What is 24/7 In-Home Senior Care?
Aging is a beautiful thing. Having worked hard most of their lives, seniors look forward to enjoying a peaceful retirement. However, old age can expose seniors to several unexpected challenges.
Challenges Seniors are Likely to Experience When Aging
In your senior years, your body cells begin to weaken, resulting in lowered body strength. You might notice that some of the demanding activities and chores you used to do become more difficult by the day. Aging can also reduce cognitive and motor skills. Some of the common chronic medical conditions are equally rampant among the elderly hence making self-care more difficult. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that some of the common challenges the elderly encounter include:
- Taking care of personal hygiene including bathing, dressing up and general grooming
- Conducting regular household chores like cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry and gardening
- Making health balanced meals. This could be partly tied to difficulties going grocery shopping. Seniors might also lack the energy to prepare a good warm balanced meal on their own.
- Paying bills and other management task can present a challenge
- Falling victim to scammers who take advantage of their situation
- Healthcare guidelines are sometimes not followed, as seniors can forget specific dosages or medicine schedules
- Moving around to run personal errands can present an extra challenge to seniors
When these challenges begin to add up, seniors and their families may start to consider their need for 24/7 in home senior care.
Traditionally, retirement homes are a popular option for seniors seeking out extra help throughout their senior years. Retirement homes and assisted living can provide the care seniors need while enhancing their mental health and preventing them from feeling too lonely or isolated.
However, recently a decline in caregivers has affected retirement living and assisted living facilites. CNBC reports that the decline in caregivers in retirement homes is fueled by working conditions and low pay. Because of this, more elderly people are turning to 24/7 in home senior care.
Using 24/7 In Home Senior Care
24/7 in-home senior care is an arrangement where a senior gets an in home respite care giver to look after them in the comfort of their current home. Using the services of an in home respite care giver ensures seniors get to remain in their home during their golden years. While they are in a senior’s home, the caregiver will offer company to ensure seniors are not lonely, while attending to all their needs. Most often, the 24/7 in home senior care service will involve having either two in home respite caregivers working in 12 hour shifts or three of them in 8 hour shifts. Each caregiver will ensure their seniors are comfortable and get the most personalized care during their shift.
According to an article published in Aging in Place, the majority of people prefer using in-home respite care providers because of their attention to detail, personalized caregiving, and wide range of services they offer. Agencies offer a wide range of comprehensive training to ensure their caregivers are providing the highest quality of compassionate care to seniors. Training often includes cleaning and hygiene, cooking, and emergency medical and nursing skills. Given how fragile a person’s health status may be at this age, it is important to have someone offering 24/7 home health care services. These caregivers are trained to monitor and ensure seniors stay as healthy and well as possible, so they can enjoy their old age. Additionally, they also offer seniors a listening ear to share struggles, while maintaining total confidentiality.
Qualities of a Good In Home Respite Care Giver
There are many agencies offering 24/7 in home senior care services to the elderly. There are several important qualities that make a person a great caregiver. Someone with these character traits will work hard to ensure seniors are comfortable and get the best quality care they can offer.
A good in home respite care provider, according to aging.com, should have the following qualities.
- Patience is very key. The caregiver should be patient because interacting with someone who has different perceptions, ability levels, and experiences can be difficult. It’s important to find a caregiver that can empathize with the seniors for whom they provide care.
- Punctuality is key. Seniors need a caregiver they can rely on to always show up on time and do their shifts as required to ensure they always have someone attending to them.
- A caregiver ought to be a fast learner given they will need to learn a senior’s preferences and adapt to them quickly in order to serve them better.
- Listening skills are equally essential as repeating yourself over and over can get quite frustrating. The caregiver needs to be keen and pay attention to every word a senior communicates to them.
- Having someone with a sense of responsibility is equality important. A good caregiver will ensure that their seniors keeps to schedules. It is important for seniors receiving care to always have their meals and medications in a timely manner, and it is also important that necessary errands are completed quickly.
- The caregiver should be flexible and willing to go the extra mile to ensure their senior’s comfort.
- Someone trustworthy is equally key. Seniors receiving 24/7 in home care are inviting their caregivers into some of the most intimate and private spaces in their life. They need to be able to trust their caregiver with their home and belongings.
