Is In-Home Care Right for My Parent?

In Health by Companions for Seniors

The signs are there. Your aging loved one just isn’t the same person that they used to be. Maybe their personality is starting to change. Maybe they’ve given up on housekeeping, or become socially withdrawn. In any case, you’ve spotted some yellow flags, and you think it’s time to get your senior loved one some extra care and support.

Now, a new question comes up: What type of support does your loved one need?

For many seniors, non-medical home care, also called in-home care or simply home care, is a great fit. For many families, home care is the most flexible, convenient, and affordable option. It empowers older adults to live independently, while aging in place in the comfort and security of their own home.

Is home care going to be the right fit for your aging parent or loved one? Oftentimes, the answer to that important question is going to come down to a number of key factors:

Independence

How much care and attention does your loved one actually need? For example, do they require round the clock medical care and assistance, or just some light support? Are they more in need of some friendship and social support, or consistent medical attention? In-home care is great fit for seniors who need a helping hand with getting around, completing housekeeping chores, prepping meals, and fulfilling their routine activities of daily living (ADLs).

If your loved one requires a more intensive level of care, such as physical therapy or skilled nursing services, you may need additional services beyond non-medical home care, such as regular in-home physical therapy visits.

However, if your loved one just needs a little bit of support in order to remain independent and enjoy living in the comfort and security of their own home, the flexibility and ease of non-medical home care may be just the right course to take. Staying at home offers significant advantages. Disrupting living conditions and routines can cause significant health problems for the elderly. More often than not, it is best to help your aging family member stay where they are, with a little bit of help.

Personality

In many cases, finding the right type of care for your parent is going to depend on their wants, their needs, and their unique personality. No two people are alike, and it’s important to remember that no two seniors are going to need exactly the same type of support.

If your loved one is extremely shy, or resistant to change, they may not take to home care at first. If they have trouble communicating, or tend to get angry or frustrated easily, it could take a little time to get adjusted. There are many factors to keep in mind. You may need to have some difficult discussions with your loved one as you gauge the best way to bring additional care and support into their lives.

Flexibility

One of the great advantages of home care is that it is flexible. In most cases, caregivers are available on a flexible schedule, and are available to provide service during the day or at night, full-time or for as little as a few hours a week. However, if your loved one has difficulty adapting to changes, it could take some time to get used to the idea of home care. Other families may prefer a more structured form of care, such as institutionalized care.

But for families that want to be able to visit when they’d like, coordinate their loved one’s care schedule, and be able to provide support and attention for their aging loved one without having to uproot them from the comfort and familiarity of home, in-home care can be a great fit. Living at home gives older adults the freedom to live according to their own priorities; they have the freedom to do what they want, when they want, with the support they need to make things work.

Cost

The reality is that in-home care is often substantially less expensive than moving your loved one into institutional care, such as an assisted living facility. Helping your parent to age in place in their own residence is generally far more cost effective than sending them somewhere else, where fees could amount to tens of thousands of dollars per month. Plus, in-home care frees you and your loved one from the additional hidden costs that come with many assisted living set-ups, including service fees, transportation surcharges, rent, or mortgage payments.  You also won’t need to worry about selling or maintaining your loved one’s home, making in-home care generally more convenient, and a lot easier to get started.

Your Needs as a Family Caregiver

In many cases, getting support for a loved one is also about providing respite for the family caregivers who need a break. Finding support and care is a great way for caregivers to get back precious time to rest and recharge, so that they can focus on other aspects of life – and approach caregiving with fresh eyes and a rejuvenated spirit, when the time is right. As such, take into account your needs as a family caregiver when you weigh your home care options. How much time off do you need? How hands-on or hands-off do you want to be when it comes to your loved one’s care? How much of a family or social support system is already in place for your loved one? These are all important questions to address, and can help you determine what type, and how much, care will ultimately work for your family.

How Companions for Seniors Can Help

Here at Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home, by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships. We believe in helping seniors maintain a higher quality of life, while providing respite and peace of mind for a family caregiver who could use some help.

If you have an aging family member who could benefit from the personalized attention of a professional in-home companion, don’t hesitate to drop us a line today to get the conversation started. We’re always happy to field any questions and help point you in the right direction.

We are locally owned in Chicago, with services available in the city and suburbs. Companions are available on a full- or part-time basis, and offer driving services in the comfort of an insured company car.