Staying at home for as long as is possible can mean a great deal to anyone who develops care needs. Familiar surroundings can be therapeutic, and have been proven to enhance recuperation. However, when faced with an ongoing frailty or short-term recuperative care needs, it is important to consider a number of factors when trying to determine if in-home care will be appropriate for the particular situation. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to care.
Some helpful questions to ask prior to making a decision about staying at home with care or moving elsewhere:
- What is the culture of the care recipient? Does that culture value family and elders, and will that culture rally around the frail person to assist with care needs?
- What is the financial situation of the care recipient? Can he or she afford to pay out of pocket for care? Is there a family member or friend who might want to assume the responsibility for paying for care at home?
- What are the formal and informal support systems of the care recipient? Is there someone who can assist with the instrumental activities of daily living to make running a household possible? Are there neighbors and friends who are available and willing to assist?
- What is the level of care needed now? What is the prognosis for future care needs? NOTE: If the frailty is temporary and the aging person is expected to recuperate, the chances of returning home are greater than if the prognosis is degenerative or terminal.
- What is the mental status of the care recipient? NOTE: It is far easier to care for an alert and mentally sharp but physically frail person at home than it is to care for a cognitively impaired but physically active person.
- Can the frail person get up and down out of a chair or bed? NOTE: This is crucial to being able to return home. Needing assistance in toileting means that care is needed constantly and will be charged hourly, 24/7. However, if the person is able to get out of a chair or bed, then the care needed is sporadic and home care should be considered first.
In-home care helps a frail person to live independently for as long as possible, given the limits of his/her medical condition. It covers a wide range of services and can often delay the need for long-term nursing home care, or it can serve as an aging in place solution so a senior does not have to move out of the home.
Help in the home can include:
- Household chores such as cleaning and preparing meals;
- Personal care that is non-medical, such as bathing, dressing, or moving around the house; and
- Health and medical care, such as a nurse, home health aide, or physical therapist.
For further assistance in determining if in-home care is the best option for an individual’s situation, please contact Heart of the Carolinas at 864-991-3116.