Many seniors feel their best living at home. This concept is sometimes referred to as ‘aging in place,’ but however you refer to it, people often feel happier and healthier when they are in a familiar and homey setting as opposed to a more hospital-like space. To extend the amount of time that a loved one can remain in their home safely, additional home care or services are often incorporated to make aging in place easier.
So, What is Home Care?
Home Care revolves around personal care and helping individuals with daily needs and activities. This can include personal grooming care like bathing and getting dressed, preparing meals, light housekeeping, medication reminders, and even companionship and friendship. Those who work in home care are trained specifically to help seniors remain in their homes.
Home Health Care, while it sounds very similar, is not the same as home care. Home health care is medical care including injections, physical therapy, and monitoring specific illnesses. If someone is receiving home health care, they would very likely also need home care to cover much of the day-to-day needs a senior has that are impacted by an illness or aging. Just like when the rest of us get sick, it’s hard for the elderly to take care of all the household responsibilities as they get older.
Home care can often provide more frequent visits and touchpoints than home health care. People find home care especially helpful for aging parents who may not live close by, to supplement the care that the family provides, and to just help seniors live how and where they want.
Discussing Care with Your Senior…It Isn’t Always Easy
Discussing home care or any type of care with your aging parents or an elderly loved one can be really difficult. Change is hard for everyone, but especially for seniors. The phrase often heard when the topic of care for seniors comes up is ‘we should have done it sooner.’ It’s hard to know when to seek help, but it is better to start these conversations with your loved one before a crisis hits instead of after.
It is not uncommon for seniors to have some level of denial about the level of care they need. This can be made worse by dementia or other memory issues.
Helpful Ways to Work Through Care Discussions with Your Loved One:
- Start slowly -You don’t have to make all these decisions at once and sometimes just bringing up the topic a few times in a general way can help your loved one become more comfortable with it
- Talk it through – plan out what you want to say, maybe run it by a partner or someone else before you present a plan to your loved one
- Just Listen – listen to your senior’s concerns, thoughts, and feelings around a change in care. Validate how they feel and take some time before proposing solutions
- Co-create if you can – your senior may be more receptive if you create a plan together, this may not work for everyone, but creating a plan together with multiple possible outcomes or contingencies can make these changes easier. Everyone wants to be heard
- Try again – if at first your loved one isn’t receptive, some cautious repetition may help
- Find an expert – sometimes people are more open to listening to an outside expert
- Ease into it – starting slowly by meeting with a home caregiver together and agreeing to a few specific tasks or one day per week can be the best way to start.
If you have any questions or want more information about caring for your senior at home, contact Senior1Care.