~ by Richard Sgaglio
November is National Homecare Month. What better way to celebrate it than to provide information about home care and how to know if it can be right for a loved one? As we age we still want our independence. Many older Americans are choosing to stay in their homes longer and “age in place.” This trend allows people to remain in their family home surrounded by familiar furnishings that make them feel comfortable and safe.
But as we get older, certain activities that once seemed simple can become more difficult to manage. Bathing, dressing, cooking, laundry, and cleaning might leave a loved one exhausted or expose them to safety risks. Sometimes family and friends can help, but it can strain relationships when “quality time” gets replaced by care time. One way to make sure your loved one’s life at home is healthy and safe is to seek the assistance of a trained home health aide.
Having your own personal caregiver is one of the best and most comfortable options for seniors who would rather live in their own home but require additional help on an ongoing basis.
What Do Home Health Staff Do?
Home Health Aides (HHAs) are specially trained to work with people as they age. They can be an excellent resource to help Mom or Dad stay happy, healthy, and safe in their own home. Depending on needs and abilities, an aide can help with personal care, preparing meals, and chores around the house. They will help keep your loved one organized with medication and appointment reminders – even run errands when something is needed at the grocery store or a prescription needs to be picked up.
Although we most often think of HHAs as the primary caregiver for private in home care, there are other professionals who should be working in tandem with the HHA. A Registered Nurse (RN) will do care planning and management, as well as supervision of the HHA. The RN can also provide medication administration, wound care, and other services that require a higher level of care than can be provided by an HHA. Osborn Home Care can even send physical, occupational, and speech therapists to your home should you be able to benefit from these activities but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home to do so.
The Benefits are Many
Having a professionally-trained home care professional can help families in so many ways. Safety is a big concern for adult children when their parent ages in place and the risk of falls increases. Home health staff can offer suggestions to reduce tripping hazards and suggest other ways to keep your Mom or Dad safe and avoid unnecessary visits to the hospital.
Getting proper nutrition and managing medications can also be challenges to your loved one’s health as he or she gets older. When there is someone helping at home, people are more likely to take medications on schedule and have healthy choices at meal times.
Many of us will serve as a caregivers for a loved one at some point in our lives. When this happens, we often spend more of our time “doing” than simply visiting with them. Using home care services can reduce the burden of caring for a loved one and allow more quality time with them. There is a tremendous peace of mind knowing that your loved one is safe and well cared for, even if you can’t always be there.
Making the Right Choice
There are many reasons to consider home care options for a family member. Having a professional home health aide is less expensive than the costs associated with assisted living; the sense of well-being that your family will achieve is invaluable.
The best time to review these options is before there is major health issue. To arrange a complimentary assessment at home, please contact Osborn Home Care, (914-925-8221 in Westchester County, 203-641-7683 in Fairfield County) or visit www.osbornhomecare.org.
Please feel free to take our online Home Care Assessment. There is no cost or obligation to do so and it may help you determine if home care is right for you or a loved one.