When to Consider Home Care

Author

FirstLight Home Care

Posted on

Jan 20, 2022

Book/Edition

Nebraska - Eastern Region

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If you traveled home for the holidays and spent some time with your elderly parents, you may have noticed they need a little extra assistance at home. Although it can often be difficult to know when your loved one is no longer able to live independently, there are some tell-tale signs.

Perhaps their home isn't as clean as it used to be. Or they have expired food in the fridge or pantry. Maybe their personal hygiene has gone by the wayside. Or they have some new dents and scratches on their car.
We've collected a few of our most-read blog posts that we think are helpful for family caregivers who are considering hiring a professional caregiver for their aging parent. Many adult children wonder when its time to consider home care for a loved one. If you find yourself stopping over more often to check on your aging parents or asking a friend or neighbor to stop by, it might be the time to look at in-home care options.

Learn some of the most common signs it might be time for home care. In-home care can provide vital support Maybe your parent needs short-term assistance. Temporary in-home care can help individuals who are recovering from illness, injury or surgery, as well as after a hospital stay. This short-term care can last anywhere from several weeks to a few months, and it is typically provided in someone's home. This care can provide a long-term boost to what your loved one needs most comfort, confidence and peace of mind.
Learn how temporary home care can support your family.
Find the best possible caregiver

Doing the proper research to ensure your parents are taken care of as they age physically, emotionally and financially will help give you peace of mind in the future. While researching care for your parents, take time to look for a caregiver who is patient, compassionate, detail-oriented, and present. Youll be able to rest easy knowing that the person you love the most is being taken care of by someone who has their best interest and wellbeing at the forefront.
If you are a family caregiver, keep these in mind while researching home care for your parents.

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Dementia and Staging

The Alzheimers Association uses a three stage approach for classification of dementia, including mild, moderate, and severe. Understanding these varying stages can make it easier to provide support, know what to anticipate, and prevent caregiver burnout. In dementias mild or early stage, most people can do things for themselves, are able to drive, and participate in favorite activities. However, they may require assistance with some activities and cues or reminders for keeping appointments or remembering words and names. They may also need help maintaining familiar routines, managing household bills, grocery shopping, or preparing full meals. Fluctuations often start early and happen throughout all stages.The moderate or middle stage of dementia is usually accompanied by difficulty with immediate recall, logic, situational memory, language, and organization. New daily care needs may arise when routine isnt enough. An individual may have more difficulty starting and completing tasks in order. There may also be more repeated comments or questions about the situation. They may experience confusion, depression, anxiety, agitation, irritability, suspiciousness, and repetitive behaviors. Sleep changes, physical and verbal outbursts, and wandering may occur. Loss of independence and privacy can be difficult. Instead of taking over, it may be beneficial to ask for their help or present steps in order with visual cues and participation praise.The severe or late stage is characterized by declines in environmental response, conversational skills, and movement control. Because of motor memory damage, most time will be spent resting. The persons immune system may weaken as the brain can shrink to 1/3 of its original size.Automatic movements like swallowing and eating can be challenging, and liquid can build in lungs. Infections or skin breakdown may result from poor nutrition. Repositioning, slow muscle movements, singing, playing music, or saying prayers may bring comfort and relaxation. Caregivers must read facial expressions, body language, and sounds to detect pain or discomfort due to a lack of communication.Dementia progresses differently for each individual, and their ability to function varies from week to week and day to day. Staging helps determine how much help and what kind of help loved ones may need. Its important to observe subtle changes and patterns and remain flexible as solutions may need to be adapted. Editors Note: This article was submitted by Michelle Pekich, Director of Marketing, for in-home care provider ComForCare Home Care. She may be reached at 724-759-7674 or by email at mpekich@comforcare.com.

Is Home Care Right for Me?

Choosing to get additional in-home support for yourself or a loved one is an important decision. In some cases, a physician may recommend certain services that can be received at home following a fall, surgery, or an illness. But in other cases, the need for in-home care may not be as clear. How do you know if the time is right to get some additional support in your home?1.      Is family support or a support network readily available? If not, this is one clue for the need for additional care.2.      Does you or your loved one have freedom of mobility being able to ambulate indoors and outdoors without falling? Is getting into/out of bed, climbing stairs, or negotiating the shower/tub a concern?3.      Is the person able to drive safely? Do they drive at all?4.      Does the loved one still have a capable memory and is able to perform tasks such as remembering to take medication, turn off a stove burner, and lock doors?5.      Is this person able to follow complex medical directions such as taking vital signs, or following a prescription regimen without supervision?6.      Can the loved one shop for themselves, stocking the home with healthy groceries, and then able to prepare these consistently?7.      Is this person able to pay attention to personal hygiene as well as do their own laundry including clothes, towels, and bedlinens?8.      Does the loved ones home offer a safe environment for living and socializing? Do they keep it clean, well heated and cooled, and free from pests. Is the home free from clutter and hazards (loose rugs, exposed wiring, slippery tile, uneven surfaces, etc.), and would they know what to do in the case of an emergency?9.      Are the levels of social interaction what they were 5 years ago?The points mentioned above should give you a starting point to think about in-home care and then have an appropriate conversation with your loved one. It might be urgent if the points above are not being accomplished, or it might be beneficial if the points are not consistently being accomplished.Editors Note:  This article was submitted by Jeff Kosor, owner of Senior Helpers of Southwest Pittsburgh.  Jeff can be reached at jkosor@seniorhelpers.com or 412.851.3223

