~ By Kristin Boyd ~
As the “Baby Boomer” generation starts to retire and their desire for independence remains strong, in-home care has become one of the fastest growing services provided to aging adults. While many may have heard the term “in-home care”, there is still some confusion as to what services are provided and when in-home care is needed.
What is in-home care?
In-home care services include, but are not limited to, personal care, companionship and supervision, as well as help in the home with tasks such as meal preparation, medication reminders, laundry, light housekeeping, errands, shopping, transportation, and companionship. More and more people are receiving in-home care services through a caregiver as their physical and cognitive capabilities diminish. Most people want to age independently at home. In-home care makes that possible. For more advanced care needs there are also home care agencies that provide medical care under the supervision of a Nurse Practitioner. Each office is different, and therefore specific questions need to be answered in order to ensure that the appropriate level of care is being provided. We will give the specific questions to ask in future articles.
When do I know it is time for in-home care?
Recognizing some of the signs that is time to consider a caregiver can help determine the best time to start contacting agencies and preparing for the caregiver. Some of these signs and symptoms may include: having difficulty walking, dressing, eating or bathing; an increase in falls or injuries; a change in eating habits that is affecting nutrition and causing weakness; mixing up or forgetting to take medications and missing doctors’ appointments; or wanting help with cleaning and maintaining a household, are all indicators that a caregiver may be welcome on a part-time to full-time basis.
In-home care is designed to be used on an “as needed” basis. Many clients take advantage of in-home services after an illness or injury so that they can recover and become stronger. Once strength has returned, the need for a caregiver is greatly reduced or even eliminated.
In other situations, as an illness progresses, sometimes it is necessary for a caregiver to be with the client more frequently. Making sure the specific needs of each client are met should be the goal of the caregiver or home health agency.
How do I choose an in-home caregiver?
The need for a caregiver often arises after an illness or injury and can make an already stressful time even more hectic. Knowing how to find a qualified caregiver can help to alleviate some of that stress. There are agencies that provide in-home caregivers and there are independent caregivers who don’t work through an agency. This is a personal decision and each individual has their own comfort level and what they’re looking for in a caregiver and qualifications. Be sure to read our article next month for questions that will help determine which type of caregiver is the best fit for each individual.
Kristin Boyd is the owner of Right at Home, an in-home care agency located in Lafayette, CO. Kristin employs well-qualified, professional and compassionate caregivers who love what they do. Questions and inquiries regarding in-home care may be addressed by calling Right at Home (303) 604-2220 or email: Kristin@seniorcareboulder.com.