If you are discussing senior living options with your elderly loved one, there is one type of senior care that you should not leave out of the conversation, home care. Many seniors would prefer to stay in their own home for as long as possible and that’s just what home care does. With in-home care, seniors can remain in their familiar surroundings no matter the level of care necessary.
As they grow older most seniors want to stay in their homes. When making decisions about your senior’s living options, keep them in the conversation and see if staying in their home is something that is important to them. If you have the budget and resources, home care will allow your senior to age in place.
What Exactly is Home Care?
Home care is a senior care option that allows seniors to remain in their home, but still receive the necessary levels of care. The level of assistance can range anywhere from companionship, all the way up to skilled nursing or memory/dementia care.
Though typically more expensive than the other care types, it also gives the most flexibility for seniors and allows them to stay in their home longer. Home care aides or nurses may visit for just a few hours a few days a week, or can actually live in your senior’s home and provide 24-hour support.
Should My Senior Stay Home?
There are a number of important factors you will have to consider to make the best long-term senior care choice. Here are some of the issues you should assess:
Is you or your senior’s home located in a rural or suburban area that might make it hard for them to get to appointments or shopping? Do you live in a place where public transportation is safe and reliable? If it is hard for a senior to leave their home, they may start to feel lonely and isolated. When choosing home care, it is important for seniors to be able to still be able to do the things they love.
Making the home safer for your senior can allow them to live there longer. Is it possible to install ramps, grab bars, or other safety modifications in the home? Can a senior have a bedroom moved to the ground level of the house so they can avoid stairs and reduce their risk for falls? Is your senior able to take care of the household maintenance, such as cleaning, laundry, or gardening? Can they safely prepare meals for themselves?
Depending on the needs of your senior, they may need constant supervision. Are their friends and family nearby to check-in on your senior and help when necessary? Will they still be able to help if the needs of the senior increase (such as needing help using the bathroom or bathing,etc)? This is important to think about especially if your senior already has a chronic condition that is expected to worsen over time. Think about how you and your senior will handle any future health or mobility issues.
Of course, one of the most influential factors will be the amount of money you can spend on home care for your senior. Home care is typically paid by the hour and could end up costing more than other senior living options. Unless a senior meets specific requirement regarding their care, Medicare may not be able to cover it.
Finding a home care provider
Once you have decided that in-home care is the best choice for your senior, you will want to find an in-home caregiver that you trust and feel comfortable with. You have two options when choosing an in-home caregiver: full-service agencies or registries and independent providers.
Caregivers from full-service agencies tend to cost more than independent providers. This is because these health aides come fully vetted from the agency, including identification verification and background checks. You also won’t have to worry about taxes or billing issues because the aide is employed by the agency. If your caregiver quits or calls in sick, typically the agency will find a replacement in a timely manner.
Independent Providers and Registries
Independent providers come at a lower cost, but leave a lot of work for seniors or their primary care provider. If hiring from an independent provider, you will need to do your own verification and background checks. You will also need knowledge of tax and social security information because you will be hiring this person as your own employee. You will also be responsible for replacing your caregiver should they quit, leaving you to start the process all over again.
If you and your senior decide that home care is the right option for you, you can check out our SeniorCaring in-home care providers in your local area!