Aging in Place at Home: What are Your Options? - Florida Senior Consulting

Aging in Place at Home - What are Your Options?Theres no place like home, according to Dorothys most famous line in The Wizard of Oz. And most seniors agree with her.In fact, almost 9 out of 10 seniors in the US want to grow old at home rather than move to an assisted living community, according to several national polls.The term for growing old at home is aging in place, and it is the most desired option among seniors.Living at home brings comfort and feelings of safety and well-being. You know the house and the neighborhood, and often friends and family members are nearby. But aging in place takes planning to ensure it is the best path for you.Below are some factors to help you decide what is the best life plan for you and your individual circumstances.What is Aging in Place?Aging in place starts with a decision to grow older in your current residence instead of moving to an assisted living community. It is not the best choice for everyone, and the decision is complex. Unfortunately, almost half the seniors who want to age in place have yet to think about the steps they need to take to stay home.Some questions to consider include:How is your health?Do you have any medical conditions that worsen over time, making aging in place difficult or impossible? Do you have a support network to manage the age-in-place home care you need, like home health care, doctors appointments, medications, physical therapy, and more?What type of modifications does your house need?Is your bedroom upstairs? Are there handrails and seating in the shower, or do you have a walk-in tub?Is there someone to help with shopping and meal preparation?Do you or will you need help with any of the basic daily activities like bathing or dressing? Fortunately, today there are many high-quality home healthcare services available. Aging in place for years to come might be your best option. But, choosing between aging in place or transitioning to assisted living care is a personal decision that includes emotional, physical, and financial factors.Housing Modifications for Aging in PlaceWe all love our homes, but only some houses are well-designed for aging seniors. A palatial winding staircase or three-story colonial house might be regal, but they are poor choices for aging in place. A single-story ranch house is one of the best structures for aging in place.Many houses need only minor modifications for aging seniors to be comfortable and mobile as they age at home. Better Homes and Gardens lists the five essential home age-in-place remodeling tips:Think About StairsA single-story ranch house with no exterior stairs is the best choice. But even if you have a multi-storied home, there are still options. With newer technology, inexpensive hydraulic and pneumatic elevators are available. And installation is often only a few days at most.LightingSlips, trips, and falls are significant risks for seniors. And seniors eyes naturally get worse with age. You can install spotlights, higher illumination lights, LED lights in the closets and bathroom, nightlights, and more. Height AdjustmentsSinks, desks, countertops, and tables can be more accessible with a few height-adjustable products. You can also have sturdy handrail-equipped step stools where needed, like closets and hard-to-reach spaces.Make Bathrooms Safe and EasyMost senior slips and falls happen in the bathroom, but they can be avoided with just a few changes. Experts recommend non-slip floor surfaces and a curbless shower with a hand wand. This allows accessibility with a wheelchair, or you can have a shower chair for comfort and stability.Embrace Safe TechnologyTechnology is a senior's best friend for aging in place. Motion detectors can quickly turn lights on and off automatically as needed. 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Routines invoke a psychological comfort that positively impacts the senior's mental and physical health and well-being.Less ExpensiveAssisted living community options can be costly. Medicare and many health insurance programs do not cover long-term care expenses. Aging in place is usually much less expensive than moving into an assisted living community, especially if your home is paid off.Independence at HomePersonal independence decreases with age, and most seniors will eventually need some help accomplishing everyday tasks. But today, much of that help is available through qualified in-home care services. Aging-in-place seniors can now maintain the dignity and feeling of independence as they age in their own homes.Aging in Place DisadvantagesAlthough aging in place is the most preferred option by seniors, several disadvantages make assisted living communities better choices for some. You should carefully weigh all the factors before deciding what is best for you.SafetyHealth emergencies become more frequent as we age. It is vital to have help nearby after a fall, an accident, or an emergency. Also, increasing cognitive issues like Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia can cause serious safety concerns. Forgetting to turn off a stove, take your medications, or getting lost in the neighborhood are all severe safety issues.Maintaining Your HomeIn addition to making your home aging-in-place friendly, ongoing maintenance and repair will be needed. This is not an issue if you have someone to take care of the renovations. But if not, the ongoing expense and project management might become a challenge. And avoiding upkeep and repairs is a safety concern.Do You Have a Support System?Many seniors live alone or have no family close by. Without an active support system, aging in place alone is usually not practical. Besides mental isolation, seniors need a support system that can provide the ever-increasing need for help as they age. If their adult children live far away, aging in place can be challenging without help in putting a support system in place.Your Next Best StepChoosing whether to age at home or move to an assisted living community is a big decision and can seem overwhelming.Florida Senior Consulting helps seniors decide their next best steps.We have certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Let us help. Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or visit us at floridaseniorconsulting.com.

Local Services By This Author

FirstLight Home Care Omaha

Non-Medical 2717 S 88th St, Omaha, Nebraska, 68124

At FirstLight Home Care WE CHANGE LIVES EVERYDAY! We help people live safely, independently, with dignity and joy in the place they call home. FirstLight Home Care provides non-medical full companion and personal care services in Omaha to those who need a little more assistance.I understand the fears and anxieties of my clients because I, too, was a caregiver to my mom and dad when they fell ill. Caring for them sparked a passion within me. Today, I am driven to make sure other families do not have to struggle like I did.My mission? To provide peace of mind for the whole family, listening to their individual needs.At the end of the day, I get to help a wife be a wife, a son be a son, a daughter be a daughter and a friend be a friend. I help people get theirfamilies back. This business has been the greatest gift in the world to me.' Jaye Firmature McCoy, Owner