Advantages of 24/7 In Home Senior Care
Compared to living in a retirement home, or living without assistance at all, having an in home respite care provider has a lot of benefits. Some of these benefits are discussed below:
Better Mental and Physical Wellbeing
The elderly are not always very flexible to change. They sometimes view it as disruptive and unnecessary. In-home care allows seniors to live in an environment in which they feel comfortable and secure. This usually is the home where they currently live, with surroundings they are accustomed to. It can also help if seniors stay living with family members who they are used to or near neighbors they have known for a long time. Living in such familiar surroundings will put their mind at ease, making them feel more secure and comfortable.
Being in a familiar environment boosts confidence. As a result, seniors living in their own homes might find it easy to communicate to loved ones and an in home respite care giver. Being able to see loved ones regularly also helps seniors share their problems readily, rather than having them bottled up. In an unfamiliar environment like a retirement or nursing home, communication can be more difficult.
Equally, living in a familiar home space can help seniors avoid physical injuries. Given that most seniors have spent many years of their lives living in the house that they are receiving care, they know the house inside and out. In the comfort of their own homes, seniors can subconsciously identify risks in the house that can potentially cause injury and avoid them. In an unfamiliar environment, seniors may not be aware of all the risks in their immediate surroundings, and the risk of physical injury is higher.
At home, seniors can adapt their surroundings to facilitate daily life for their current abilities. This could be installation of a ramp, adjusted shower heads and toilets, or other things that will provide comfort and safety.
In a retirement or nursing home with other elderly people, seniors might find they lack physical touch and personalized care. An in home respite care professional is fully available to assist seniors with anything. An in home caregiver will also carry out tasks to ensure seniors enjoy the best service. 24/7 in home senior care service will also offer access to a dedicated and well trained 24/7 home health care provider who will oversee any health needs. This kind of personalized care is not available in assisted living homes as the elderly are often many while caregivers are few.
In Home Care Encourages Independence
When a senior gets to remain in their own home, they are in a position of comfort and familiarity. At home most seniors feel empowered to keep doing as much as they can independently, for as long as possible. They have a sense of their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to living at home. Seniors feel empowered to carry out many daily tasks on their own at home, as opposed to a new environment where they might be nervous or unsure.
Peace of Mind for Family
Having a 24/7 in-home senior care service provider will provide family members the peace of mind they need, knowing that their loved one is safe in trusted and capable hands. Family can rest easy knowing that their senior is in a peaceful and secure home, receiving round the clock care, where they can visit their loved one at any time to check in. Those living with a senior receiving 24/7 in home care can run errands, go to work, and leave their home knowing they can rely on their in home respite care provider to give quality care.
24/7 In Home Senior Care is Cost Effective
Many people assume that in-home senior care is more expensive than a nursing or retirement home. However, in-home care is very cost effective. This is because at home, running costs like housing and bills are already taken care of; all that is needed is the hourly rate of the caregiver. At a nursing or retirement home, all items must be paid for including housing, meals, cleaning, and health care. At home, your caregiver also doubles up as your 24/7 home health care provider at no extra charge.
Reduced Risk of Exposure to Infections
A 24/7 home health care provider takes care of your health needs at home. There is therefore a very reduced risk of exposure to diseases and infections from other people. In a retirement or nursing home, the health care provider would be attending to several patients at once, which can expose vulnerable seniors to infections from others in the facility.
Disadvantages of 24/7 In Home Senior Care
Despite the many advantages above, in-home care also has a few drawbacks.
Most homes are not designed to accommodate the needs of the elderly. Hence, adapting a space to accommodate the living needs of an aging person may cost a lot in repairs and renovations. Renovations may include adding ramps, chair lifts, and railings to make movement easier.
It can be difficult for the vulnerable elderly to trust a new person in their home around the clock. Although all in-home care providers are handpicked to provide the highest quality of care, it is still important to address these worries with seniors to ensure their safety and security needs are met.
For seniors who enjoy socializing and interacting with others, 24/7 in-home senior care may leave them feeling lonely and isolated. Caregivers strive to provide companionship and stimulating activities. But, for some seniors, greater access to social activities may be beneficial. In such cases, a retirement home may be better suited for their needs.
Overall, 24/7 in-home care provides a fantastic alternative to a nursing or retirement home. The benefits of staying at home in one’s golden years far outweigh the drawbacks. Aside from regular housekeeping assistance, an agency trained caregiver also doubles up as a 24/7 home health care provider. From meals to medication, sanitation, and general mental well-being, a caregiver will assure the best treatment and at a very cost-effective rate. Using one can ensure seniors enjoy life at old age and have a very easy time.
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