One of the defining features of home health care is the ease in which services can be tailored to accommodate a patient’s unique needs and goals.
Because of this ease of customization, many new home care recipients will focus on identifying household tasks in which a home caregiver can provide assistance, however the actual timing of these services often goes unconsidered.
In fact, deciding when your home caregiver visits is almost as important as what type of assistance they will provide. Because many home care patients begin service with shorter visits (around four to six hours) selecting a time of day in which you receive services can be absolutely critical. Read on to learn what factors you should consider when scheduling in-home care.
Consider when services will be most impactful
When thinking about your home care schedule, consider what kind of services you plan to receive and when they will make the most meaningful difference in your day.
For example, if you struggle with self hygiene, dressing, or meal preparation, scheduling services for the morning might be your best option.
By thoughtfully scheduling services this way, you ensure you are clean, fed, and prepared for the rest of your day, rather than spending excessive amounts of time muddling through these tasks on your own.
Alternatively, if you are beginning home care services because you feel like you don’t have enough energy by the end of the day to straighten out your home in preparation for tomorrow, considering evening services might be a great choice.
With a caregiver available in the evening hours, you can identify tasks you didn’t complete on your own, ensuring you start tomorrow with a clean slate (and apartment!)
Consider your daily rhythms and habits
Not everyone is ready to have company first thing in the morning, while others find they have less patience as the day wears on.
Companionship and social engagement are valuable passive benefits of in-home care, so selecting a time of day when you feel most sociable is a great way to ensure you build a positive relationship with your caregiver.
Additionally, if there are recurring activities you find you enjoy better with company, like watching a particular game show, working on a crossword puzzle, or taking a walk, scheduling services for this time is a great way to ensure you enjoy your hobbies in good company.
Schedule around other recurring activities
Whether it’s participating in an adult day program at a community center, visiting friends, exercising, or running errands, chances are you already have a few recurring activities scheduled throughout the week.
Just because you are considering home care services does not mean you need to change your existing habits! Instead, work with your home care provider to develop a schedule that allows you to continue participating in your existing routines and doesn’t make you feel rushed to get back home.
Remember, the goal of home health care is to provide support on your terms and help you enjoy the things most important to you.
Creating the perfect home health care schedule
Many new home health care recipients report feeling excited knowing that they will be able to get the support they need, when they need it, but it is also not uncommon to feel somewhat overwhelmed by the pressure of needing to build the “perfect” home health care schedule on their first try.
In reality, developing your ideal service schedule may take a little experimentation, and your home care team will be happy to accommodate changes in order to ensure you are getting the most out of their services.
Communication is key during these early weeks and months of receiving home health care. Communicate early and often with your service coordinator, discuss what you like about the services you are receiving and what you may like to see change.
SelectCare has spent nearly 40 years helping New Yorkers live happier, healthier lives in their long-time homes and remain as eager as ever to ensure our services fulfill every client’s unique needs and goals.