Caring for the Elderly at Home
Caring for the elderly at home involves many aspects, from daily personal care to transportation and household maintenance. A large number of the elderly may have some form of dementia – almost half of all people aged 85 or older have Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. This only makes caring for the elderly more challenging. In other words, the role of a caregiver can be very demanding and stressful.
Here are some basics on caring for the elderly at home to help caregivers and care recipients make most of this unique relationship.
What Does Elderly Care Mean?
Elderly care also called senior care or simply eldercare includes fulfillment of all the needs and requirements unique to the senior population. Aging in itself doesn’t have to be a reason to seek senior care. However, different diseases and physical conditions require eldercare; a large number of senior citizens need some assistance with anything from their daily activities and healthcare to homecare.
The elderly with dementia or other chronic or debilitating conditions may be fully dependent on others for meeting their basic day-to-day needs. Therefore, elderly care should ensure that the seniors keep their independence as long as possible and age with dignity.
What Does Elder Care Do?
Eldercare includes services that can improve the quality of everyday life and independence and increase the safety of the elderly. It is tailored to meet the specific needs of the person and can range from simple companionship to medication management and physical therapy.
Non-medical in-home elder care usually includes two types of care. The first is Companion Care which refers to a professionally trained caregiver who provides Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as light housekeeping, grocery shopping, errands, laundry, meal preparation, activities to encourage physical activity and similar.
The second type is Personal Care which includes individualized care to provide Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like bathing, incontinence care, dressing, assistance with eating and mobility.
How Do You Take Care of Elders? How Can I Help My Elderly Parent Stay at Home?
Taking care of elders, particularly persons with dementia may often be challenging. A large number of dementia patients suffer from depression and mood swings. They may appear irritable, confused, lonely or aggressive, which might make them hard to be around. So, pay attention to your parent’s emotions and behavior and try to be reassuring and supportive.
Avoid criticism and show patience. Make sure to communicate in a soft but clear manner and use a friendly tone.
Also, ensure safety at home and remove any clutter or excess furniture from the house. Depending on how much of every day help your aging parent needs, they may require constant supervision or only a bit of help with day-to-day. Before deciding on the best care for your elderly parent at home, try answering some questions, such as the following:
- Do they need help during the night time as well?
- Does your parent need assistance in getting dressed, feeding, and similar?
- Does your aging parent require help with managing medications?
- Do they need help with grocery delivery or transportation?
- Can they engage in some sort of physical activity?
- What is the condition of their mental health and the level of social interaction?
- Is there anyone else who can help with caregiving duties?
Consider these needs and the level of assistance needed so you can understand how much help your parent needs to stay safe and live well and with dignity.
What is Elder Care Services?
Senior care includes a wide range of services that cover assistance to an elderly person in fulfilling his/her individual needs and overcoming challenges to normal day-to-day functioning. Apart from an institutional setting such as a nursing home, an assisted living facility or a residential care facility, seniors can receive care in their own homes.
Most elderly would rather live at home, mostly because staying at their own home gives a sense of freedom and familiarity they have been used to. Nevertheless, many aging adults need long-term care and cannot live alone in their own homes.
Depending on their physical and health conditions, some elderly may need a bit of assistance to ensure they take their medications on time, do household chores or go outside a home while. At the same time, a person with progressive dementia may require consistent care and attention.
How Much Does In-Home Elder Care Cost?
Many families choose to hire an in-home caregiver for their senior family members who require long-term care. The benefits of having a live-in caregiver caring for the elderly at home are numerous. First of all, the elderly person gets a companion and someone who helps with personal hygiene and everyday chores. Also, the seniors get personalized care by a qualified person while keeping independence to some extent. Finally, they get to stay at home and enjoy their comfort and familiarity.
In general, the cost of in-home eldercare depends on the kind of services the person requires and the number of hours a caregiver spends with them.
Costs can be as low as a couple hours a week or 24/7 round the clock home care. You really have to call and discuss yours or your parents situation to find out.
Every US state has its own median cost of in-home care for the elderly. However, the national average is around $4,000 per month. Your case may not be exactly that, call us to find out.
What are Different Types of Home Health Care?
Most commonly, the types of home health care available include skilled nursing service that covers anything from medication management to disease process education and management. Furthermore, it may include physical therapy tailored to the aging person’s needs as well as occupational therapy intended to help a caregiver or family member understand the senior’s needs, such as self-care, safety hazards adaptive equipment at home.
Other types of home health care services include speech therapy, emotional support, social workers’ assistance, cooking, transportation, housekeeping or safety assistance.
Home Care vs Home Health Care – The Difference
Home health care is different than home care. Home care is simply daily living assistance and does not require a medical degree or qualifications other than reliability, attention to detail and a desire to help people. Home health care involves medical treatment.
What is Custodial Care for the Elderly?
Custodial care is a type of long-term, non-medical support that helps seniors whose primary needs include non-medical assistance with basic care needs and everyday living. Providers of this type of care don’t need to be medical professionals.
What Types of Facilities Provide Geriatric Care?
Eldercare is provided in a range of geriatric care facilities.
Independent Living Communities
In this type of retirement communities, the elderly must be independent in all aspects of daily living. They also have full control over their everyday activities.
Assisted Living Facilities
In assisted living facilities, people live in their own apartments equipped with emergency signaling devices. This type of elder care with minimal services available is suitable for those who need little or no assistance.
Residential Care Facilities
Also called board homes or sheltered housing, these facilities provide housing to the elderly who need assistance with personal care or medical needs.
These facilities have 24/7 staff and offer additional services such as meals, laundry, or social activities.
Continuing Care Communities
These are multi-level facilities that ensure independent living as long as possible. Continuing care communities offer a range of services including health care, personal conveniences, social activities, recreation, gardening space and similar and they are a good option for couples who need different levels of care but want to stay together.
Nursing homes provide 24/7 supervision and care to seriously ill individuals.