Remaining at home is typically regarded as the more comfortable and peaceable option throughout the senior years. According to a survey conducted by The Senior Living Organization, 90% of seniors would prefer to use at-home care agencies to age in place. Fortunately, there are a variety of types of at-home services designed to support your loved one’s independence at home in the next season of life.
At-Home Care Agencies and Services
A wide variety of services and types of agencies offering at-home care can be utilized to help seniors remain at home for as long as possible. Many agencies even offer services that can advance as your loved one’s needs grow. For instance, an agency may offer companion services that can turn into housekeeping, transportation, and eventually personal care or even live-in care as needed.
The main types of agencies or services include:
Short-Term Home Health Care
If your loved one is recovering from an injury or operation, short-term home health care can help them recover at home safely. Services commonly used for short-term home care include light housekeeping, personal assistance with hygiene, and cooking. It may include transfer and mobility assistance and even personal care.
Long-Term Home Care Agency
Seniors struggling with mobility, personal care, and basic needs like light cleaning or cooking often benefit from long-term in-home care. Services like these can be scheduled for just the hours needed, allowing your loved one independence and influence over how they receive assistance.
Other types of long-term home care services include companionship and medicine reminders. A caregiver might, for example, keep records of food intake or medication times to help your loved one stay on track with self-care.
Seniors who would benefit from having a caregiver available at all times often request live-in care. Live-in caregivers are like family for your loved one. They sleep, eat, and spend long shifts caring for and being available in the home. Live-in care is similar to the service provided by assisted living facilities or nursing homes but is personalized, one-on-one, and provided in the comfort of your loved one’s home.
A loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is likely to need regular care. Their needs will probably evolve and change. Programs designed for Alzheimer’s or Dementia care at home are often specialized and customized based on the unique demands created by memory loss.
Hospice and Respite
Many seniors request to spend the end of their lives at home. With at-home care agencies offering support services for hospice and respite care, this is often a possibility. While hospice teams will include medical personnel and sometimes clergy or social workers as well, caregivers also play a vital role to allow a person to remain at home.
Caregivers will help meet the personal and practical needs of a loved one at the end of their life so that family members can enjoy time with their loved one as well as focus on bereavement and important decisions that often have to be made at the time.
Independent of home care agencies, private caregivers can be hired for a wide variety of services and types of care. The risks of hiring a private caregiver can be significant, though. Private caregivers are unlikely to be insured and bonded, leaving you with the burden of liability. Families are often unaware of their responsibility to pay taxes, social security, unemployment and Worker’s Compensation as an employer. They may not have the training or resources caregivers working with agencies do. Private caregivers are also only available for the hours they set, whereas agencies have multiple caregivers on staff to meet your loved one’s changing and unforeseen needs. When a private caregiver calls off from a shift it can be a nightmare for the family. Also, families rarely run background checks on private caregivers leaving individuals extremely vulnerable.
Selecting From the Variety of In-Home Care Agencies Available
Choosing a home care agency can help your loved one age in place as they desire. It is important to choose an agency that provides a variety of home care services so that the agency can meet the changing needs of your loved one.