Most senior citizens are aware of what home care is, but they may consciously refuse to admit that they need it themselves. If your elderly relatives are refusing home care, you must talk to them about it in a way that does not make them feel inadequate.
Once your senior relatives have decided to go with home care services, you and your loved ones need to decide what type of home care is needed. It is important to understand what types of home care services are available in order to pick the one that best fits the needs of your loved ones.
Home care services vary by cost and provide their clients with different levels of support. All home care services can be put in the following two categories – medical and non-medical home care.
Medical Care: Professionals who perform medical care need to be licensed medical professionals like certified nurses and therapists. Examples of medical care include physical therapy, speech therapy, wound care, and medication dispensing.
Non-Medical Care: An individual does not need to be licensed to provide non-medical care, but most home care aides are required to go through training or take classes. Typical non-medical care services include light housekeeping, cleaning, cooking, companionship, transportation, and activities of daily living (ADL) including bathing, toileting, eating, and getting dressed.
The type of care you choose should depend on the individual’s needs as well as the availability of family members (kids or spouses) to assist them in their day-to-day life. For more about the pros and cons of medical vs non-medical home care check out this blog post.
Providers of Home Care – Pros and Cons
Family members are often the ones who take care of their aging spouses or parents. Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months.
Family caregivers often have their own families to take care of which makes this a less than ideal way to take care of a senior citizen or person with disabilities.
Trained caregivers are what most people turn to when they need home care services. There are two main types of home caregivers – independent caregivers and caregivers employed by home care agencies. Here’s what to ask before you hire one.
Independent caregivers work directly with a senior and their family. Their services cost less per hour which is a huge benefit.
One disadvantage of independent caregivers is that they may or may not have the type of insurance needed or the training required to perform their job effectively.
For example, they may or may not be trained in the latest senior care skills such as transferring an adult in and out of bed or CPR to name a few. When working with an independent caregiver, you might be responsible for employment taxes and insurance for those who are not properly insured.
Home Care Agency Caregivers
Caregivers who are employees of a home care agency come with a higher price but for good reason. They are well trained in the latest techniques and they are bonded and insured by the home care agency that they work for. In addition, all elderly caregivers undergo a background check before being hired.
Because home care agencies employ multiple caregivers, you can choose one that’s a good fit for your loved one. Care agencies are also able to accommodate last minute emergencies like a caregiver calling in sick so you or your loved one will always have someone to help them when they need it.
Once you have determined which type of home care your loved one needs, you need to determine whether care is needed for a few hours a day (hourly caregivers) or around the clock (live-in caregivers).
The former leaves the home after their shift is over while the latter resides in the client’s home where they need to have their separate bedroom and living space.
There is a lot to consider when choosing home care. One thing to remember is to take your time and think it through before you pick up the phone and call for home care services.