The spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the elderly — and is a powerful reminder of the many health benefits of one-on-one care, provided in the comfort and safety of a senior’s home.
COVID-19 and Beyond: The Health and Safety Benefits of One-on-One Senior Care
Home care — also known as non-medical home care, respite care, or companion care — is all about making sure that seniors get the support they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives while safely aging in place.
Studies have shown that the vast majority of older adults would prefer to remain in their own homes as they grow older. Home care is a powerful way to help seniors live at home independently — while leading an active and enriched lifestyle; connecting with their community; and nurturing meaningful, lasting friendships.
Compared to other forms of long-term care, home care is typically more flexible, more reliable, more convenient, and more affordable. Rather than uprooting the senior and moving them into a rigid or uncomfortable nursing home or assisted living facility, home care is about making sure that older adults get the support and attention they need to live life to the fullest, while enjoying the many lifestyle benefits that come with aging in place.
With home care, an experienced, professional senior companion spends time with your loved one, on a flexible basis that works for the senior, and for your needs, as a busy family caregiver.
Available on a part-time or full-time basis, the companion or professional caregiver can provide a variety of services designed to empower and support your loved one, including:
- Providing assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as sitting, standing, and getting into bed
- Providing help with grooming, bathing, and personal hygiene
- Assisting with housekeeping and laundry
- Offering regular medication and exercise reminders
- Providing safe, reliable transportation to run errands, attend family events, or keep up with doctor’s appointments
- Assisting with shopping and meal preparation
- Providing regular updates and reports to you, or another primary family caregiver
- Spending valuable and enriching social time together — including sharing meals, playing games, watching TV, or going on walks
In addition to the emotional, personal, and lifestyle benefits of home care, there are many ways that one-on-one-care can also help seniors safeguard their health and well-being — especially during the ongoing crisis with COVID-19.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and on a day-to-day basis, home care provides many health and safety benefits for older adults and the family caregivers who love them, particularly compared to institutionalized, residential care options.
For seniors, one-on-one care at home offers:
Personal Care and Attention from a Reliable, Trustworthy Staff
Many senior residential facilities experience frequent staff turnover, and have one professional responsible for a dozen clients at a time — which can result in less personal, hands-on care.
With at-home care, you and your loved one will truly get to know their caregiver or team. In most cases, seniors can rest assured that they will be working with the same companion (or a trusted back-up), on a reliable schedule that accommodates their unique needs. Companions are also available on a flexible schedule that can be adjusted over time, meaning that they will be able to spend more or less time with their senior client, as needed.
With the personalized, one-on-one attention that a companion can provide, you can also trust that your senior loved one will benefit from a care plan tailor-made for their needs. A professional caregiver will get to know the senior’s health concerns and personal preferences, and keep in close contact with the senior and their family should there be any changes or new developments.
What’s more, you can trust an individual companion to maintain a high level of “quality control” in response to the new normal of COVID-19 — including washing their hands, keeping their vehicle clean and sanitary, wearing a mask, and following other safety protocols. When you have a reliable, trusted care provider, you can expect the best, and trust that the little things won’t fall through the cracks.
The Safety and Comfort of Aging in Place
Aging in place means that seniors get to live in a home that is familiar, comfortable, and safe. Growing older at home can help improve quality of life and promote independence for older adults, while also allowing them to enjoy being a part of their community.
In these uncertain times, staying at home also means that seniors are less at risk of exposure to the coronavirus. COVID-19 is a dangerous virus that travels easily through the air, and can live on surfaces for up to days at a time — making it very easy for this dangerous illness to travel from person to person through “community spread.” These risks are minimized significantly when older adults live at home, where they can enjoy safer conditions and make sure that all visitors or family members are abiding by proper health and safety guidelines such as wearing a mask or washing their hands for 20 full seconds. Staying at home also makes it easier for seniors and their care team to adapt to new challenges, like recovering after a hospital stay or learning to use new technology to stay connected with family and friends remotely.
More Control and Flexibility for Seniors and Family
For many seniors and their families, moving into a long-term care facility often means giving up a certain level of control and self-reliance. It can be a “shock to the system” for many seniors to adjust to their new environment, particularly when they are used to doing things on their terms. The same goes for family members, who find themselves unable to speak with or see their loved one as often as they’d like.
One-on-care gives seniors more independence and freedom to live life their way at home — which also means more control and flexibility over their day-to-day. This can make it much easier for older adults to stay in contact with their loved ones, whenever and however they’d like. It can also make a difference for a senior’s health and safety, allowing them to reach out and get help more quickly in case of an emergency — from a minor fall to an emergency situation, such as a power outage or flood.
Seniors living at home are also able to set out the cleaning and maintenance regimen that works for them, and get everyone on the same page. This might include setting a regular cleaning schedule with their caregiver, or deciding what disinfectants they would prefer to use around the house. In more formal or rigid care settings, seniors may have to leave cleanliness up to chance. When aging in place with the one-on-one support of a caregiver, the senior can also spend their time their way, and take everyday actions that help them feel better and live more healthfully — from choosing their favorite rest and relaxation activities, to eating the nutritious meals they love.
Looking for Answers? We’re Here to Help
If you have any questions about finding the best possible care for your aging loved one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Companions for Seniors.
At Companions for Seniors, empowering and supporting seniors and their caregivers is our passion. We’d be more than happy to talk over any thoughts or concerns you might have. We’re always here to bounce ideas off of, and help you find the best course of action for yourself and your senior loved one, especially in these unusual times.
We believe that support and friendship can help empower the elderly to live life to the fullest, without having to uproot and move into expensive, institutional care. All of our companions are trained and insured, and can help work with your family one-on-one to develop a personalized care plan specifically tailored for your loved one’s needs — and your own hopes and goals as a family caregiver. We believe in helping seniors to maintain a higher quality of life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. At every step of the way, we know the importance of fostering an open dialogue and sharing ideas; always going the extra mile with our services; and providing flexible care at the right price for every household.
Wondering if your older loved one would benefit from in-home care? Want to discuss how to best provide for the senior in your life during and after the COVID-19 pandemic? We’re here for you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch online or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to discuss creating a personalized care plan for your loved one.