Concern about an elderly parent’s ability to remain safe and healthy at home can weigh on you. Whether you live near your elderly loved one or thousands of miles away, you may be considering hiring someone to help them at home.
If your elderly loved one is like 90% of older Americans, they live in a private home either alone or with family – perhaps with you. Even elders who live with family can benefit from paid homecare providers occasionally, every day for a short or long period, or to provide respite care when family members are not able to provide care. Their need for care may change with illness or injury, for example.
Learning about the types of care available and what a caregiver can provide can help you to make the right decision for your loved one.
What is Home Care?
Home care is service provided in a residence or wherever a person calls home. Home care can also be provided for someone temporarily in a hospital, a rehabilitation center, an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or hospice. The goal is to help the recipient feel like they are at home and provide one on one compassion, care and special needs attention. Home care assists aging individuals, as well as those with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
What does Home Care provide?
Home care can assist your elderly loved one in a variety of daily living activities and provide non-medical help to your elders as they go about their day. Home care providers do not have the training necessary to provide medical care but may work in conjunction with other medical care providers in your loved one’s home. Home health care is very specific to your elderly loved one’s short-term medical needs, such as recovery from a stroke or injury.
You won’t need a doctor’s prescription to hire a home care provider for your elderly loved one. As is the case with SmithLife Homecare, you can hire a home care provider to be with your loved one every day for a few hours, or 24/7.
Help with the ADLs
Your loved one’s primary health care provider may have mentioned ADLs, or activities of daily living. These are routine things many of us can do on our own. The six ADLs include the ability to independently:
- Walk, switch or transfer from one position to another, e.g., move from laying down in bed, to sitting, or going from sitting to using a walker or wheelchair;
- Bathe and groom;
- Use the toilet; and
- Maintain bladder and bowel continence
A home care provider can help a person with all of these activities, although your loved one’s need for different types of assistance may change from day to day.
If the person in their care has difficulty sitting up or getting out of bed, they will help them do so safely. They may help them onto and off of the toilet, in and out of the shower or bathtub. If the person uses a wheelchair, the personal care worker can help them transfer to and from the chair.
Homecare providers might remind your elder to take medication on time and to drink enough fluids to ward off dehydration. They may provide or arrange for transportation to and from medical appointments, escorting your loved one. You may ask them to run errands.
While taking care of your loved one, they also provide companionship. These aides may play games with them or engage in hobbies that bring your loved one joy. If your elder has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may be able to supervise them in the home.
Reputable home care agencies view safety as the highest priority. SmithLife has Certified Home Safety Experts that come to your home and provide a free safety assessment. We use smart technology, powered by ClearCare, to create a unique home care experience for clients, caregivers, and referral sources. View our home safety video to learn more.