Getting older comes with challenges, ranging from mobility struggles to cognitive decline and even loss of the support and presence of friends. It can be difficult for older people to transition into a nursing home or other long-term care facility, and many wish they had the option to stay at home.
The good news is that senior home care can provide this option—with it, several benefits are unique to this type of service. Here’s what you should know about the many advantages of home care for seniors so that you can choose the next step, either in your own life or that of your loved one.
What Is Senior Home Care?
Senior home care is an alternative to moving into an assisted living facility. Home care allows professionals to come directly into the senior’s home and provide assistance there. This can occur for only a few times a week, or just a few hours a day, or the professional can provide full-time live-in assistance, depending on a person’s unique needs.
Advantages of Home Care for Seniors
Home care for seniors is an often overlooked option; most people imagine that as soon as they need help in their older years, they’ll need to move to a nursing home or long-term care facility. However, this at-home strategy comes with many benefits to consider that are not present in nursing homes, such as:
Personalized Attention and Care
Because a caregiver is present in your home and focused only on your loved one, they give your loved one the attention and care they need. Compare this to a nursing home, where staff must juggle the needs of dozens or even hundreds of individuals over the course of the day. With home care for seniors, your family member is the sole focus and can receive customized attention based on their needs and abilities.
Opportunities for Independence
At long-term care facilities, residents are often closely monitored and must abide by the regimen of the facility. Breakfast happens at a particular time, and activities are held on a schedule. However, when an older person continues to live at home and receive home care, they set their own daily schedule.
They can choose when and with whom to socialize, when and what they would like to eat, and how they want to spend their day. Plus, they can do all of this in their own home, using all their familiar belongings.
One of the biggest challenges for families with an aging loved one is the emotional and physical burden they experience when offering care independently. When a professional caregiver is involved with home care, families can still cooperate while maintaining the family member’s own independence and wellness.
They can usually trust that there is a professional available, even when they themselves are not. It may be difficult at first to relinquish certain decisions, but in the end, it will benefit the person needing further care and make it easier for the family to ensure that they are being treated as much as needed.
Routine and Comfort
Moving out of the home and into assisted care is often stressful because residents must adapt to new routines and people in unfamiliar environments. Home care allows a person to stay in a familiar and comforting place.
They can continue their established routines on their own schedule and have benefits like continuing to keep a pet. These options for aging in place have been shown to improve health outcomes; for example, studies show that people heal from injuries better in their home environments.
Price and Affordability
Generally, home care for seniors can be more affordable than assisted living care. This is because home care professionals charge hourly so care can be planned around needs and budgets.
Additionally, most services offer a discount on 24-hour rates; be sure to speak with any agency you’re considering to see how their fee structure works. Most families can find a mixture of service hours and fees that fits within their budget for less than the cost of a nursing home (which can reach more than $500 per day in some areas).
Learn More About Opportunities for Seniors to Thrive
Aging is a natural part of life, but it isn’t necessarily easy—even for people whose families are doing their best to provide care at home. This is where home care for seniors can help to bridge the gap. Keeping family members from caregiver burnout while providing the professional assistance that an older person needs, home care services can help your loved one age in place and maintain their familiar and comforting routines and habits.
The Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia assists families with understanding their options and keeping them connected with community services that can help. Reach out to learn more about how home care could help your senior loved one to thrive.