Like the changing trends in fashion and music, the home care industry experiences changes that reflect the shift in values of each generation.
Today, statistics demonstrate that the majority of the aged population in the United States plan to stay at home for as long as possible, despite changes in health, mobility, or cognition.
Home care providers have stepped up to the challenge, providing more opportunities for care and assistance at home than ever before; this includes services ranging from cooking or light housekeeping to meal preparation, transportation and personal care. In fact, the healthcare industry as a whole is also reflecting this change, implementing a fee for outcome rather than fee for service system. Financial incentives for less time spent in the hospital, rehab facilities and skilled nursing facilities are on the rise.
These services provide multiple benefits for our aging population. Here, we discuss when home care is a good fit and outline the benefits of home services.
When is home care an option?
Yes, home care has expanded in recent years to include a more full range of services – but what does that mean for you? Overall, it means home care might be an option for a larger number of patients, including those who need:
- help around the house (dishes, laundry, cooking)
- assistance getting to and from appointments
- medication reminders and prescription pick up
- groceries and shopping
- help with activities of daily living, like toileting, dressing, oral cares, and bathing
- 24/7 assistance or supervision for safety and comfort
Factors to consider when determining the best option for you or loved one include the services available in your area, the cost of services and options for payment, the availability of family in the area, and, most importantly, your loved one’s preferences.
What are the benefits of home care?
1. Home care offers cost savings. Many times, an aging loved one is placed in a long-term care facility when they’re no longer able to manage one aspect of their care at home, such as meal preparation or bathing, simply due to lack of options.
By providing only the services people need at home, home care can significantly reduce the cost of care and the burden for patients and taxpayers.
2. Home care maintains dignity. While long-term care facilities aim to provide the best experience possible, many aspects of care in those facilities are undesired, like sharing personal spaces (bedroom, bathroom) and having many different caregivers assist with toileting and bathing.
Patients who receive home care have the privilege of establishing trusting relationships with consistent caregivers and are able to receive care in the privacy of their home.
3. Home care soothes the soul. Aging can come with a variety of challenges and obstacles, including losing loved ones as they age and pass away, losing the privilege to drive, and losing independence.
Home care allows people to hang on to the things that mean the most to them while still getting the assistance and care they need – the familiarity of home, the comfort of their own bed, and all of those memories left at the kitchen table throughout the years.
4. Home care provides safety benefits. Our aging population is at higher risk of falls due to reductions in vision, hearing, balance, and mobility. Unfamiliar surroundings can increase this risk; things like rugs or a small steps may not be anticipated in advance.
By providing the assistance they need in an environment they know well, we can reduce the risk of surprises, falls, and debilitating and painful injuries.
5. Home care promotes nurturing relationships. Sadly, many elderly people find that their relationships with loved ones change when they move out of their home.
But patients who are able to receive care in their own home can welcome guests, invite family overnight, and have private conversations without interruption. They can receive phone calls and house calls whenever they choose with no limit on visiting hours.
6. Home care allows loved ones a choice. Home care serves a critical role in the healthcare system by allowing patients more opportunity to make decisions about their care. It’s very difficult, in most cases, to move out of a facility once a person has moved in. So, choosing home care while it’s a viable options is a way to keep options open as long as possible.
Why Home Care Is Important
Today’s elderly population is aging in a different way than just 50-100 years ago. People are living and staying mobile for longer, and there are more ways to allow people to age in place.
Home care is a trusted solution for keeping loved ones safe, happy and comfortable as they age. Plus, it’s what the aging population wants – nearly 90% of seniors say they want to age in place.
For more information about home care services in Washington DC, Chevy Chase or Fairfax, contact Georgetown Home Care today.