Home Care: When Is It Appropriate?
There are many different times home care can be helpful. Sometimes just a short period of care at home is enough to make a difference, but more often families may decide that they need an extended period of elderly care in the home for an older family member. Here are a few of the most common reasons home care is often the most appropriate solution:
When a person needs additional support with their daily activities
If an older person becomes frailer or weaker, either through illness or an age-related issue, extra care at home may be needed for them to remain safely in their own home. This requirement may occur while they recuperate after an illness or accident, but is frequently an ongoing condition.
People with a disease such as Alzheimer’s may need dementia care from a caregiver who has received training in looking after people with dementia. This support can enable the person to remain in the home they love rather than needing to be admitted into residential care. A person’s quality of life can be so much better when they have the appropriate care at home, and they can maintain a higher level of independence with the right support.
When a person’s spouse has died
After many years of marriage, the death of a spouse can come as a severe blow to an older person. Sometimes the person who has died is the one who did the caring, so the person who is left alone needs extra help with the tasks they find difficult.
Assistance with meals, gardening or housework are common reasons for needing in-home care, and loneliness means that they may also want companionship. If this is the case, live in care may well be the ideal solution for them. In addition to helping with daily tasks, a live-in carer may be able to support the person in other ways such as driving and enabling them to keep in touch with friends in the wider community.
Mikis’ care story
In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care. They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.
When a family carer needs to take a holiday
Many older people living at home receive care from a relative, such as a spouse, daughter or son. If the caregiver needs a break to take a holiday or simply becomes fatigued, an organisation that can arrange in home care will take the pressure off while supporting the older person’s desire to remain independent living in their own home.
This is especially beneficial when the older person needs Alzheimer’s care, as chronic conditions like dementia can make caring for an elderly relative very stressful and challenging as their health deteriorates. Private care in the home can enable family carers to continue looking after a loved one.
Following a severe medical episode
If a person has suffered a stroke or heart attack, has a bad fall or undergoes major surgery, help in the home may be needed. In some cases this may need to be 24/7 care, so it may be necessary to arrange private live-in care. Sometimes, discharge from hospital is dependent on the person having suitable arrangements for elderly care set up in their home before it is deemed appropriate for them to return home.
When a person has a chronic illness
If a person has a chronic condition such as dementia, care may be needed in the home to help family carers to cope as the older person increasingly loses their cognitive and physical abilities. Sometimes mobility problems can make it necessary for a family carer to have assistance with transferring and providing personal care to their loved one. They may also need help during the night, so even when there are family members present, they often cannot manage to deliver all the care the person needs.
People living alone who have a chronic condition or illness often benefit from having elderly care from a caregiver who lives in the house with them 24 hours a day. In this case, live-in may be the only appropriate care solution unless they are willing to leave their own home and move into a care facility.
At the end of life
Care at home from professional carers can provide emotional and physical support that helps to make the elderly care recipient more comfortable as they draw towards the end of their life. The experience a care professional can bring at this difficult time can make it easier for both the care recipient and their family. Having someone available twenty-four hours a day means that the elderly person need never be alone at the end of their life.
Home care can be extremely flexible and customised for your specific needs. Unlike in residential care, an older adult is more likely to be looked after by the same carer, which provides familiarity, companionship and makes life more comfortable. Options for care in the home include twenty-four-hour care, short breaks for family caregivers, care in the home in an emergency, visits daily or several times a day or whenever needed.
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