Benefits of hiring in-home care for an elderly parent

by Michele Teter

When a loved one is still living at home but struggling with the effects of getting older and losing their independence, hiring in-home care can be a great solution. Professional caregivers provide seniors with physical assistance, as well as help with the emotional and routine aspects of daily life.

In addition to the more tangible benefits that home care can provide with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing, seniors and their caregivers can enjoy invaluable personal benefits.

If there is one thing that becomes clear as someone ages, it’s the extensive benefits of friendship. “Far too many elderly individuals in the United States live alone, and when they have trouble getting around, lose their driving privileges, or do not have family and friends nearby, it can make them feel even more isolated,” says Kevin Watkins, co-owner of Caring Hearts of Rochester in New York. That is why companionship becomes a quintessential part of any home care services.

A professional caregiver can provide precious social interaction. This could be something as simple as conversing over coffee, going to the movies, or cooking or gardening together. In the process of doing their job, caregivers stave off loneliness and depression in older adults.

At some point, most aging adults are unable to drive safely. This blow to their independence also severely limits their ability to complete everyday tasks, such as buying groceries, going to church and visiting friends. A professional caregiver can provide safe transportation and accompany your loved one on errands, meetings, doctor’s appointments, social events, etc. Such assistance can expand a senior’s world outside of the home and help them remain active.

By providing ongoing personal care, professional caregivers are able to help aging individuals continue living safely, comfortably and socially at home. A little extra support can be all that is needed to extend an older adult’s sense of independence. This goes a long way toward improving their outlook on life and boosting self-confidence. Most aging individuals are comforted by remaining in familiar surroundings where they have spent much of their lives. In-home care can help them stay there longer than they would be able to on their own, forgoing placement in a long-term care facility.

A professional caregiver will keep an eye on your loved one and detect changes in their condition, such as refusal to eat, sudden weight loss, medication mismanagement, forgetting to turn the oven off, etc. This kind of accountability can make a significant difference in preventing accidents and avoidable health complications, particularly in situations where an older adult has a difficult time with communication and/or remembering things. These caregivers are specifically trained to read subtle cues that a senior’s mental or physical condition has changed and act quickly to remedy the situation.

Whether you live 10 minutes away or on the other side of the country, it is hard not to worry about your loved one when you cannot be nearby. In-home care provides the one-on-one, personalized care that a sole caregiver is not able to offer full time, giving you priceless respite AND peace of mind. A professional caregiver is a valuable addition to your loved one’s care team.

If you have concerns about a senior’s ability to live independently or your responsibilities as their sole caregiver, then it is a good idea to begin exploring home care companies in your area. Consider both the tangible and intangible benefits that could come from hiring a professional caregiver for your aging loved one, and take advantage of this increasingly popular method of care.

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