The desire to remain living at home has created an emergence of a service industry, “in-home care”, to meet this increasing demand. A range of companionship, supervision and personal care services are provided by in-home care agencies in the comfort and convenience of a person’s home, making it possible for them to remain living at home rather than moving into a facility. Increasingly, people are choosing to live independently while receiving in-home care services through an agency as their physical and cognitive abilities diminish. Most seniors want to age independently at home and not burden their family. In-home care services from an agency makes that possible.
Care in the home may include skilled home health care services and non-medical services. Home health care means skilled nursing care and in-home care means non-medical or custodial care. The differences between the two is important as they help to determine the level of care provided which determines the cost and funding sources available to pay for care. While there are differences in the terms describing aspects of home health care or in-home care, most elderly individuals will eventually need both at some point.
Non-medical services may include personal care, companionship and supervision, and assistance with tasks of daily living such as medication reminders, laundry, light housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping, transportation and escorts to medical appointments.
Determining if a loved one needs in-home care assistance is easier if you know what to look for and the questions to ask. Revealing questions should be asked while observing patterns of behavior and neglect within these areas:
Activities of Daily Living
Difficulty eating, cooking, dressing, walking or managing medications.
Consistent forgetfulness about where things are, getting lost walking or driving, confusion, loss of reasoning skills, inability to find the right word or complete a sentence, wandering, forgetting how to use ordinary things like a pencil, consistently forgetting to close windows or lock doors.
Lack of interest in activities, hobbies or friendships. No access to transportation.
Spoiled food in the refrigerator, unopened mail, unpaid bills, unfilled prescriptions, laundry piled up.
Feelings of depression and despair, sadness, abuse of drugs or alcohol, paranoia, unusual argumentativeness or verbal abuse.
Changes in appetite, weight, sleeping too much or too little, dehydration, general fatigue, hearing loss, incontinence, bruising, spilling or dropping things.
Infrequent bathing, bad body and/or mouth odor, sloppy appearance.
In-home care may benefit not only older persons, but also needs of younger adults who are disabled or recuperating from an acute illness, chronically ill persons receiving medical treatment in the home or diagnosed with a terminal illness. Receiving safe, effective and quality in-home care can enable one to remain in the comfort of their own home. If you or a loved one think you may benefit from in-home care services, contact Evergreen In-Home Care Services for free assessment and evaluation.
Nancy Webre, BS, MS, CEO / Owner, Geriatric Care Manager of Evergreen In-Home Care Services, 541-389-0006, www.evergreeninhome.com. Evergreen In-Home Care Services specializing in at home care in Bend.