At Home Elder Care Can Help People Maintain Their Independence


Mar 12, 2019

Elderly home care is designed to help older people receive the assistance they need and retain the independence they want. They may have age-related illnesses or disabilities that require close medical supervision, such as advanced diabetes or Alzheimer's disease.

However, they choose not to live in nursing homes where their freedoms and activities are restricted. Taking care of an elderly parent at home is usually less expensive than paying for a space in an assisted living residence or nursing home. A home care aide may visit the parent once or twice a week or whenever necessary. On the other hand, living in a nursing home costs a few thousand dollars a month on average. Most importantly, older people who receive home care want to age in a familiar setting and be surrounded by loved ones. There are numerous benefits of choosing home elder care.

The Important Questions

Q: Is Home Care the Same as Long-Term Care?

A: Home care is short- or long-term care that is provided for elderly people in their homes. Long-term care (LTC) is long-term care that is provided to those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. People who receive home care do not have to be chronically ill or afflicted with a physical or mental disability. Many have minor age-related health problems, such as arthritis or poor vision, and need minimal assistance with daily tasks. People who receive LTC have more serious needs, like needing help with feeding, bathing and taking medication. They usually have illnesses or injuries that cannot be cured or will not improve over time.

Q: Are All Home Care Needs the Same?

A: There are different types of clients who need home healthcare. So, their individual needs and the types of services differ significantly. Some elderly people have severe, chronic conditions and need constant care from qualified nurses. Some are unconscious in comas or remain on life support, hooked up to machines. Other clients are relatively healthy and only need assistance with a few tasks like driving or cooking. In addition, home care aides provide company if there are few family members or friends around. Home care is designed for people who have chances of improving and living normal lives, so it's not suitable for terminally ill patients.

Q: Are Professionals Needed?

A: A common myth is that home healthcare must be administered by licensed medical professionals. Although some home care providers are licensed nurses or aides, not all of them are qualified professionals. Many are the client's family members or unlicensed caregivers. In fact, family members may be better at taking care of their elderly parents or relatives than trained nurses are. Nurses care more about the patient's medical needs, while family members care more about personal and emotional needs. However, hiring professionals is recommended to handle serious tasks like administering medications.

Q: Is Home Care Expensive?

A: High prices are the most common concerns about home healthcare. People worry that they cannot afford to have a team of nurses enter their home every day and provide complicated medical services, even if they have insurance. In reality, home care is a customized treatment plan. Clients choose who their caregivers are, when they see them and how long they work. Some use the services of licensed nurses, while others do not. Some at home nurses work round the clock, while others visit their patients only once a month. All of the choices are left up to the client.

Q: Is Home Care the Best Chance for Recovery?

A: In many situations, home care is the best chance at recovering from a serious illness or disability. It's not designed to be a permanent living situation. Many home care providers encourage their clients to become more independent and complete tasks on their own. All of the medical equipment and services that patients need can be brought into their homes and plugged into electrical outlets. They do not have to enter a hospital except for emergency, life-threatening situations.


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