As we grow older, we become less mobile and often find it difficult to carry out essential daily living activities. In the event of severe illness or injury, we may require long term medical care. Frequently, the responsibility of caring for an elderly person falls on a family member. Far too often, this places a tremendous amount of stress on the caregiver who usually has a job and younger family members who require care.
In some cases, the level of medical attention an elderly family member needs may require special training beyond the scope of the caregiver. This might lead to the caregiver feeling they have no choice but to place their loved one in a nursing home or other facility. However, the broad range of home care services available today encompasses everything from assistance with daily living to specialized nursing care. Most seniors prefer to remain in their homes, and there are a number of benefits to providing in home care.
Home care minimizes stress for both the elderly and their loved ones. It allows the patient to remain in a familiar environment where they are surrounded by their personal belongings, friends and pets. In the home, seniors can maintain their lifestyle whereas being institutionalized disrupts their routine and requires them to give up most of their belongings. At home care eliminates restrictive environments that dictate visiting hours and bedtimes. Home care provides peace of mind for family members since they are not isolated from the level of care provided. They have access to their loved one’s home at any time and may observe the quality of services. Moreover, the time they have with their family member will be spent enjoying their company rather than doing chores.
Providing care in the home speeds healing and promotes wellness. Research has shown that elderly patients who have undergone surgery or other procedures requiring hospitalization recover more quickly in the familiar surroundings of their home. In addition, recuperating at home avoids complications due to the spread of infection, which is a common occurrence in institutional environments.
In home care is one on one, therefore, the patient receives immediate attention to their needs. The medical professional’s time is not divided among numerous patients which is typical in institutions. In home care providers can respond much more quickly to emergencies. They also provide companionship and social interaction which is important for emotional well-being.
Caring for the elderly at home is much less expensive than the cost of either assisted living facilities or nursing homes. In many cases, the elderly family member has already paid off the mortgage on their home so their cost of living is low. Moving them to an institution adds further costs. If the facility is located far from the family members’ home, there will be additional expense for travel.
Extends and Improves Quality of Life
Seniors who receive in home care are more independent and have greater choices. It enables them to maintain greater control over their own care and to choose medical providers who work well for them. They continue to engage in activities in the home and community and experience greater longevity. Remaining at home allows the elderly more freedom. They are not limited by the rules and policies of an institution. It allows them to maintain their dignity and live out their lives where they are happy.