As adults, we love our independence and want to hold onto it as long as possible. However, as we age, we find things that we cannot do on our own, or that we cannot do as well as we once could — being independent means being safe and asking for help when necessary. That’s one reason why home care is an excellent option for aging in place. What does home care mean? Let’s break it down.
It is not home health care
It’s important to understand the difference between “home care” and home health care. Home health care is clinical care that is provided by a skilled medical professional and can be prescribed as part of continuing care plans after hospitalization. It may include various types of therapy and is often funded by Medicare. The two types of care can work hand in hand, as in-home care is often advised in addition to home health care.
It is companion care
Companion care is perfect for seniors who are generally healthy and seeking company. The primary goals of companion care are to provide emotional support and engagement, maintain a safe environment, and provide company. Also, a companion may also:
- Take you shopping, or do it for you
- Pick up prescriptions
- Accompany you to movies or events
- Take you out for lunch or dinner
- Bring you to family gatherings and provide support and assistance
- Play games, do puzzles or watch TV with you
- Bring you to church services
It is home management
In addition to companion care, home care can include household tasks to keep things orderly in the home and help maintain a safe environment for aging in place. Some home management tasks may include:
- Light housekeeping — like dusting, vacuuming, changing bedding and doing laundry, ironing, organizing drawers or closets and keeping the bathroom and kitchen clean and tidy
- Meal preparation — which may include planning menus, shopping, cooking and serving meals, managing food storage, and assisting clients who are unable to feed themselves
It is personal care
There may come a time when someone is unable to do the daily activities that we all take for granted. When this happens, an in-home caregiver can provide hands-on assistance.
Accepting help with personal care is often stressful; trying to go it alone can be overwhelming. While it isn’t easy to ask for help, a little assistance from a professional caregiver can go a long way to help you safely age in place.
Depending on the situation, in-home care can range a couple of hours a day to help you get going in the morning, overnight to ensure safety during nocturnal wake-up times, and even 24-hour care.
A professional personal care aide can assist you with activities like:
- transferring to and from the bed and/or wheelchair
- hands-on assistance when walking
- using the toilet and helping with incontinence care
- remembering to take medication
But wait, there’s more
While the above is a pretty good list of the tasks are offered with home care, there is more that is available. Do you or your loved one need help with other daily tasks like scheduling doctor appointments or sorting mail? Have memory issues begun to make it challenging to be alone? Don’t be afraid to ask your home care provider to assist with whatever needs you might have. If you have questions or wish to discuss home care further, please feel free to contact our offices and speak to one of our home care professionals.