If you’re over 65, staying out of the hospital or nursing home is a strong motivator to take care of yourself. Did you know that getting elder care and using in home care services is an important part of self-care? Having a senior helper around the house helps you preserve your energy and prevent accidental injury. That’s why elder care services offer to do the little things that add up to big risks.
In the last year, have you:
. Fallen indoors or outdoors?
. Slipped getting in or out of the bathtub?
. Skipped meals?
. Gone without clean clothing?
These circumstances, or worrying about what might happen, threaten your long-term health and independence. You don’t have to be infirm or immobile to enjoy personal assistance or care. If you’re sometimes too tired to cook or do laundry, or have trouble remembering to take medications, a senior helper can take some of the work and worry out of life. If you find yourself home alone too often, you can turn to elder care and in home care services for companionship at home and as a helpful escort to social activities.
Seniors who choose elder care and in home care aren’t locked into “assisted living” programs. These experienced caregivers understand that needs and priorities shift. They are flexible and realize that a small issue today can either disappear or become critical tomorrow. They are also aware of the common challenges that older people face. Professional personal assistants can share their knowledge to help you learn what to avoid and how to prevent health and safety problems–before there’s a crisis.
Even if you don’t feel ready for everyday assistance, consider requesting in-home visits on a temporary or gradual basis. You’ll have time to get used to the relationship in the comfort of your own home. You’ll also get an objective, informed opinion about your condition. It can be difficult to recognize emerging health hazards and symptoms by yourself, but a professional who sees you every now and then can tell when things start to change.
HOW ELDER CARE AND IN HOME CARE SUPPORTS YOUR HEALTH
Folks who are happy and healthy are able to live at home longer. What’s the secret? To stay vigorous, you need balanced nutrition, good hygiene, and exercise within your abilities. A home environment that’s free of the things that can trip you up or knock you down helps you avoid painful injuries and costly medical bills. Social contact contributes to a sunny mental outlook. Turn to a reliable elder care or in home care agency for help in managing all of these issues.
With health and longevity as the goal, elder care providers step in to raise or preserve the quality of your day-to-day life. They’ll handle meals and cleaning, and deal with safety issues. They’ll help you with grooming or getting out and about. So stay where you are while preventing health problems. With some personal assistance, you can maintain a good diet, fresh and comfortable surroundings, and an appropriate level of exercise. Just select the elder care and in home services that you need.
Don’t miss meals or settle for junk food any more. Enjoy your favorite recipes and find new ways to get the calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats that will help your body thrive. Elder care providers can:
- Plan interesting and varied meals
- Shop for healthy ingredients
- Cook to your tastes and dietary requirements
- Make your favorite foods
- Keep the kitchen, fridge, and utensils clean
- Save leftovers for later
- Set a welcoming table
Your Home Environment
Fresh air and an uncluttered space support your respiratory and mental health. Good lighting and periodic checks on small appliances can help prevent falls and fires. Your elder care provider can:
- Dust and vacuum floors, window coverings, and upholstery
- Tidy up bedrooms and living areas
- Take out trash and recycling
- Clean out closets
- Drop off secondhand item donations
- Replace light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries
- Make sure space heaters, toaster ovens, and other appliances are safe
Your Daily Tasks
Even when you’re young, it’s tough to do all of things that you are supposed to do every day. Clean clothes and bedding are important to your health, along with a well-groomed body. Taking medications at the right time is critical. Whittle away at your to-do list with the help of an elder care provider who can:
- Wash and dry laundry
- Change sheets and make beds
- Shampoo hair
- Care for nails and teeth
- Help with incontinence, toileting, and bathing
- Remind you of your medication schedule
- Help with pets and household projects
Your Active Life
Like most seniors, you have appointments to get to, places to go, things to do, and friends to see. Keeping up with your social schedule keeps you moving, which is good for your health. Most elder care businesses offer transportation and escort services for seniors who no longer drive or who don’t feel safe traveling alone. Your elder care provider can:
- Take you for neighborhood walks
- Drive you to exercise classes
- Get you to doctor and physical therapy offices on time
- Take you to church or social functions
- Accompany you on shopping trips
- Take you to the movies, concerts, or lectures
- Help with gardening or another favorite hobby
HOW TO SECURE IN-HOME PERSONAL ASSISTANCE
You don’t have to dive into home care all at once. Take your time to settle on which services you need. Shop around for a reputable elder care provider in your area. Then work with them to select a personal assistant you can spend time with and trust. Before you get started, though, get your priorities straight. Knowing what you want and need will save you time and money.
While in-home visits may seem like a luxury, flexible service levels and rates compare favorably to the high annual costs of residential facilities. Home senior services can be more personal and customized than packages at assisted-living centers as well. Talk to an elder care provider to see whether insurance or veterans’ benefits will help pay for your plan.
Although hiring a private caregiver can save you money in the short term, choosing a personal assistant from a home-based senior care business may have longer-lasting financial benefits. A franchise or independent service provider can:
- Screen applicants for skill and integrity
- Handle employment taxes and legal details
- Help with financing and insurance paperwork
- Maintain a pool of qualified staff from which to choose
- Offer 24-hour and holiday service
- Let you try out plans and personnel
- Send a substitute if your assistant is out sick
Home care franchises and agencies may be much more flexible in meeting your needs than administrators at nursing homes or assisted living complexes. Those residential programs have fixed resources geared toward their communities, but in-home providers make decisions on an individual basis. You can select the services you need help with and just how much help you need. You can change your requests over time, or even change elder care providers if you find room for improvement. These caregivers make it their business to satisfy, not pacify, seniors.
Elder care providers work with your lifestyle and priorities in mind. They learn your habits and abilities, and they can suggest ways to lighten your load. Task menus differ from business to business, but most comprehensive senior care agencies offer some or all of these elder care services:
- Household duties
- Meal preparation
- Personal care
Unlike residential plans, in-home personal assistance is there only when you need it. You might engage elder care for a few hours per day or per week, year round. You might prefer a full daytime schedule that ends with dinner preparation. If your health condition or peace of mind require, a 24-hour schedule can be shared by two or more elder care providers. Experiment to arrive at the ideal frequency of in-home visits.
Respite care is another solution that elder care agencies offer. Temporary help on one of the above schedules relieves a family member of care obligations or supports you as you recover from surgery or an accident. Even if you just feel like taking a break from your usual self-care routine, you can engage professional personal assistance on a respite basis.
The final schedule to consider is your own internal clock. Is it time to secure outside help in order to live at home safely? If you’ve had a fall, a “near miss,” or ongoing anxiety about what might happen, the time may be right. Why move if you don’t have to? A few visits from a personal assistant each week could add months or years of independence and health to your life.