Increasing numbers of Americans are reaching their golden years. Technological innovations are making it possible for the more than 99% of seniors who want to age in place to maintain maximum independence.
New research, coupled with these advancements, has made it easier for clinicians and caregivers to meet the needs of people as they grow older. Homecare providers offer a number of services to help seniors age with dignity in the comfort and familiarity of their homes and communities.
Below, we highlight a few areas that may provide improved quality of life through in-home care assistance. We’re also happy to talk through your specific needs!
1. Activities of Daily Living
As physical and/or cognitive abilities decline, many older people need support to accomplish activities of daily living (ADL). Homecare providers can assist with several self-care tasks:
- Bathing and toileting. A homecare aide can help the older person get in and out of the shower or tub, or give bed-baths if needed. Personal care providers routinely assist seniors who need help using the toilet, urinal, or bedside commode.
- Dressing and grooming. Homecare providers help with dressing and putting on glasses, hearing aids, orthotics, and braces. Seniors can also get assistance with hair care, shaving, and oral hygiene.
- Walking and getting around inside the home. A personal assistant provides supervision to prevent older people with dementia from wandering off. Helping seniors transfer to and from a wheelchair or access other mobility devices is also within their realm of care. Homecare aides can support their clients as they go up and down stairs and ensure that walkways are free of obstacles, helping to prevent falls. Physical activity is integral to maintaining mobility and well-being, and in-home support providers can incorporate structured activities (often under the direction of a healthcare professional) to add more movement to the older person's daily routine.
2. Household Help
Often, an important function of in-home care is to support seniors in tasks around the house. Under this umbrella, there are a few focus areas many seniors find valuable.
- Meal prep and planning. Homecare providers can cook meals ahead of time for the older person to eat later, or assist with meal-planning and preparation to ensure their clients are getting adequate nutrition. Likewise, the aide can make sure the elder is consuming enough fluids.
- Medication reminders and related support. Sixty-three percent of seniors deal with at least two chronic conditions and need to keep track of multiple prescriptions. Homecare providers can remind the older person when it's time for the next dose. They can also be alert to any changes in behavior or capabilities that could indicate a health problem, and communicate their concerns to family members and healthcare providers. Research shows that for those 65 and over, 16% of hospital readmissions are avoidable. Because they can spot potential problems before they become more serious, personal care assistants play a critical role in helping patients avoid unnecessary visits to a healthcare provider. Additionally, when appointments are in order, personal care aides who accompany their clients to the clinic or hospital can make note of clinicians' instructions or recommendations and keep track of written materials. They can also notify an emergency contact immediately if a sudden change in the patient's condition warrants it.
- Light housekeeping. This includes keeping living areas neat and clutter-free, sorting mail, scheduling, and generally helping a senior stay organized.
Many seniors, while still relatively self-sufficient within their homes, find their independence is limited because they can no longer drive. Homecare assistants can provide transportation so older people can get to doctors' appointments, run errands, and enjoy socializing and participating in community activities.
Well-being has a considerable impact on health. Slightly more than 21% of seniors struggle with mental health concerns. For many, these issues are not a normal part of the aging process. The feelings of isolation that many older people experience can lead to anxiety, mood disorders such as depression, and a low level of satisfaction with life overall. In addition to helping the older person remain connected to the community, a homecare provider can offer companionship so the aging senior feels less alone. As they get to know the older person, homecare assistants can find out about factors that may be having a negative impact on well-being and overall health.
Trained homecare aides provide a variety of services that allow older people to remain as independent as possible while receiving the support they need to remain in their homes and communities. High-quality homecare also gives the older person's family members peace of mind, knowing their loved one is in good hands.
If you or someone you know may be a good fit for assistance, please contact us and we can schedule a free consultation to review your needs.