When is home care helpful?
Home care can help for short periods of time, for extended periods, or around-the-clock in certain circumstances. Here are the most common reasons families set up home care for a loved one.
Support with daily activities
If an older loved one becomes frail or weakened by the progression of an illness or age-related condition, it’s a good time to get extra help at home. This allows your parent or grandparent to continue to live independently in the home they love, getting the support they need to stay safe and happy. This type of care is all about maintaining a good quality of life with maximum independence.
After the death of a spouse
Home care can also be very helpful when a spouse passes. The older loved one now living alone may want companionship or need help with meals, household chores, or driving, as well as support staying active and connected with friends and the community.
When a caregiver needs a break
Something as simple as a family vacation, a change in a family caregiver’s work schedule, a sick child, or caregiver fatigue can also trigger a need for home care. When a family caregiver can’t be there or needs a break to rest and recharge, this type of care is called respite care. Whether it’s for a few hours, a few days, or more, respite care is highly recommended for family caregivers, especially when caring for a loved one with a chronic condition or progressive disease such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or other dementia.
After a serious medical episode
Home care can also be very helpful after a serious medical episode, such as a stroke, heart attack, major surgery, or bad fall. Your physician may recommend professional care to support optimum recovery and rehabilitation at home following discharge. In many cases, setting up professional home care is a requirement for discharge from a hospital or medical facility.
For a chronic condition or illness
In addition to supporting daily activities and providing companionship, home care is also helpful when caring for a loved one with a chronic condition or serious illness at home. This type of specialized care can offer families many benefits: respite care or additional support for family caregivers, assistance when a loved one needs care overnight, help with transferring, lifting, and toileting, as well as managing illness symptoms and treatment side-effects. Setting up quality, personalized home care for someone with a chronic condition or illness can enable that person to continue to live at home with greater safety and comfort.
When time is limited
Near the end of life, home care provides families and their loved ones emotional support and compassionate assistance to improve physical comfort during this difficult time. A care professional can help support hospice workers, provide assistance with personal care when hospice workers aren’t present, or simply be there—24/7 if necessary—so no one ever has to be alone in their final hours. An experienced care professional also knows the best practices and procedures for assisting a person at the end of their life with compassion and sensitivity.
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