There are so many myths and misconceptions when it comes to home care services and providers that we feel it is important to address these myths. Below we address some of the main myths about home care to show that it is a valuable service and not some kind of hoax.
With baby boomers retiring at a rate of about 10,000 people per day and a life expectancy of 80-85 years, it’s easy to see the demand for home care services. Many of these baby boomers will need help with their daily activities at some point after retirement.
In many cases, family members of senior citizens including spouses and children can help take care of them, but they also have their own lives and families to take care of. These adults are “sandwiched” between work, caring for their children, and caring for their aging parents. Needless to say, they cannot provide the type of care needed for an extended period of time.
If senior citizens wish to remain independent in retirement and continue to live in their own homes, they will have to rely on home care services at some point. However, many seniors will still not consider professional home care services because of the widespread misconceptions that we debunk below.
Myth #1: Caretakers Don’t Care
Nothing can be further from the truth, caregivers are paid to provide quality care and companionship for their clients. If they do not provide effective care or show any respect or compassion towards their clients, they will quickly be out of work.
For most providers of home care services, caregiving is more than a job, it is a calling. Think about how difficult it is to take care of a bed ridden individual for 12 hours each day. Many people probably wouldn’t do this job regardless of the pay.
Home health care workers are trained to connect with their senior care recipients and provide care that helps improve their quality of life. Some of them aspire to become nurses or doctors and working as a caregiver is a way into the health care industry.
Of course, some caregivers are better than other but there are things you can do when interviewing them to weed out the not so good one, like asking caregivers the right questions.
Myth #2: Home Care for People Who Need Round the Clock Care Doesn’t Work
Home care services can be provided on an hourly or weekly basis, and caregivers may spend anywhere from a few hours to the full 24 hours in the homes of their clients. Some seniors only need companionship and light housekeeping services for a few hours a day, a couple times per week while others require the services of a trained and experienced caregiver 24 hours per day.
The only thing to keep in mind is that most home care agencies have a daily minimum of at least two hours.
Myth #3: Outside Help is not Needed with a Family Caregiver
This may be true in some cases, but in many more it is not. Family caregivers have a stressful job taking care of their senior relatives and they also have families of their own and jobs.
Even if a family caregiver has no job other than to take care of their elderly relatives, they will still need a break to prevent burnout and provide better care. Home care agencies offer respite care which is designed to relieve the family caregiver for a specified period of time so they can rest and tend to their personal lives.
Myth #4: Home Care is Too Expensive
Quality home care is not exactly cheap, but like anything else, you get what you pay for. Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways to pay for home care and given these options, almost everyone can find a way to afford it.
One thing to keep in mind is that the cost of care varies depending on where an individual lives as well as how much care is needed.
There are government programs that can help pay for care when certain requirements are met; these requirements vary by state. Some home care agencies, like Assisting Hands Home Care – Chicago, accept long-term care insurance to help pay for home care.
Myth #5: In-Home Care is for People Who Can’t Live Alone
The contrary is true – hiring a home aide is a way for elderly people to maintain independence and live comfortably in their own homes.
In-home aides make daily life easier for seniors by helping with the cleaning and cooking and engaging them socially through conversation and various activities like walks. This type of home care makes it possible to live independently without seeking help from family members.
Caretakers are also trained to prevent common non-fatal injuries like falls and fractures which are major issues for those over 65. This alone makes it worth having a home aide.
As you can see, home care is an important service that helps seniors live independently in their homes. If you or a relative has reached retirement, you should start thinking about the moment you will need help with daily activities so you can prepare for it.