Home Care is more commonly known as domestic or personal care, health care, or personalized support offered by a caregiver within the person’s personal home, rather than medical care offered in hospital-based group settings such as nursing homes or clinics. However, the term home care is increasingly becoming used to describe nonmedical support services provided to patients who live at home, including assistance with everyday activities such as shopping or meal preparation, or assistance with hygiene, personal care, and medication management. These services can be provided by family members, friends, or other caregivers.
The cost of providing home care is steadily rising, according to national averages. In 2021, it was reported that caregivers paid an average of 18 percent less in annual salaries than they did ten years ago. Similarly, in-home care agencies, the average age of HCAHPS caregivers was increasing, as well as the number of licensed practitioners and the number of agency-employed caregivers. While these developments are troubling, according to the American Academy of Home Care Providers, there is an opportunity to take steps that can reverse the trends noted above.
A number of changes have occurred over the past several years that affect the quality of life of HCAHPS home care providers and their clients. First, it has become more common for elderly people to live in care facilities instead of nursing homes or hospitals. Second, it is important that both HCAHPS and in-home care agencies promote healthier lifestyles for their clients, which may have an impact on overall health. Third, it has been noted that many HCAHPS home care providers are less likely to provide routine preventative care to elderly residents, which can lead to higher health care costs.
The creation of a collaborative care program between HCAHPS and in-home care agencies offers a way to alleviate some of these problems. Through this program, an agency will work with a caregiver to ensure that the right dietary needs are met. A dietitian is assigned to the client to create a customized nutrition plan for each individual. Meals are planned and purchased according to a patient’s specific dietary needs and frequency. Caregivers are provided with a weekly meal planner so they know what foods will be available for them to prepare meals from, including healthy snacks and low-calorie or low-fat dairy products.
An important aspect of a collaborative care program involves encouraging seniors to take advantage of the social skills and benefits of assisted living. A home care provider can encourage seniors to participate in activities such as guided walks, group classes, and outings. These opportunities allow seniors to meet other live-in carers and develop personal relationships. It also allows the caregiver an opportunity to develop a greater sense of responsibility and to gain the skills necessary to successfully maintain independent living. It is very rewarding when you see your aging loved one making progress and being embraced by a caring community.
Another aspect of the collaborative program involves the provision of several different types of services to support senior citizens. Some examples include assistance with bathing, dressing, medication reminders, grooming, and transportation. There are several different types of services available depending on the location of the senior citizen. Some communities provide the senior with transportation, while others may require them to use a walker or cane. In-home personal care assistance can also be provided to seniors who require help getting into and out of the bath, dressing room, and shower.
There are several benefits associated with home care. First, it offers seniors an opportunity to enjoy living independently instead of relying on others. Second, it provides seniors with the ability to maintain their independence and prevent boredom by interacting with companionship. It also provides an extra support system to help maintain the well-being of seniors who might be struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Lastly, home care offers an opportunity for caregivers to give extra support to those who are experiencing an unexpected and often difficult time.
Home Caregivers can offer their companionship in several different ways. It doesn’t matter if the companion is a family member or friend. What matters is that the companion is someone who is willing to put in the needed extra support. This is especially true for those who require supervision but don’t want to be alone. With the right person to provide the companionship needed, home caregivers can greatly improve the quality of life for their seniors.