If you rely heavily on a family member on a daily basis, a respite volunteer can take over for a few days when your loved ones need a break or vacation.
In my Grandmother’s later years she found a handsome boyfriend. He lived only a five minute drive away from her, but that distance felt more like the Atlantic Ocean. Both my grandma and her beaux had lost their ability to drive years before; my grandma from macular degeneration, and he from poor overall health. She began to worry about her ability to carry-out her simple everyday tasks and keep in contact with the man in her life. When the two of them separately made the decision to employ Homecare professionals, all that changed. They were like two teenagers with chaperones escorting them around town. The Homecare professionals, or Caregivers, provided the transportation that brought the couple together and helped keep them in communication throughout the day. Getting old is stressful enough. The amount of changes that people face as they reach into their older years is overwhelming. Compounding physical ailments, immobility, and the threat of needing to leave the comfort of their home for assisted care contribute to depression and anxiety in the elderly. When you’re ill or in recovery, nothing can match the security and comfort of your own home. Research proves that living at home creates a sense of mental and physical wellbeing for the elderly. For these reasons, Homecare can be a lifesaver, literally. Compared to nursing homes and hospitals, Homecare can be a cost- effective alternative and can help to postpone or prevent the need for other more expensive forms of care. It provides individualized assistance that’s tailored to your personal needs; helping you or your elderly loved ones maintain independence and dignity. I don’t know what my grandmother would do without extra help for her simple day-to-day tasks. Her Caregiver provides food preparation and diet monitoring, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, and hygiene assistance. My Grandmother is a very independent and strong-minded woman– you could even call her a “live-wire”– and I personally believe that having a Caregiver helps her maintain her spirit and sense of independence, allowing her to live in her own home, perform all her usual activities, remain social, mobile, and spirited. There are numerous Homecare agencies and private Caregivers that you can research individually online. It’s very important to screen all potential Caregivers for experience and credentials. Make sure you find a person who “gels” with you or your elderly family member. Some agencies even rotate caregivers if you need assistance around the clock. Getting a Caregiver is like adopting a new family member. Make sure they understand all the needs and preferences of you and your family. Allow for consistent communication and feedback.
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