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How to Know When to Switch to In-Home Care

“What is home care?” and “How do I  know it’s time to transition to assisted-living?” are questions that many children, grandchildren, and other loved ones must make for their loved ones. It can be difficult to conceptualize allowing someone to come into your home or family member’s home.  How do you help someone keep their independence while still keeping them safe and comfortable? How do you care for someone for a bulk of the day while still providing personal space, privacy, and downtime?  What if the personalities of the client and provider aren’t compatible? These are all valid concerns and are important to consider before proceeding.

How to Know When It’s Time

Most home care requests are planned, and families typically take the time to research and evaluate many options. However, it isn’t uncommon for families and clients to need a faster response in situations as a result of an emergency.  Home care was created to assist a wide range of seniors and their families. People frequently choose home care when they’re ill, need assistance with daily activities as a result of the aging process or are recovering from surgery.

  • Some seniors need homemaking assistance with tasks like cleaning and cooking
  • Other seniors need medical assistance with post-op care, bathing and more
  • Another type of client to receive home care are those affected by memory loss /difficulties such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Memory care typically requires 24-hour assistance to keep the client safe and content.

Why In-Home Care Instead of Moving to a Facility?

Many seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible as their home is their safe, familiar space where they feel they have autonomy. Some seniors find that moving to an assisted living community or nursing home means starting over with foreign people, places, and an interrupted schedule. With in-home care, independence is assured and is associated with higher confidence levels and happiness. For example, you have hip replacement surgery and you go back home to a physical therapist who helps your recovery, you are able to sleep in your own bed, eat your own food and rest well in a familiar place.  Home care workers also offer rest for the person’s spouse or other caregivers.

Types of In-Home Care

Not all in-home care is the same. Some are more intensive than others.

Licensed Medical Professional Care

For activities and tasks like paying bills, getting to appointments, and staying on schedule with any deadlines without the need for any medical care, a licensed medical professional can be helpful. These professionals include physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and home health aides who work alongside physicians.

A recent survey by Home Instead Senior Care breaks down the in-home care types of 1,600 seniors:

  • 60% used home-health nurses
  • 59% used physical therapists
  • 32% used occupational therapists
  • 37% had at least one in-home visit from a PA or nurse practitioner
  • 17% had an in-home visit from a physician

Non-Medical Paraprofessionals Care

Non-medical paraprofessionals include home health aides, personal care attendants, homemakers, companions. Home health aides provide hands-on care and assistance to with assisting daily living tasks like cooking, shopping, and laundry at home. Homemakers or companions provide services such as housekeeping, transportation, and companionship. This is a common option for clients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

 Defining Activities of Daily Living 

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Grooming
  • Oral Care
  • Walking or using a wheelchair

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Change linens
  • General shopping
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparations
  • Managing money
  • Medication management

Financing In-Home Care

There are a variety of options for paying for in-home care including both private and public funds:

  • Private pay
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Grants
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Medicare / Medicaid
  • Veteran’s Administration

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