Caring for seniors and our elders requires long-term care planning. But many family members become caregivers overnight without being ready for it. A loved one falls down or an illness triggers a change in responsibility. After a certain period of time, family caregivers may realize they need help and begin searching for other solutions for senior care, which may include home care. Senior care options like adult day centers, retirement facilities, and nursing homes may not always be right and can be expensive. Home health care usually means care services that enable seniors and others to live independently in their homes as long as possible. BrightStar Care can provide this valuable ongoing home care support.
Benefits of Senior Home Care
- Home is always associated with comfort, security and positive feeling. For seniors and for all of us, when we are not feeling well, we all want to be at home.
- Home care keeps families together while providing support.
- Senior home care can often be customized and personalized to a greater degree to suit both the needs of the senior and family.
- Home is where there is maximum freedom, security and comfort for the individual. Many times hospitals and nursing homes are more regulated. Home care offers much more flexibility.
- Provides seniors much needed dignity and independence. Seniors can continue to function independently with some assistance.
- Home care may be more cost efficient compared to other forms of health care. The patient does not have to pay for board/room expenses, food, etc.
- Moreover with advancement in technology many services that are available in the hospital can be provided at home.
6 Reasons to Consider In-Home Care
1) Safety. If your loved one should fall, have a seizure or experience another health-related emergency, an agency worker can contact emergency services, tend to your loved one, or even provide life saving service before help arrives.
2) Personal Care. In-home care providers can take care of bathing, nail filing, dressing, and toileting. In-home care providers are trained to provide professional service for demands ranging from simple to delicate tasks.
3) Medication Supervision. Workers will ensure your loved one is taking their medications on schedule, and can ensure they are refilled, stored properly, and can monitor for adverse effects.
4) Companionship. Having someone you trust to spend time with is vital for happiness, and with a capable and kind provider, your loved one will receive consistent companionship with loving care.
5) Meal Preparation. An in-home caregiver can ensure your loved one receives balanced, nutritious meals every day. Plus, they can keep your loved one company while they eat. They are also prepared to meet any dietary restrictions.
6) Errand Running. An in-home caregiver can run errands for your loved one, or even bring them along. Grocery shopping can be an enjoyable outing for many seniors if they have a companion.
BrightStar Care is ready to help. For more information about senior care services in Carlsbad, Oceanside or Vista contact your local BrightStar Care office or call 760-448-1021. We answer our phone 24/7/365, so you can always reach us for customer support.
Is It Time To Get Home Care Help?
Living in their own home is what most people want as they age. You want to make the right choices for their wellbeing and your peace of mind, and sometimes, the most difficult part is deciding if now is the time to hire home care help. It all starts with asking the right questions:
Are you worried they might fall and injure themselves?
Among the elderly, falls are one of the main causes of injuries, physical incapacity and even death. Every year, 3 million seniors are treated in the emergency room for fall injuries, and the related medical bills top $50 billion. Advanced age, frailty and pre-existing medical conditions decrease the likelihood that older individuals will recover from fall-related injuries. So, if you observe difficulty with balance, lower body weakness, foot/leg pain, trip hazards, or other risk factors for falling, take these signs seriously and get home care help before the first fall to avoid these sometimes catastrophic consequences.
Has their mobility declined?
As it gets more difficult to get around on their own, their happiness and wellbeing can suffer. Simple activities like getting in/out of bed, getting to the bathroom, reaching for items, and running errands become harder and can lead to decreased activity, declining health and depression. A home care aide can assist with a wide range of daily activities from dressing and personal hygiene to household tasks, meal prep, errands and more. Home care helps those with mobility challenges maintain their lifestyle with independence.
Are they eating right?
Nutrition is important for all of us, especially seniors. Besides asking what they eat, you can also look for telltale signs of poor eating habits. Are they losing weight? Are the cupboards and refrigerator stocked with healthy foods? Check expiration dates. Besides possible food poisoning, expired foods can be a sign your loved one isn’t making appropriate food choices. Home care can help monitor their intake, dispose of expired foods, prepare healthy meals, encourage healthier habits, and even do their grocery shopping.
Are they taking their medications properly?
Sadly, it’s quite common for elders to become forgetful or confused about their medications. Failing to take the right medication dosages at the right time can lead to adverse impacts on their physical and psychological wellbeing. Don’t just take their word for it. If they’re using a pill box, make sure the right compartments are full or empty. Check their med list, and make sure they are not out of anything critical. Check refill and expiration dates and count pills to look for signs they have been taking the right amounts. Caregivers can be an important part of your loved one’s support system, reminding them to take their medications and alerting others to any concerns they observe.
Are they maintaining grooming and hygiene?
Changes in personal hygiene are one of the first indicators that “all is not well” with an older person. Seniors are more susceptible to illness and infection, so poor hygiene can lead to serious medical consequences like infections from bacteria, fungi and parasites. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among both male and female seniors.
There are many reasons why Hygiene may deteriorate suddenly or gradually over time. It may be due to various mental, psychological and physical ailments including dementia, depression, physical impairments and medication effects. Home caregivers are trained to assist with personal hygiene activities like bathing, dressing, grooming and oral hygiene, as well as the sanitary needs of those with incontinence.
Are they becoming forgetful or confused with normal daily activities?
Some forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. But, it can also be a sign of other health issues like dementia, stroke, cognitive impairment, infection or illness. Common warning signs include having trouble remembering recent events, conversations or people, forgetting to turn off burners or running water, telling the same story over and over, confusion with performing routine tasks and getting lost. People exhibiting these common warning signs may not be safe to leave alone, and could benefit from a caregiver with experience caring for those with memory loss and dementia.
Have they experienced a recent illness, injury or medical procedure?
For older adults, a great many things can cause a sudden change in their ability to care for themselves, and home care can be a critical support system when that happens. Oftentimes, home care can enable them to skip days/weeks at a nursing facility and rehab/recover at home. Whether the need is temporary or ongoing, home care agencies can provide caregivers with the training and skills needed to help them through their particular situation.
Are they losing ability or interest in hobbies or social activities?
Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy can be a sign of unexpressed depression, dementia, pain, declining capability, or even illness. Social isolation is a very real health issue for older adults, and lack of mental and emotional stimulation can accelerate cognitive decline. A caregiver can provide companionship, encouragement and support to help them stay active and participating in the things they enjoy. They can even take your loved one on walks, drives or social outings to keep them connected to the outside world.
Help them Stay in the Home they Love
Older individuals thrive better in the comfort and familiarity of home. With a plan of action to ensure their needs will be met, the right schedule, equipment, and people to properly care for them, your loved one can remain home safely. Home care can help them enjoy a higher quality of life.