Did you know that roughly 90% of adults over 65 say that they want to remain in their own home as they age, for as long as possible? Home care is one of the single best types of long-term care for seniors who want to age in place, and for all the family caregivers who could use some support.
Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions and myths out there about home care for the elderly — and these myths are holding families here in the Chicagoland area back from truly getting the personalized care, attention, and support they deserve.
Want to learn more about home care? Let’s start by debunking seven all-too-common myths and misbeliefs:
MYTH #1: Home Care Is Only For People Who Are Extremely Ill or Needy.
There is a common misconception that home care is only meant for individuals who need an extremely high level of care, such as round-the-clock support for a critical illness.
In reality, home care is flexible and versatile, and is a great long-term care option for anyone who needs some support.
In fact, data from the National Center On Caregiving actually suggests that up to 80 percent of older adults receive personal care at home, rather than in an assisted living or nursing home facility.
Home care can provide a variety of services meant to help older adults live comfortably and safely at home, and is typically available for as little as a few hours a week, to as often as 24 hours per day. Seniors can benefit from home care whether they need a little bit of assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs), require a reliable driving service, need help with housekeeping or meal preparation, or could simply use a thoughtful and caring companion to play games, swap stories, or share meals.
Want to explore some situations where home care can benefit seniors? Here are a few of our resources worth a look:
- Who Is Home Care For?
- Is Home Care Going to Be the Right Fit for My Parent?
- How Do I Know If My Parent Needs a Caregiver?
- The Incredible Benefits of Home Care, in 7 Amazing Stats
MYTH #2: Home Care Is Too Expensive.
Many families are interested in starting with home care for an elderly loved one, but rule out in-home care as a long-term care, believing that it’s going to be too expensive.
In practice, home care is one of the most affordable and convenient types of long-term care available.
Over the years, studies have shown that home care is often substantially less expensive, dollar for dollar, than institutionalized care options, such as assisted living and nursing home facilities. On top of their significant base rates, staying at these facilities tends to come with many unexpected fees, including food and transportation surcharges, medical bills, and more. With home care, your senior loved one is able to age in place, avoiding the expenses and time associated with hiring movers, selling their current property, and so on.
At Companions for Seniors, we also believe in making care as accessible as possible. We offer flexible care at the right value for our clients, with pricing based on a sliding scale. We accept multiple forms of payment to make each transaction easier. Home care is also covered by most long-term care insurance policies.
Want to talk about pricing, or the benefits of home care, in more depth? We’d be happy to help! Feel free to reach out to keep the conversation going. Have any more questions? Here are a few resources to peruse:
- Home Care Vs. Assisted Living: Which Is a Better Fit for My Loved One?
- Four Important Things to Consider About Long-Term Care
- The Health and Safety Benefits of One-on-One Senior Care
MYTH #3: Home Care Takes Away a Senior’s Independence.
Among seniors — and some family caregivers — there may be a fear that working with a senior companion will take away a senior’s independence. Growing older is going to come with some big transitions, and many older adults are nervous that home care will restrict their freedoms, or even cause them to be “babied.”
It’s important to keep in mind that home care is not about holding seniors back, but lifting them up! In-home care is designed to provide the elderly with exactly the level of support and care they need, on a flexible schedule that suits their lifestyle. A companion is there to empower a senior to live life to the fullest, and lead an active and enriched life.
At Companions for Seniors, our goal is to help seniors live independently at home by encouraging independence and connecting them with their community, while nurturing truly meaningful relationships. A senior companion can help an older adult to live more healthfully, go on more outings, and stay mentally sharp with age, and promote an active and independent lifestyle defined by what the senior can do, rather than what they can’t.
Want to learn more about helping a senior loved one maintain their independence? These articles can help:
- How a Caregiver Can Help a Senior Reclaim Their Independence
- I Want to Help My Senior Parents Be More Independent. What Can I Do?
- 5 Benefits of In-Home Care for Seniors
MYTH #4: My Senior Loved One Will Only Be Comfortable With a Family Caregiver.
As a family caregiver, it can be intimidating to allow a new person to become a member of your loved one’s care team. You may be nervous about stepping back, and concerned about how your loved one will get along with a stranger.
While the transition from family caregiving to home care can be daunting, it is often hugely beneficial, for both seniors and their supportive loved ones.
Many seniors truly benefit from receiving care from an experienced senior caregiver. While it may take some time to get to know each other, many seniors ultimately love having a new, friendly face around the house. In addition to providing care, senior companions often become fast friends with their clients, as they join them to play games, take walks, share meals, and go on outings. One way to increase your senior loved one’s confidence and comfort is to get them involved in the search for a care provider or agency, asking questions and handling research along with you.
In time, a senior companion can help step in and perform the day-to-day tasks that may be difficult for you as a family caregiver, such as helping your loved one with bathing or grooming. This can give you back more space, and help you to reclaim your relationship with your loved one — allowing you to be a loving daughter or son first, and a caregiver second. A senior companion can also give you back more time to rest and relax. Taking an opportunity to step back from caregiving, even for a bit, can allow you to return with more energy and attention to give, benefiting your loved one more greatly in the long run.
