Senior Home Care (aka Eldercare) is often needed when normal conditions of aging result in additional needs for an individual in which they cannot provide for themselves safely or without the assistance of another individual (aka primary caregiver) or by a team of caregivers. These conditions often include: general weakness, weight loss, dementia, degraded personal hygiene, difficulty with ambulation, inability to safely operate a motor vehicle, decreased bone density, incontinence and an overall inability to safely perform necessary activities of daily living (ADLs).
Often, the additional needs of an aging individual become the principle responsibility of the spouse or another family member (aka the Primary Caregiver), whom quickly become overwhelmed by the responsibilities they have accepted or had thrust upon them. It’s these scenarios which rapidly develop that warrant the provisions and necessity for senior home care before the primary caregiver suffers a health-related event of their own. It’s never too early to look at some of the choices available and determine which are preferred and which are feasible.
There are many choices available, including: home health care, adult day care, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etal.; however, it is a widely held belief that most individuals prefer to stay in their homes and as a result, have the best long-term prognosis when they do stay in their homes or place of residence. Often, a combination of these choices become utilized in caring for an individual as determined by their preferences, medical condition, availability of family or other caregivers, financial ability and an availability of services in their geographic area.
The most preferred first choice is typically senior home care (aka home health care) during the initial stages of one’s aging process. This choice promotes dignity in aging, enhancing and prolonging one’s life, increasing quality of life and the overall health of the individual. Home Care allows more frequent contact between the patient, spouse and immediate family to the benefit of all while minimizing havoc and change in the patient’s life and their family’s lives. This preferred method can additionally be significantly prolonged via the use of skilled nursing (aka private duty nursing) if, and when, changes in the patient’s conditions warrant.
Care Team, and a small number of skilled nursing providers, offer this elevated level of medical care in coordination with a Care Team RN and the patient’s physician(s). These services often include: medication administrations, infusions, wound care and other advanced medical care not typically provided by most Home Health Agencies, Home Health Aides or family members. Care Team’s thirty plus years of experience and team of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses has vast knowledge and ability in this area of specialized medical care.
The remaining choices in senior care (assisted living nursing home, medical center) are often utilized when home health care is no longer an option. This often occurs when the patient’s medical condition requires immediate hospitalization, such as critical care or intensive care, or when it is not financially feasible to extend home health care beyond a certain period of time.
While home health care is among the lowest priced service of any industry (compare a Home Health Aide to an electrician or plumber), this cost, over time, can and often limits the length one can afford these services. When this is the case, one should look at determining the overall cost of home health services over a set period of time and determine the value of quality of life and benefits of prolonging one’s independence in their home vs the short and long term costs. In most instances, the projected costs over several months or years for home care services are considered well spent.
Senior home care is one of the most commonly provided home care services. As individuals age, their ability to functional and perform those activities of daily living they are accustomed to become more compromised. While this condition often occurs suddenly due to a health concern, it also may happen gradually. Senior home care is usually needed when the conditions over-burden the individual or their spouse or family (aka “Caregiver”) to the point where safety is being compromised. If services are delayed or not provided at the levels and duration needed, the added responsibilities on the Caregiver often leads to the degradation of their own well-being. Utilization of Senior Home Care services helps to prolong one’s quality of life while mitigating most of the negative concerns.