Aging is an inevitable part of life that you can't control. What you can control are your assisted living options.
According to AARP, 90% of senior citizens would prefer to receive in-home health care. Aging in place is growing in popularity among many people.
If given the choice, most people would opt to stay in the comfort of their own home versus entering an assisted living facility or rehabilitation center. Aside from the familiarity and comfort of being at home, there are many other benefits to in-home health care.
Here we'll cover what these benefits are and how choosing in-home health care may even improve your physical and mental well-being.
What is In-Home Health Care?
Are you or a loved one struggling to perform daily tasks? Has a recent medical diagnosis, injury or surgery created a need for assistance? If so, you're eligible for in-home health care.
While assisted living facilities offer support for aging adults, it's not the same person, individualized care you receive through at-home health care.
When hiring an in-home professional, you and your loved one can expect a certain high-level of care. Caregivers help patients perform daily tasks including personal hygiene, household chores, and medication administration. Many caregivers work closely with medical professionals and family members to provide the most comprehensive care possible.
In many situations, caregivers become much more than just a helpful set of hands. Relationships develop and bonds are made. This is what makes in-home health care the preferred method for aging and recovering seniors.
Not only does it help ease the patient's stress, but that of the family as well. In-home health care is a team effort that everyone benefits from.
The Benefits of In-Home Health Care
Speaking of benefits, if you're considering in-home health care in St. Louis, you probably want to learn more about it.
Let's first look at the many reasons to consider this form of assisted living and rehabilitation.
The Patient is Comfortable
This is the number one benefit of in-home health care services. Aging adults prefer to remain in the comfort of their own homes, regardless of their medical condition.
If they can receive the medical attention and recovery support they need in their own homes, why would they want to leave? Entering an assisted living or nursing facility can cause feelings of abandonment and displacement. This may lead to stress, anxiety, or even depression in some patients.
Your loved one's home is comfortable, safe, and familiar. They can sleep in their own bed, use their own bathroom, and relax in their own, personal space. This also means increased privacy and independence.
Less Stress and Anxiety
This benefit is for both the patient and family members.
If you've ever had a loved one in an assisted living facility you've likely worried about how they were being cared for. Were nurses and staff neglecting them? Did they feel lonely or isolated?
These are heartbreaking scenarios to consider.
When you utilize in-home health care, your loved one is guaranteed one-on-one care. They receive the undivided attention of the caregiver. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one is receiving the attention and care they deserve.
With diligent professionals on-hand, no medical issues or complications will go unnoticed. As the caregiver becomes more familiar with your loved one and their condition, they can recognize and detect any inconsistencies in their behavior or medical condition. This is paramount for the early detection of new ailments, the progression of others, and successful recovery.
As far as reduced stress and anxiety for your loved one, individualized care means less worry and uncertainty over the day-to-day routine. They begin to rely and depend on their caregiver's visit. They develop a personal connection and feel safe in a familiar environment.
Research shows that reduced stress and anxiety can improve the health of senior citizens.
Promotes Independence and Dignity
It's common for aging adults to feel ashamed or embarrassed by the need for assistance. No one wants to admit they're getting older, are struggling, or need help.
By taking advantage of in-home health care, aging seniors can preserve their dignity and strengthen self-help skills. Caregivers work one-on-one with patients, teaching them new ways to do things, encouraging independence and safe recovery.
This also promotes quality of life, giving patients a sense of purpose. Having a sense of purpose is directly connected with setting personal goals and self-growth. This can help aging adults find a reason to go on and the strength to fight and win their recovery battle.
Community Approach to Health Care
When you hire an in-home health care service, you're getting more than just access to a qualified caregiver. In-home caregivers work closely with both you, the family, and medical professionals involved in your loved one's care. This means comprehensive, cohesive care.
By communicating with doctors and medical professionals, the caregiver receives the full picture of the patient's medical condition. This also allows them to properly and safely administer medication.
As the family, you know your loved one better than anyone. By speaking with the caregiver, you can offer insight into the patient's needs, fears, dislikes, and struggles. This helps the caregiver treat the entire patient – not just treat their medical condition.
A community approach to health care guarantees no stone goes unturned and your loved one receives the highest level of care possible.
Diet and Nutrition Support
Research shows that an alarming 83% of aging adults are at risk for malnutrition.
Malnutrition in senior citizens is caused by several factors including but not limited to:
- Cognitive disorders like dementia
- Illnesses that require increased nutrition intake
- Loss of nutrients
- The inability to absorb nutrients
- Cognitive disorders (dementia)
- Bed rest
Lack of adequate nutrition can lead to increased weakness, fatigue, loss of lean body mass, and the inability to fight off infections. This is especially true following a surgery or injury that leaves the patient immobile and weak.