Here are a few of our articles that may help shed even more light on this important topic:
- Is Home Care the Right Fit for My Elderly Parent’s Lifestyle?
- The Emotional Benefits of Companion Care for Seniors
- Study: Older Adults Know the Importance of Hiring a Caregiver
- “Will You Do It for Me?” Convincing Parents to Accept Care
MYTH #5: Home Care Isn’t a Safe Option During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a frightening and sobering wake-up call for families here in Chicago and all around the world. Because older adults are some of the most susceptible to the devastating effects of the virus, many families have been scrambling in recent months to come up with a plan to care for their aging family members — while making sure that everyone stays healthy and safe.
You may have seen stories on the news about older adults in long-term care being exposed to the virus. With that being said, it’s important to remember that not all types of long-term care are equal. Unfortunately, older adults have been susceptible to catching illnesses at institutionalized care facilities since long before the spread of COVID began. The reality is that conditions at many nursing homes and assisting living facilities are less than ideal when it comes to disease transmission — with many residents living in close proximity, countless staff members and visitors cycling in and out each day, and, often, an overall lack of quality control.
In contrast, in-home care is safer and more secure. The risk of being affected by a contagious virus are minimized significantly when older adults live in comfort and safety of 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.
Curious about how our caregivers and companions have responded to COVID-19? Here’s a look at some of the safety measures and new protocols we have been enforcing in 2020:
- Keeping Our Vehicles Clean and Safe During COVID-19
- The Importance of Proper Handwashing and Sanitation for Seniors
- Disinfecting Household Surfaces: A Guide for Seniors and Caregivers
- Helping Seniors Manage Coronavirus Anxiety and Stress
MYTH #6: It’s Embarrassing to Have to Ask for Caregiving Help.
Sometimes, family caregivers are afraid to reach out for help because they believe that doing so is a sign of weakness, or an indication that they’ve somehow failed their loved ones.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is no shame in recognizing your limits and knowing when to ask for help. In fact, reaching out is one of the strongest and most powerful things you can do!
Across the country, millions of people serve as unpaid family caregivers. Family caregivers report high rates of stress, depression, and anxiety, and many experience severe feelings of burnout every year. In fact, it is quite common for family caregivers to give up sleep, exercise, and doctor’s visits, leading to serious emotional and physical consequences down the line.
It’s important to take care of others, but it’s also important to take care of yourself. In-home care can be a flexible, affordable option, helping give your loved one the support they need, while enabling you to take some time off for the sake of your own health and well-being.
Curious about the importance of reaching out for help as a family caregiver? Here are a few of our articles to read and consider:
- You Don’t Have to Commit to Being a Caregiver All Alone
- Getting Family Caregivers the Support They Need
- My Mom Needs a Break From Watching Her Mom
- Managing Caregiver Guilt and Stress
MYTH #7: All Senior Care Companies Are the Same
Hiring a professional caregiver is a huge step forward. It’s a way to get your older loved one the care they deserve, while also taking an important step toward reclaiming your own time and peace of mind. This is not a decision to be entered into lightly, and it’s important to remember that not all companies offering senior care services will be the same.
Many companies here in Chicagoland offer different types of services, and have different philosophies about what makes a caregiver great. Ultimately, it’s important to find a person or organization who will be a good fit, and live up to your expectations. Do your research online and in-person. Set up interviews, read reviews, check out company social media profiles, and do whatever else it takes to get a sense of what the service provider is all about. Do they seem trustworthy and reliable? Do they have experience working in situations like yours? Are they easy to communicate with? Is their pricing structure clear?
Here are a few of our resources to help you kick off your search for senior care in Chicago — and make the most of your time and energy along the way:
- What Questions Should I Ask a Potential Caregiver?
- What Goes Into Setting Up a Senior Care Plan?
- How to Begin the Search for Senior Care Resources In Your Area
- 3 Ways to Know If a Senior Companion Will Be the Right Fit
- Transitioning from Family Caregiving to Professional Home Care
Live In the Chicago Area and Ready to Talk All Things Home Care? Companions for Seniors Is Here for You
Are you a supportive family member of an aging adult? Have you started to consider long-term care options, but are unsure of what steps to take next? If you need any guidance for putting a care plan into action for your elderly loved one in Chicago, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Companions for Seniors.
Here at Companions for Seniors, our mission is to empower seniors to live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own homes. Our companions are trained and bonded and our team can help your family to develop and implement a personalized care plan that is suited to your loved one’s unique needs. We’ll do whatever we can to help ensure that seniors and their dedicated family caregivers are able to maintain a higher quality of life – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Caring for others isn’t just what we do; it’s our passion. We’re always here and happy to help guide you in the right direction when it comes to all things senior care.
Have any questions? Ready to start thinking seriously about home care? Don’t hesitate to get in touch online today or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to get the conversation started.