Most seniors when asked state that they would prefer to age in their homes, unfortunately, it can be difficult for seniors to stay safely in their homes on their own. Senior home care can be an excellent solution.
Professionally trained elder care providers can help seniors maintain their independence while living at home. This may be the perfect solution for your aging parents.
The Spectrum of In Home Care for Seniors
Many people confuse nursing care with in home care for seniors. While it is quite possible to hire travel nursing companies to provide skilled nursing care, it is not the only type of care that you can secure for yourself or your loved one.
Seniors face unique challenges with day to day activities. They may experience mobility issues, struggle with balance problems, have health concerns that keep them from being able to manage day to day activities. This is where the senior home care provider comes in.
There is a range of services that a home care provider can help with including:
- Personal grooming needs
- Shopping, escorting the client to the doctors, medicine management help
- Household chores, cooking, meal preparation, assistance with feeding, follow a doctors occupational therapy instructions and more
The fact is a senior home care service can provide everything from basic companionship to assistance with physical therapy, medical appointment setting, and everything in between. Most agencies allow you to customize the level of care that is needed for your senior loved one.
These highly trained professionals deliver the care that allows seniors to remain safe in their own home. It can be one of the many layers of care that help seniors to enjoy a high quality of life and live where they choose to live.
Tips for Hiring a Senior Home Care Provider
There are a few things that you should do before you make a decision about which senior home care provider you want to hire. Your first step is to ensure that you are only considering certified senior home care provider companies.
Each state has an Office for the Aging. Contact the office in your state to learn more about which companies have had complaints filed against them. You can also ask for a list of area providers in your specific area.
In most cases, Department of the Aging agencies are not permitted to make recommendations but they can share facts and statistics that they keep on file about the provider you are considering. It is important that you do your research.
Other tips for hiring a senior home care provider is:
- Consider experience a key factor
- Always make sure you interview
- Look for a company that offers flexible service options
Experience is a key factor in getting exceptional senior home care. This is not the time to try out the newly established company. Look for a firm that is already established and that is certified through your state.
It is a little shocking the number of people that hire a senior home care provider without ever doing a formal interview. Meet with the provider, even if you have met with an agency representative already. Get to know the provider and get a feel for them, try doing so in a casual environment. Interview over cups of coffee so you get a sense of their personality. Remember this person will be in you or your loved one’s home. It is important that you feel confident in them. An interview is a must.
You also want to choose a company that offers flexible care options. While right now companionship may be enough but down the road, there may be more care that your loved one will need. It is best to sign with a company that offers a range of flexible services that can meet your family’s needs as time moves forward.
This is a very important decision to make so you do want to give it the attention that it deserves. With a little bit of research and some due diligence, you can find the perfect provider for your needs.
How Do You Pay for Senior Home Care?
In many cases public health care programs like Medicare will pick up at least part of the tab, in other cases, that may not be an option. Long term care policies pay for senior home care, some private health insurance also will cover some of the costs.
Some charitable organizations like Catholic Charity offer some help when it comes to providing senior home care. If you get resourceful about the situation you can find ways to make it far more affordable to keep your senior in their home.
A good way to find out more about help with senior home care costs is to contact the Department of the Aging, they will be able to provide you with the information that you need. Many families will share the costs.
It is Not Just One Thing It is Many
In most cases, it is not just one solution that helps to keep a senior in their home, it is a combination of efforts like making the space safer for seniors, having the tools that can help with mobility, and having great senior home care on board.
There are many products on the market that can be used to make seniors life more comfortable like:
- Mobility devices
- Safety equipment
- Devices designed for senior’s special needs
Mobility becomes more of an issue as we age. Balance, joint mobility, spatial perception, even hearing issues can affect mobility. Luckily there are plenty of devices that can be used both inside and outside the home to keep seniors up and moving.
Walkers, canes, electronic scooters, wheelchairs, bed lifts, adjustable beds, and more can all be used to simplify mobility and help to reduce risks. Outfitting a living space with devices that are meant to take some of the labor out of caring for a senior can be a big part of the solution.
