April 24, 2019

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your senior loved one is having trouble keeping up with their housework. Maybe they seem to be socially isolated. Or perhaps you’ve observed that your loved one needs some additional help with sitting, standing, walking, or grooming.

There are countless “yellow flags” out there, indicating that it’s time to look into long-term care for your aging loved one. As a family caregiver, your concern now may be to look into all of the options that are out there, so you can find the care that’s the right match for your loved one’s wants and needs.

For many seniors, non-medical home care is going to be just the right fit. Compared to other types of long-term care, such as assisted living facilities and long-term medical care, home care is more flexible, more convenient, and more affordable. It’s an effective way to empower seniors to live life independently, by providing the assistance they need, on the schedule that works for them.  

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s personal experiences will be different. As you begin to explore home care, you may find yourself wondering if it is going to be the right fit for your aging parent. Here are a few questions to ask as you consider whether home care will be the right fit for your family:

Does Your Loved One Want to “Age in Place?”

A landmark report, brought to our attention by the AARP, suggests that about 90 percent of adults over 65 say that they would prefer to remain in their home as they grow older. For many people, the desire to remain at home is due to their emotional ties to their house. For others, it’s a practical matter. Aging in place is often more comfortable, more accommodating, and far less expensive than uprooting an older adult’s life and moving them into expensive, institutionalized care.

More often than not, the best course of action may be to help your family member stay where they are, with a little bit of help, rather than disrupting their living conditions and routines.

As you begin to weigh all of the long-term care options for your senior family, be sure to get a feel for your loved one’s wants and needs. In-home care is a flexible, dependable option for older adults who would prefer to remain in the familiar comfort and safety of home. However, bear in mind that staying in place may not be feasible, due to changes in your loved one’s health condition. In other cases, seniors may actually prefer to relocate, whether to move in with younger family or to transition into a more senior-focused community.

What Kind of Support Does Your Loved One Need?

What level of care, support, and attention will provide the most value to your elderly loved one?

For many older adults, in-home care will be the right course of action, providing them with the support they need, while also empowering them to live life independently and on their own terms.

In-home care is an excellent fit for many seniors. Whether your elderly loved one would benefit from companionship and a friendly face, assistance with activities of daily living, driving services, or help with household chores like meal preparation, laundry, or housekeeping, home care is a flexible, accessible option.

When you work with a reliable non-medical home care provider, your elderly loved ones can receive the personalized attention and support they need, on a schedule that works for them. That may mean enjoying the help and attention of a companion for as little as a few hours a week, or as much as every day. Home care is dependable, customizable, and easy to add to a senior’s current lifestyle.

How Flexible and Adaptive Is Your Loved One?

Many seniors will view working with a professional caregiver or companion as a great opportunity to connect with a new person, receive a helping hand, or go on new adventures. In other cases, many older adults will be more resistant to receiving care, perhaps because they see home care as an intrusion, or as a way of limiting their independence.

It’s important to bear in mind that everyone is different – and everyone will take to home care in different ways, and at different speeds. While many older adults may enjoy having someone to talk to, or an extra set of hands around the house, others may take a while to warm up to the idea. There are many different puzzle pieces to keep in mind, which will be unique to your circumstances. It’s worth asking questions such as:

  • Is my loved one extremely shy or reserved?
  • Are they resistant to small or large changes?
  • Do they have any trouble with speech or communication that would need to be accounted for?
  • Will my loved one be able to take it in stride if their usual companion wasn’t available, or would they be agitated?
  • Would my parent benefit from working with a specific type of caregiver? For instance, would they get along better with someone who shares an interest or a favorite pastime?

All of these questions can be great guideposts as you begin exploring home care as an option, and determining if a specific caregiver or company will be the right fit for your senior.

What Will Work for You as a Family Caregiver?

While your senior loved one will be the one spending the most time with an in-home companion or caregiver, it’s also important to remember that home care is also about helping you reclaim time for the important things in your life. Home care is often also known as “respite care,” because it’s an opportunity to give family caregivers some much needed rest and relaxation, so that they can focus on their own health and peace of mind.

As you weigh home care options, be sure to factor in your own wants and needs as a family caregiver. For instance, many adults will want to remain extremely hands-on with their senior loved one’s care, while others will want to regain some distance. It’s worth considering factors like how involved you’d like to be, how often you need a caregiver to be present, and how to best integrate a professional companion into your senior’s caregiving and support network.

Companions for Seniors: Your Chicagoland Home Care Resource

Do you have any more questions or concerns about home care? Do you have an aging family member who you believe would benefit from the personalized attention of a professional in-home companion? Curious about the best ways to reclaim your peace of mind as a family caregiver? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Companions for Seniors today to get the conversation started. We’re always happy to field any questions and help point you in the right direction.

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.

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

Ready to get started? Curious about what sets us apart? Get in touch online or give us a call to get the home care answers you’ve been searching for.