Home Care: What It Is and How Your Loved One Can Benefit From It
Home care can be tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals, couples, and families. For instance, TheKey takes a person-centered approach: One of their trained professionals goes to your loved one’s home and does an in-depth assessment of their living situation, daily activities, and personal preferences. They then create a thoughtful and detailed care plan that covers the specific care and support recommended for your loved one so they can continue to age safely in their home. From there, your loved one is carefully matched with a professional caregiver who best meets their care needs and is a good fit with their personality.
Home care professionals also support and bring peace of mind to family members who would otherwise have to drop everything, perhaps even rushing over from work, to help their loved one throughout the day.
Home care can range from a few hours a week to 24/7 support and may offer such services as:
- Meal preparation with a focus on making sure your loved one is getting adequate nutrition, which is important for managing chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes
- Grocery shopping and other errands
- Medication organization and reminders
- Cognitive engagement through conversation, hobbies, games, and other activities
- Physical activity such as taking walks or doing light exercise, which can help improve gait, balance, and energy
- Light housekeeping, including laundry, dishes, and cleaning
- Personal care and hygiene, such as bathing, dressing, and eating
- Transportation, like bringing loved ones to appointments or taking them on social outings
In addition to all of the care and services listed above, Balanced Care Method, focuses on your loved one’s overall wellness, including nutrition, physical activity, social connection, and engagement.
Is Home Care Right for Your Loved One?
Choosing the best possible care option for your older adult can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate these decisions alone, Muskat says. She suggests this four-step process:
Step 1: Find a vetted and well-respected home care agency.
Step 2: Schedule an appointment with a team member to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your loved one’s personal situation and condition as well as their living space. This includes observing your loved one’s daily routine, from getting dressed in the morning to preparing meals.
Step 3: Once the assessment is complete, you’ll get a proposed home care plan that highlights what services are available and recommended. You can compare that plan to what’s offered at an assisted-living or memory-care facility to get a broad view of your options.
Step 4: Decide if home care makes sense for your loved one. Talk it over with your adult siblings and other family members who are involved. But most importantly, ask your loved one what they would like to do; it’s critical to involve them in the process. And remember, should your loved one need to move from their home later on, home care can go with them.