When caring for your loved one by yourself becomes too much for you to do alone, you may be wondering if using in-home care or a nursing home is the best way they will receive safe and supportive care. While many seniors would prefer to age at home and retain as much independence as possible, is this feasible in your family’s situation?
When Is the Right Time to Get Help?
There is no magical age at which your parents will need help at home. Some 90-year old people are fully independent at home and other 60-year old people who require assistance to stay at home. The decision isn’t based on age, but rather on an evaluation of your loved one’s physical and mental capabilities. Unfortunately, it is a hard reality when you have to face the question of how to give your parents the assistance they need to age safely. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using in-home care and nursing home placement so you may make the best decision possible for your family.
What About Nursing Home Placement?
There are many different types of senior home placements you may consider depending upon your loved one’s physical and mental abilities. Subsidized senior housing are communities where rent is determined on a sliding scale, and a state or federal agency administering the program. Residents have access to help in their apartments, including meals, but gaining admission to a subsidized senior housing facility is difficult and may not be available in your geographical area. Assisted living facilities are similar, but the rent is not on a sliding scale, and you pay extra for the extras. Retirement communities offer different levels of progressive care, so as your loved one’s abilities decline further, there is care directly onsite. Skilled nursing facilities provide 24/7 care with nurses on site, and physician visits to the facility.
The latter is what most people think of as a nursing home placement, although most retirement communities also offer a skilled nursing facility on the campus, so people are not moved from one place to another as their abilities decline. However, each of these options are expensive and are not covered by insurance unless your parents have long-term care coverage. Also, while it may seem convenient, the quality of care from facility-to-facility varies widely. At one facility, your parents may be well cared for, while at another equally expensive community, your parents may suffer from neglect and bed sores.
What Are the Advantages of In-Home Care?
If your loved one doesn’t require 24/7 skilled nursing care but can remain safely at home with a home health aide, they have the advantage of being able to stay in their familiar environment. By hiring providers through an agency, you have the advantage of using providers who have gone through a background check and are thoroughly vetted and trained. Depending upon your loved one’s needs, a physical therapist or occupational therapist may also make home visits.
An in-home care provider will help you and your loved one make the home environment safe, such as removing throw rugs and rearranging the furniture to create a clear path. If there are times when your family member is home alone, there are wearable devices that allow them to contact emergency services if they are unable to get to the phone.
Your loved one also experiences a more personal one-on-one relationship with their care providers and have the advantage of remaining as independent as possible for as long as possible, which also improves their cognitive abilities. While home health aides are most cost-effective, when needed, your loved one also has access to registered nurses and physicians in their home.
Many families choose in-home care since their loved one enjoys a higher quality of life and happiness, which translates into 50% fewer doctor visits annually. Additionally, in-home care is more cost-effective.
Are You Ready to Explore Your In-Home Care Options?
Our professionals at Harmony Home Care are dedicated to providing the best and safest care for our clients. Call us today so we can answer your questions and help you begin the journey of supporting your loved one at home.