Opinion: More Assistance does not mean Less Independence

The goal of any home health care arrangement is to preserve the long-term health and independence of a client with as few changes to their lifestyle as possible.

For example, a client may be largely independent; however, certain household tasks may be difficult or dangerous due to a chronic illness or injury. In this case, a home caregiver may visit the client once or twice a week for four hours, taking care of these tasks and providing support as needed.

Over time, a client may experience a new health challenge that reframes their needs, leading to a change in the scope of their care. Two four-hour visits a week may turn into daily visits, or the length of time a caregiver spends in the home may increase to cover a broader range of difficult tasks.  Helping hand

This expansion of care duties is a natural, normal part of a long-term care plan, however, it is similarly natural for a client to feel some reservation about the increasing scope of their care.

While thoughts like “I was doing this fine on my own before,” or “this is my responsibility,” are completely normal during periods of change, keeping a positive mindset about changes in care are critical to preserving long-term independence.

Below are just a few reasons why expanding in-home care services can be seen as a positive change.

  • Familiarity: A home care client receiving smaller amounts of service already has a positive relationship with their caregivers and the administrative team responsible for supporting their case.

Caregivers already know the preferences and boundaries of their client, making more hands-on care tasks much more comfortable for all involved.

This benefit becomes all the more powerful if the client’s health makes communication and self-advocacy difficult, as caregivers already have a strong understanding of how to best support their client.

  • More free time: Home caregivers assist clients with tasks that are difficult, dangerous, or impractical to do alone. This support frees up a client’s time to pursue activities that they value, safe in the knowledge that critical daily tasks are managed by someone they trust.
  • Better self-advocacy and communication: Having a working relationship with caregivers and administrators means the client has an effective platform to communicate how they want to receive their care.
  • Fewer administrative hurdles: The initial intake, assessment, and insurance-related onboarding processes needed to start home care services can take a little bit of time to arrange.

If an individual is already a client for a home care agency, they have already gone through these steps while in good health and while facing fewer illness-related pressures.

Because these steps have already been cleared, an existing home care recipient and their team can modify a plan of care much more nimbly to better address their current needs and keep the client in the driver’s seat of their own care.

  • Better Baselines: As in all fields of medical care, home health caregivers can better identify major changes in a patient’s health if they already have an understanding of the patient’s baseline health.

By establishing a relationship with a home health care agency earlier, caregivers will have a much stronger understanding of the patient’s daily rhythms, making it much easier to spot changes and seek help before a more serious situation develops.

We hope you find this article helpful and encourage you to share it to anyone who is considering in-home care, but has concerns about their long-term independence.

SelectCare has helped New Yorkers live happier, healthier lives in their long-time homes for 38 years. To learn how we can help you or a loved one, call SelectCare today or request a free in-home care guide.