Most seniors or disabled adults who desire to remain in their own home, or the home of a family member, require support with daily living tasks. While regular doctor’s appointments and prescription refills may be in order, there may not be any need for specialized medical care services.
Non-medical home care services, however, can make all the difference in supporting the health, happiness, and well-being of dependent adults. Providing non-medical support at home ensures clients are eating well, getting the exercise/movement they need, can remain engaged with their friends and favorite activities, and that they have additional support with daily living tasks when needed.
It’s important to determine whether your loved one needs support via medical or non-medical assistance (or a combination of both) when searching for the right in-home care providers.
Read, Home Care vs. Home Health Care, to learn more about how to distinguish the difference between medical and non-medical home care services.
Examples of Non-Medical Home Care Services
The following are examples of non-medical home care services:
Seniors or disabled individuals who live alone, and who have limited, or no ability to drive, become isolated very quickly. There is a direct correlation between those who live alone and depression, anxiety, and more rapid mental decline. Providing a companion to keep clients company, read, play games, listen to music, attend social functions and outings, run errand together, walk pets, etc., can make a world of difference.
Companion services also ensure a qualified senior specialist is keeping an eye on your loved one from day to day, or week to week, notifying the agency and immediate family contacts if there are signs of personal neglect or mental/physical decline. This way, additional senior care services can be implemented as needed.
Micro-services that are included in companion services are:
- At-home or community-based exercise sessions
- Plant watering
- Medication reminders
Clients are pleasantly surprised to observe how companion services improve their loved ones emotional wellbeing and quality of life.
Meal preparation and company while eating
Our caregivers are happy to cook a meal during their shift that can be enjoyed together with the client. The meals are tailored to the dietary recommendations of the client to support their physicians’ recommendations. Dehydration and malnourishment can occur quickly. Both contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental and physical decline.
Eating well is a foundation of physical/mental wellbeing, strength, balance, and healthy immunity. Having a square meal prepared for them, and enjoying company while they eat it, often increases clients’ energy levels, strength, and mental alertness.
Personal Care (dressing, bathing, and daily hygiene tasks)
Is your loved one struggling to get up and dressed each day, tying his/her shoes, bathing safely, or observing other general hygiene tasks? Does s/he need help with toileting or getting in and out of adult diapers? Home care providers are there to help with those and other tasks that keep clients feeling fresh, clean, confident, and energized.
Home care providers can assist or accompany clients when using public transportation or professional driving services, so they can attend regular appointments, social engagements, religious/spiritual services, meals out, or enjoy outings in good weather.
You can bring respite care in at any time, relieving regular caregivers for a few hours, a full-day, overnight, or for extended periods to enjoy a well-deserved vacation.
Miscellaneous services as needed
Senior home care providers tailor services as needed to the individual client. The services mentioned above are some of the most common services offered. Additional services that can be added as needed include:
- Light housekeeping for looks, health, and safety
- Organization for a more accessible home
- Staying awake overnight for supervision
- Medication reminders
FAQs About Non-Medical Home Care Services
Here are some of the most common questions prospective clients have about home care services.
How much does non-medical home care cost?
This one is impossible to answer because costs are dependent on how often caregivers are needed, the duration of their shifts and the services offered. What is proven is that bringing non-medical care into the home to support client independence is typically far less expensive than other residential living options.
Read, The Cost of In-Home Care for Seniors, and, Paying for Senior Care…, to learn more about general facts, figures, and things to consider in terms of financial planning.
Do we have to use all of the services?
Absolutely not. As a non-medical home care services provider, we have clients who start with a basic companion or meal preparation once a week, and we have clients who utilize live-in caregivers to provide 24-hour care, seven days a week.
The services, frequency, and duration of the care are completely up to the client and his/her family. They can be increased or decreased accordingly.
How do I know caregivers are qualified and trustworthy?
You are right to be concerned about the safety and security of senior loved ones when bringing strangers into the home. It can feel very unsettling at first until a rapport and bond are formed. Hiring caregivers from licensed, experienced agencies is the best thing you can do to feel confident about your choice.
Hiring an independent caregiver may seem more affordable at first cost-comparison. However, working with an agency guarantees that employees are vetted via background and DMV checks, attend continuing education and training on senior care. We also can provide a substitute on short notice if/when a caregiver needs time off or isn’t feeling well.
Scheduling in-home assessments with two or three different home care agencies in your area will give you a good sense of the best provider for your loved one’s care.