Installing shower bars, rubberized stair treads, adding night lights and brighter lighting all can help to make the home a safer place to be. Even taller commodes can help a senior stay comfortable in their home.
Read below to find out more about products that are designed to make life easier for seniors so that they can comfortably remain independent.
Senior Safety Basics
As we age our bodies change, our abilities change, and how we move about changes. Helping your seniors to stay in the home can mean hiring senior home care and making the home a safer place for them to be. With the right tools and the right help, your senior loved one will enjoy the quality of life that they deserve.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make your senior loved one’s house a safer place for them to be and what tools you should consider having available for them. Little changes around the house can have a big impact on your senior’s safety.
Falls Are The Biggest Risk For Seniors
One out of four seniors fall and are injured every 11 seconds. Every 19 minutes there is a fatality from a fall for seniors that are 65 years of age and older. Falls are also the most common cause of non-fatal trauma requiring an emergency room visit.
Keeping your senior loved one’s space safe includes:
- Not using throw rugs (small rugs sometimes called scatter rugs) near doors or near stairwells. They can be a true hazard.
- Keeping walkways clear of debris outdoors and indoors.
- Be sure to tape down electrical cords and wires.
One of the benefits of hiring senior home care is that the home care provider can walk through your senior’s space and point out things that can be a potential danger for trips and falls.
Bathrooms can be rife with dangers for seniors. Bathtubs that seniors have to climb in and out of can be a recipe for disaster. Investing in an enclosed shower can be a much more sensible option for a senior.
A quick walkthrough of the house or apartment can reveal dangers you never really considered before. Changes will need to be made but they are not huge changes. It is simply a matter of becoming more aware of what is dangerous to a senior.
Simple Changes Can Help
Things that we take for granted can become difficult as we age. For example, grabbing cups of coffee in the morning seems like a relatively simple act, but not if you have arthritis and cannot hold a cup.
There are companies that offer products that are made especially for seniors. Everyday items can be difficult to manage for seniors that are dealing with joint problems. Investing in products that are made to make life easier for seniors are a good idea.
Incontinence is a big problem for seniors and something they rarely want to talk about. You can make life easier for them and save them embarrassment by purchasing an adult waterproof bed sheet. You do not have to say anything about it so they will not feel uncomfortable just let the senior home care provider know that it is there.
Every person deserves to be treated with dignity regardless of their abilities. Aging can be difficult for so many people because they are uncomfortable or feel ashamed by their limitations. You can help your aging parents transition easier by providing them with the products and the care that will ensure they can continue to live independently.
Dementia is often associated with aging. One of the biggest causes of dementia in the senior adult population is Alzheimer’s Disease, however, it is not the only reason your loved one may be forgetful. A lot of people jump to the conclusion that if a senior is forgetful they have Alzheimer’s Disease.
There is a range of issues that can result in forgetfulness that are also pretty common among seniors including:
- Sugar level control
- Other undiagnosed illnesses
Many seniors develop diabetes as they age. Poor sugar control can affect the ability to tap into short term memory. The sufferer can seem disoriented at times. Before making a judgment call it is always a good idea to get a medical opinion.
Of course, dementia comes in different stages. It may start out as small incidents of forgetfulness and get worse with time. Luckily senior home care providers are often trained to manage Alzheimer’s patients and clients with other forms of dementia.
Caring for someone with dementia, without the proper training, can be a challenge. Of course, anyone suffering from dementia will need constant care and should never be left alone. On the other hand, dementia does not mean that your loved one cannot live independently. It just means you have to have the right care in place.
Have You Considered a Service Dog to Help?
Service dogs are well known as animals that help people with vision challenges get around but that is not all they do. First, you should know that studies have proved time and time again, people, including elderly people, report that their lives are much better off because they have a dog.
A dog can be trained to alert when a diabetic’s sugar is high when a seizure is coming on, they can be trained to assist with getting things, and more. Most importantly a pet makes a great companion for a senior.
Between a senior home care provider a well-trained dog your senior can enjoy a high quality of life and have the assistance that they need to stay in the home. A dog companion can be a great part of the solution.