It comes to an age where one can no longer take care of themselves, necessitating home healthcare. When you have aging parents who need some assistance to do tasks, it might be time to address the subject of home care. And while this may seem like a tough conversation, you need to have it because, at one point, you might not be able to handle taking care of your parents and attend to other things. You can start by inquiring about home care services from your friends or colleagues. You can even ask your parents. Maybe they know a home healthcare agency through their friends.
One of the advantages of home health care is the convenience it provides. Older adults can still stay in a familiar environment and still receive the care they need. Another benefit is the personalized nature of the care the adults receive. The caregiver tailors the care plan according to a person’s specific needs, which helps establish some trust. When choosing an aide home health caregiver, talk to the people given as references to ensure you are picking the right person. Remember, you want someone reliable and dependable. A nurse who accepts fees from a home health agency because of referrals may not be the best person for the job. As much as this is a job, you also want someone that will prioritize the needs of your elderly parents.
Just as your family was getting ready for two pretty big adjustments you were hit with another major decision. Your youngest daughter started her freshman year in high school and all of the adjustments that involved. Your oldest daughter moved 12 hours away for her freshman year in college and those adjustments were even more challenging. As second semester began and both girls seemed to adjusting to their new settings and their new schedules, your sister called and said that it looked like it was time to help your 83-year old dad make some decisions as well.
After enjoying years of really good health and a very active lifestyle, your dad is starting to show signs that he may not be able to live at home alone anymore. At least not with some help.
Helping Aging Parents Find Ways to Stay in Their Own Home Promotes Continued Physical and Mental Health
It likely comes as no surprise that more than 90% of Americans age 65 or older who were surveyed about their plans for long term care admit the same thing. They have not talked about critical long-term care issues with the most important people in their lives, including spouse or partner, aging parents or adult children. While we have become a nation that is focused on good health and living a full life, we appear to also be a nation in denial.
Obviously, most people will reach a point in their lives when they may longer be able to care for themselves. Making plans ahead of time, while sometimes difficult discussions to have, can make the aging process easier to handle. Some of the things that you might consider are what plans you might have that could help your parent stay in his or her home even when they need help:
- Meal preparation. Getting proper nutrition is important at any age. As people age though, this basic task can become difficult. Many home health care options, however, can make this part of the living at home equation easier to solve. While some home health care options include a live in caregiver who can make all of the meals, other options include meals being delivered. Some small communities, in fact, offer this service as a way to cover the cost of keeping nursing home kitchens up and running. Subsidized by the state, for instance, inexpensive meals can be made and delivered to elderly people who are still able to live in their home, but not able to cook for themselves. With elder care healthy nutrition taken care of, many people can stay at home longer than they might have expected.
- Supervision of medication. Few people reach their retirement years without needing daily medications of some sort. As in-home care options continue to expand, home health care services also provide ways for patients at home to more easily monitor their medication. Again, in home care is one option that makes medication management easy. Another option though is individually packaged and dated blister packs that can include all of the medications needed for a single day. Rather than having to sort through a series of confusing pill bottles, these blister packs can help patients still living at home. Additionally, home health care personnel can be scheduled to call the home during specific times of the day to check on the administration of medicines.
- Personal and Home Cleanliness. Cleaning tasks can quickly become overwhelming for people of all ages. Elderly people often lack the strength and stamina to maintain a home. Personal hygiene can become especially difficult if the bathroom and kitchen are not kept as clean as they should be. Of all of the issues that might dictate someone being unable to live at home, this need is the easiest to solve. Home health care options can provide house cleaning as well as daily or twice weekly bathing options.
By 2010, nearly 12 million individuals received care from 33,000 health care providers. These services were for acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disability, and terminal illness. Those services for the 12 million individuals were projected to be $72.2 billion. Home health care is a growing industry to serve a growing need.