As we age, it’s quite common to have trouble keeping up with all the day-to-day tasks that allow us to live independently in a comfortable, safe environment, and this is doubly true when managing chronic or long-term medical challenges.
In the following blog, we will look at some common concerns and warning signs your older loved one might display as they age, and how home health care services can help.
Keeping up with household chores
The Challenges: There’s a lot of work that goes into keeping a house or apartment neat and tidy, and letting some tasks go undone due to a lack of energy, time or physical ability is one of the leading signs that an older loved one might benefit from home health care. If left unchecked, these unfinished tasks can pile up and create an unsafe or unhygienic living situation that causes more challenges down the line.
How Home Care Helps: When a family makes the decision to bring in home health caregivers, the agency’s director of care or RN Field Nurse Supervisor will visit the client in their home and help identify important household tasks and build a schedule for when they will be completed. This not only keeps your loved one’s home safe, but gives them the free time and energy to pursue what they enjoy most in life.
Running errands and travelling to appointments
The Challenges: It’s easy to take for granted how challenging a trip around town can be when you are faced with mobility limitations, an unsteady gait or limited vision/hearing. Travelling to unfamiliar locations or rushing to reach an appointment on time compounds these challenges and can put your loved one at risk of a fall or accident.
How Home Care Helps: Many home care clients rely on their home health caregivers to escort them to and from important events like medical appointments and family functions. Alternatively, some clients give their caregivers shopping lists so they can enjoy all the benefits of a trip to the supermarket without leaving the comfort of their home.
Tracking and remembering medical tasks
The Challenges: As an individual’s medical needs become more complex, staying up to date with various medications, physical therapy exercises and other medical tasks can become an overwhelming burden, especially without the oversight of a medical professional.
How Home Care Helps: With the help of the client’s RN Field Nurse Supervisor, the client’s home caregiver team builds a daily schedule of medical tasks and appointments that they can use to ensure the client is receiving consistent and complete medical care while remaining in their home. Additionally, home caregivers closely monitor their clients for changes in their health status and can report these changes to the client’s medical team.
Staying engaged with friends and family
The Challenges: Social isolation is a sadly all-too-common part of aging independently, either due to difficulty travelling, a lack of energy or other causes. This sense of isolation compounds with time and can have a serious impact on an individual’s mental health and happiness.
How Home Care Helps: Home health care agencies often try to match clients with caregivers with similar personalities in an effort to encourage a friendly rapport. Just seeing a familiar, friendly face every day can have a huge positive impact on a client’s long term mental health. This sense of companionship, combined with a caregiver’s ability to help the client stay active in their community is one of the best ways to offset social isolation.
Meal preparation and personal care
The Challenges: Preparing and eating complete, healthy meals is a key element to maintaining long-term health and independence, but doing so can be a time consuming and sometimes dangerous task – especially if a senior has limited hand dexterity or is beginning to experience bouts of forgetfulness. Even worse, if a senior stops preparing their own meals and begins to lean more heavily on ready-to-eat foods, they might be missing out on important nutritional elements key to staying healthy.
How Home Care Helps: Home caregivers are often given meal and menu guidelines that ensure they are preparing healthy options for the client’s specific dietary needs. Not only does bringing a new chef into the kitchen keep mealtime exciting, it is also a chance for the caregiver and client to work together in the kitchen, building a sense of companionship that can make the client’s house feel like a home again.
SelectCare has been helping New Yorkers live happier, healthier lives in their long-time homes for more than 33 years. To learn more about how our team of compassionate home caregivers can help you or a loved one, call SelectCare or request a free in-home care guide by mail or electronically today!