Seniors who choose to age in the familiarity of home may at some point require support from a home care professional.
Depending on the level of assistance necessary, either a home care nurse or a home care helper may be suitable. The two professions differ markedly.
The one commonality between a home care nurse and home care helper is that both provide in-home, compassionate support for aging individuals.
An elderly person who has just been discharged from a hospital stay will likely not require extensive monitoring or treatment that would necessitate a hospital setting. Instead, the senior may recuperate in the comfort of home. In such a case, a home care nurse possesses the professional medical expertise to provide care.
A senior who is in relatively stable physical health but who experiences cognitive decline is likely to benefit from a home care helper. Such a professional is skilled in offering medication reminders, light housekeeping and transportation.
Families that elect one form of care over another may see a need for change in the future as the senior’s condition advances. An individual may start with a few hours of basic help from a home care helper.
Eventually, as the senior’s condition progresses, the situation may gradually warrant the services of a home care nurse to provide skilled medical care.
A home care nurse is a skilled medical professional. He or she has received training and licensure to be a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) and perform the designated healthcare responsibilities relevant to the field.
Examples of healthcare services only a medical professional, such as a home care nurse, can provide include administering medication, checking vital signs, changing wound bandages and giving injections.
Duties performed by a home care helper are strictly non-medical in nature. A home care helper may perform light housekeeping, prepare meals, assist with feeding and provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, therapy, the grocery store and for other errands as needed. Seniors receive help with the activities of daily living.
Bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting are areas with which many older individuals obtain assistance from a home care helper. Through pleasant companionship, a home care helper also prevents the isolation commonly experienced by many senior citizens.
Who Benefits from Care
Seniors who experience chronic health conditions, such as congestive heart failure, or who undergo acute injury or surgery, benefit most from the services provided by a home care nurse. A trained, medical eye is necessary to observe changes in the care recipient’s health and to skillfully modify treatment to preserve health and well-being.
A home care helper also promotes well-being by ensuring the senior’s home is tidy, the laundry is done and that meals are served. Generally, elderly individuals feel an increased sense of security knowing support is nearby.
A senior is more likely to move around the house without the fear of falling, for instance. Home care helpers also allow the older person to live with as much independence as possible.
In order for a home care nurse to qualify in the field, he or she must graduate from a nursing program. A home care nurse’s education includes either an associate or bachelor’s degree in a healthcare field, such as nursing.
Subsequent to obtaining educational merits, a licensing exam must be passed. Experience in the field is a requirement. Professionals who gain licensure may obtain hands-on experience in areas such as emergency nursing or medical and surgery nursing. Competent individuals are ready to assume roles in home health after gaining a few years of relevant experience.
Despite education, licensure and experience, a home care nurse must possess certain personal strengths to succeed in the field.
An ability to work with people, the independence to make clinical judgments while working alone in a person’s home and the communication skills to relay and explain medical complexities to families and care recipients are important to the competency of a home care nurse.
Minimum educational requirements are necessary for a home care helper. A high school diploma is sufficient. Licensure is not required. A home care helper with experience working with seniors is at a greater advantage than someone without hands-on experience.
Services from a qualified home care nurse cost on average $25 to $60 per hour. Medicare or Medicaid may offset the expense of a home care nurse.
Home care helpers who are privately hired receive anywhere from $9 to $30 per hour, with the average hourly rate being $19. If a home care helper is employed by a home care agency, families can expect to pay $18 to $35 per hour, 50 to 60 percent of which goes to the agency to cover administrative, training and insurance fees. The hourly pay of a home care helper also varies significantly by geography.
Home care agencies, like Assisting Hands Home Care, offer compassionate senior care through services provided by a team of qualified home care helpers. Assisting Hands Home Care specializes in non-medical, in-home care for elderly.
Examples of common services offered by Assisting Hands Home Care caregivers include 24-hour home care, live-in care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, fall prevention evaluations and assistance with personal emergency response systems. Seniors also receive assistance with the activities of daily living, like personal hygiene, eating and transportation, among others.
Care is flexible at Assisting Hands Home Care in Park Ridge, IL. Whether families prefer to engage in part-time respite care services, like a few hours a week, or indefinite periods over the course of several months, Assisting Hands Home Care will develop a customized care plan to address the individual needs of the care recipient.
Aging in the familiar surroundings of home is possible with the help of caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers take a personal approach to caregiving, taking the time to get to know their care recipients.
As a reputed senior home care agency, Assisting Hands Home Care serves the Park Ridge, Illinois, community of elders with dedication and compassion.