An in-home caregiver provides patients with nutritional counseling, including home-cooked meals. They can ensure your loved one receives adequate nutrition while encouraging them to eat a balanced, healthy diet.
All too often, meals in assisted living facilities go uneaten without notice. An in-home caregiver can closely monitor your loved one's nutritional intake.
Comparable or Better Health Outcomes
At no fault of their own, assisted living facilities are breeding grounds for germs and disease. While professionals try to cut down on the number of germs and bacteria, some things can't be helped.
At home health care allows your loved one to stay in a clean, healthy environment, protected from outside germs and infections. These outside agents can worsen the patient's current condition or infect them with a new, life-threatening one.
Research shows that in-home health care services offer comparable, if not better, health outcomes for patients.
Physical and Occupational Therapy Options
What many people don't realize is that assisted living facilities don't usually offer physical and occupational therapy, unless rehabilitation is part of the patient's care plan. At-home services cater to the patient's needs, which means daily occupational and physical therapy.
Physical activity is essential for aging adults. Not only does it help replace lost muscle mass, but it promotes healthy weight, strength, independence, and self-confidence.
If your loved one is recovering from an injury or surgery, they likely need to perform specific exercises and tasks to support the healing process. Caregivers can help with this.
Even if it's just for a few minutes a day, caregivers work closely with patients to address their specific needs. This is especially helpful following surgery or an injury that requires rehab as part of the recovery process.
Patients Receive Top-Notch Medical Care
Are you worried that hiring an in-home caregiver isn't sufficient for your loved one's medical diagnosis? Don't be. All caregivers are highly trained to treat your loved one's specific needs, including medication administration.
In fact, in-home health care services offer the same level of care patients would receive in a hospital setting. Doctors want to avoid sending patients to the hospital, if possible. By monitoring your loved one's condition at home and remaining in constant communication with doctors, caregivers can address most medical conditions on-site.
One in three senior citizens admits to feeling lonely. Isolation and lack of socialization are two leading causes of depression in aging adults. In-home health care provides more than just medical attention and assistance for your loved one. It also offers companionship.
Your loved one and their caregiver will quickly form a lasting bond. The caregiver will spend time getting to know the patient – asking about their life, their family, and their likes and dislikes.
Sometimes, all aging adults' needs are someone to lend an ear and engage them in conversation.
In-Home Health Care is an Affordable Option
All too often people think hiring an in-home health care provider is substantially more expensive than entering an assisted living or rehab facility. Depending on the level of care your loved one needs, in-home caregivers are an affordable alternative.
According to the National Associate of Home Care, nursing facilities can run you over $500 per day. The average cost of in-home health care services is under $150 per day.
Most in-home health care services are also substantially cheaper than a hospital stay. As previously mentioned, your caregiver will monitor your loved one's condition, doing everything they can to avoid admittance to the hospital.
Increased independence and emotional support will also work wonders for the patient's health. This may eventually lead to the need for fewer resources and assistance, reducing costs.
Signs Your Loved One Needs In-Home Health Care
Now that you understand the many benefits of in-home health care, let's discuss signs that your loved one might benefit from such services.
Lack of Personal Hygiene
Do you notice that your loved one is wearing stained or dirty clothing? Do their hair, fingernails, and teeth look unkempt?
Lack of personal hygiene can be embarrassing for many aging seniors. And it's also a sign that help is in order.
In-home caregivers will ensure your loved one is clean and properly taken care of each day. This promotes overall good health and wellbeing.
Resistance to the Idea of Leaving Their Home
Many elderly individuals become combative and resistant to the idea of being displaced. If your loved one refuses or is upset by the idea of leaving their home, in-home health care is a viable option.
Aging adults feel in control of their lives and decisions and family members can rest easy knowing they're loved ones are receiving the proper care and attention they need.
Family is Unable to Provide Care
The burden of caring for an aging parent or loved one often falls on family members. This can be both financially and emotionally taxing.
Whether you've been providing care for some time and are no longer able, or simply can't find the time or resources to do it, in-home health care takes the pressure off of you. You can also let go of the guilt of hiring help when you know that your loved one can remain at home.
Consider In-Home Health Care Today
Is your loved one recovering from recent surgery, injury, or illness? Do they need assistance in performing daily tasks?
If so, in-home health care can help your loved one recover and strengthen in the comfort of their own home.
Request a free assessment today to learn more about the services we offer.
In the meantime, browse our senior resource center for more beneficial information.