Home-Based Solutions: Why South Bay Caregiver Services are the Right Fit for Many Seniors

July 22, 2021
Daniel Peters - Sales & Business Development Director
Studies show most older Americans have long preferred aging-in-place at home versus moving into senior living communities (also known as “assisted living”). But in response to new technologies and recent events, the trend toward in-home care solutions has grown even more dramatic. Specifically, COVID-19 has prompted some families to reassess their priorities, and new affordable tools empower seniors in ways never previously imagined.

Here’s why Torrance home care services are right for many older folks in 2021 and important considerations for families exploring care solutions.

COVID-19 Changed Everything

It’s become a bit cliché to say, “Covid-19 changed everything.” But truthfully, the pandemic has had a big impact on the lives of families and how relatives interact with aging loved ones. Seniors were and are among the highest risk populations. But sadly, they are also the people with the greatest care needs generally (COVID-19 aside) and often suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other serious conditions.
Many families felt the full impact of the pandemic and how its risks adversely affected their relationships with aging relatives. Most had to limit visits with loved ones, and those living in South Bay assisted living facilities were often completely quarantined during the pandemic’s peak. The delivery of vaccines helped to open things up considerably, but many senior living communities continue to limit access to outside visitors.

While family visitation logistics and limitations were one of the most discussed challenges for seniors amid COVID-19, the resulting changes in lifestyle shifted priorities more generally. Many people reassessed priorities and committed to spending more quality time with loved ones once the pandemic subsided. In other words, theirs is a permanent change. These folks are now considering South Bay in-home care solutions that will allow “Mom” or “Dad” to remain at home now and in the years to come.  

Technology Makes a Difference

Technological innovation has been improving in-home care for the past several years. Fall alert solutions go back to the 1970s but have steadily evolved and now feature cellular connections, remote capabilities for use outside the home, and even phone app features. And advanced pill box solutions can dispense medications in accordance with doctors’ orders, complete with alarm notifications and digital updates to family caregivers.

But, once again, COVID-19 has further accelerated technological development and the adoption of new tools. Many seniors who had never previously used a smartphone or tablet embraced these devices out of necessity during pandemic quarantines. And some even tapped into Zoom and video chat technology to visit family members virtually.

If ever there was a good time for “Mom” to age-in-place, it’s now. She’s likely to embrace helpful technological solutions that can complement Torrance caregiver services. She will also be more open to the idea of having a home care aide. After all, many seniors saw what happened at assisted living facilities during COVID-19 and are now willing to take the necessary steps to remain at home. Those who previously resisted caregiver services due to financial and privacy concerns likely view those as trivial when compared to facility living amid a pandemic.

On-Demand Grocery, Pharmacy, and Food Delivery

In addition to new, affordable technologies that empower seniors to age more safely at home, on-demand grocery, pharmacy, and food delivery services fill common gaps in care. One of the traditional benefits of assisted living facilities is that they provide residents with medication reminders and meals. But that value proposition has changed now that seniors can affordably secure similar offerings at home.

Some grocery stores deliver groceries to the doorstep free of charge. And medications can also be dropped off by a local pharmacy or even via mail. Food delivery services, such as Uber Eats and Grubhub, further allow an aging loved one to enjoy her favorite restaurant meals from the comfort of home. In fact, families can even order on behalf of their relatives who might not know how to use the technology themselves.

Senior Housing & Rising Rents

Many families consider finances when choosing between South Bay in-home care options and senior living communities. And traditionally, assisted living facilities were more affordable for folks who needed high-levels of care that would otherwise require long caregiver shifts. But the math has changed in recent years.

First, senior living communities are affected by land values and real estate market forces. So, those located in high-rent areas, such as Torrance and the Palos Verdes area, must charge residents accordingly. Some families opt for assisted living in more affordable regions for this very reason. But most people in the Beach Cities region don’t want to commute to Lancaster or Riverside just to visit their loved ones.

Second, the new, afore-mentioned technologies and home delivery options can be combined with caregiver services to create hybrid in-home care solutions that present costs comparable to assisted living. It’s true a 24/7 caregiver is likely more expensive than monthly rent at a senior living community. But that may not matter if 24/7 care isn’t needed thanks to technology that supplements caregiver services.

For example, a family might rely on caregivers to work from late morning to early afternoon, helping their loved ones with showers, personal care, and meal preparation. But they fill the evening and overnight care gaps with technology that monitors for medical emergencies and dispenses scheduled medications. This in-home care scenario would likely prove less costly than most South Bay assisted living facilities.

Final Considerations

The move toward home-based solutions began years ago with the advent of the internet, smartphone apps, and other technologies. But as many people know, COVID-19 accelerated the trend. Millions of Americans started using Zoom and Uber Eats for the first time, and many of these folks were seniors.

It seems this “awakening” also influences the decision-making process between two traditional services: South Bay home care and assisted living. The choice has always presented a tradeoff, but new home-based services have neutralized some of the benefits once presented by senior living communities. Older folks can now get food, groceries, and medicine delivered to their homes. And when combined with caregivers who assist with showers, personal hygiene, and other activities of daily living, aging-in-place seems to be the right solution for many in 2021.

If you’re seeking home care for a loved one in Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, or the South Bay region, be sure to call BrightStar Care today for a free assessment from our Director of Nursing!