Serving the elderly as a geriatric social worker presents many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their families. At Cherished Companions, we talk with many social workers who want to achieve the best possible outcomes for every client, and to do so quickly and efficiently. If you haven’t previously considered professional home care as a viable option to reach that goal, we encourage you to take a closer look at the advantages of home care for the patients you serve.
What Are the Advantages of Professional Home Care For Your Patients?
Home care is designed to help seniors maintain their independence while also providing a safe, healthy home environment. Home caregivers assist elderly people with daily tasks and routines, from reminding them to take medication to assisting with meals and light housework. Depending on the needs of the individual, home care can assist with all of the following:
- Personal Care - Bathing, washing hair, toileting, incontinence care, and getting dressed
- Personal Assistance - Medicine reminders, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, ambulation, mobility assistance, and transfer
- Homemaking - Meal planning, cooking, clean-up, light housekeeping, laundry, errands, and transportation
- Companionship - Assistance attending religious services, reading, playing games, art projects, hobbies, and social interactions
- Live-In Care - 24-hour care, overnight care, and live-in care for seniors or disabled adults
Which Patients Are Good Candidates for Home Care?
Home care is an excellent option for seniors who can still participate in the activities of daily living and who don’t need the continual oversight of a nurse or medical professional, but who need some extra help to maintain their independence.
- Patients who need help maintaining a healthy living environment. These patients may have a hard time cleaning the house, doing the dishes, or keeping up with the laundry. They may struggle to go to the grocery store, resulting in expired food or insufficient nutrition. In these cases, a home care professional can provide the assistance needed to keep the house clean and sanitary, as well as running errands and helping with grocery shopping or meal preparation to ensure healthy eating habits.
- Patients who struggle with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Memory care patients often are home care candidates. A home caregiver can assist with cooking and cleaning, prevent accidents such as leaving a gas burner on or forgetting about food on the stove, and provide medication reminders so that the person can go on living in familiar surroundings.
- Patients with degenerative disorders. Degenerative disorders often restrict a person’s ability to walk or care for themselves sufficiently. These patients may struggle with ambulation, hygiene, dressing, or basic housework. Home care steps in to assist with these needs so that seniors can continue living at home.
- Patients recovering from surgery or illness. Recovery from surgery or illness often takes longer for seniors, and they may not be able to return immediately to living on their own after a hospital stay. Home care helps bridge the gap by providing assistance with daily routines and responsibilities so the patient can recover safely at home.
- Patients who are at risk of falling. There are many reasons seniors may present an increased fall risk including surgeries, illnesses, and the common effects of aging as muscles grow progressively weaker. Home care professionals provide the extra help needed to support seniors as they navigate the activities of daily living.
How to Find a Professional Home Caregiver
While home care is a good option for many seniors who wish to maintain independence at home, it’s also true that not all caregivers provide the same quality of service. Here are some questions to ask as you evaluate home care providers:
- What are the specific services you provide?
- How do you select and screen caregivers?
- What training do you require for caregivers?
- Are you a member of the Home Care Association of America?
- How do you ensure quality of care?
- How do you ensure that the caregiver is a good fit for the patient?
- How long have you operated in this state?
- How do you document the care patients receive?
- How do you keep family members involved in the care plan?
- Do have actual employees or are they contract workers?
At Cherished Companions, we put quality, compassionate care first. Our goal is to provide excellent quality of life for each of our clients and to make a tangible difference in their daily experience.
For more information about our services or care options, please give us a call at (440) 484-5390. We look forward to answering your questions!