I Know Nothing About Home Care, Where Do I Start?
Noticing concerning mental or physical changes in yourself or a loved one is important. Once a person gets past possible denial that something is not quite right, the next question is “What do I do now?” No need to panic. Initially, no one knows what resources exist. Home care services are available for people in this situation.
Home care is for people who are not ready for institutional care or who do not want to move out of their homes, but could use some assistance. It can be for people who live with relatives, but because of illness or chronic conditions, need additional support. It could be as simple as receiving extra help with daily activities that are now too exhausting. In addition, if your loved one is residing in an Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home, s/he may need more assistance than what is presently provided. The additional one-on-one care can make a huge difference.
When a family member is the primary caregiver, the situation often adds considerable stress to both the caregiver and the one receiving care. Frequently, when a non-family, trained caregiver is hired, the family observes their loved one is more willing to receive the help needed and becomes more compliant with such things as taking their medications on time. Oddly enough, the Aide can help the individual(s) feel more independent by helping with daily routines. This choice will allow the family caregivers more time for themselves and often the family relationship is strengthened.
Caregivers, who are Home Health Aides or Certified Nurse Assistants, are trained to care for people, physically and emotionally. Physical needs could include: helping with taking a shower, getting dressed, grooming, medication reminders, meal preparation, grocery shopping, transportation, doctor appointments or errands and light home making. Emotional needs could include: companionship, conversations, board games, cards, puzzles, going for walks, attending events and/or visits to and from friends or family.
Ways to learn about home care companies can be through Geriatric Care Managers, Case Managers employed at hospitals and rehab centers, your physician, through friends or your religious place of worship. Help is available to and for you, so do not let fear or anxiety keep you from researching, picking up the phone to call and asking questions about what is available in your specific geographic area. The sooner you begin, the faster you will experience relief.
Written by Golden Rule Home Care, Inc., of Massachusetts