Care services for elderly living at home is, for many the preferred option to moving into a long-term care residence to get the assistance they need.
Home care services are the right choice for those who need minor assistance with daily activities. There are a range of home care services available to help older people maintain their independence within the comfort of their own home.
Before deciding whether staying in your own home is the best option and appropriate to your current needs, you need to weigh-up your situation:
- Accessibility– are you in a rural location and a fair distance from the local town or city? Is there a local public bus service you can use to get to the shops and places where you can have social interaction? Can emergency services reach you easily?
- Adaptability of your home– how confident and capable are you negotiating any stairs in your home? How easily can structural changes be made to cater for your mobility such as wheel chair access or use of a walking aid? Is your bath or shower big enough to be adapted for safe entry and exit?
- Companionship –Do you have family and friends close by? How often do they visit or invite you over? What is your proximity to community services and social activities? Companionship can give you the purpose you need to keep going. Without social connections and support you will start to feel lonely – especially during the winter months.
- Mobility –If it becomes difficult or impossible for you to leave home without help, you will start to feel isolated, lonely and depressed.
- Medical conditions– do you or a loved-one for whom you are seeking help suffer from a chronic illness, which is likely to worsen over time? If so, you would need to decide how you are going to handle the administration of medication and any complications that are likely to happen?
- Financial – your financial
By answering these questions you will know whether home is where you or a loved-one should remain for the foreseeable future and steps to take to have some help. Home care services cover most of the things that a healthy, younger person would be done for himself or herself on a daily basis. Home care services can range from an hour to a few hours everyday of the week.
Services for elderly living at home
- Domestic help– this is often the starting point where elderly people start to struggle and if help is not available will neglect the upkeep of their homes and risk their health by not consuming the right foods. This service includes laundry, ironing, cleaning and general household duties. It is about trying to stick to the routines you have already established and help to maintain them as best as possible.
- Personal care – such as helping you to dress yourself, preparation of meals, bathing and brushing hair.
- Errands – Shopping and collection of prescriptions
- Medication administration– ensuring correct dose is taken at prescribed times.
- Companionship – this service offers peace of mind for family members who may not be able to be with elderly family members as much as they would like due to work and other commitments.
- Post-surgical support – care may be needed during whilst recovering. A care plan will ensure you are taken care of as soon as you are discharged from hospital and helps to give your body the best chance of healing by allowing you to stay off your feet.
While most older people express a preference to staying in their own home and within a community they are familiar, they struggle to adjust to the lose of independence when they can no longer cope on their own. Research has shown that, as tough as it is, older people would far rather call on home care services than having to move into residential care.
Older people deserve to continue to enjoy a good quality of life for as long as their body and sole allows it. Home care services, therefore need to meet both social and emotional needs as well as helping with day-to-day tasks of cleaning and personal care.
No matter how frail or physically disabled they are, they want to go outside, continue friendships and take part in community life.
Loneliness is a major problem for older people living at home. There are high rates of depression and loneliness particularly among those with complex health problems or who have suffered bereavement, which social interaction can alleviate.
People who use home care services need to be made to feel motivated to take part in social activities and communicate with other people. This will help their moods stay more optimistic and offer a purpose in life despite their age and wellbeing.
For the elderly living at home who turn to home care services for help say that they value professionals who provide care that meet their own understanding of their needs. They also value home care workers who help to give them a feeling of being in control and of wellbeing – helping an elderly person feel valued goes a long way to lifting their spirits and gives them reason to feel happy.