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The benefits of elderly individuals living in their own homes are undeniable. But when an aging loved one begins struggling with household tasks and activities of daily living (ADLs), it can become a major source of worry for their family. Hiring home care is an excellent option that enables older adults to age in place safely. Professional in-home caregivers provide seniors with hands-on care as well as help with the emotional and routine aspects of daily life.
In addition to the more tangible benefits of hiring a caregiver, both older adults and their family members can enjoy added peace of mind. If you have concerns about a loved one’s ability to live independently or your growing responsibilities as their sole caregiver, consider the advantages of home care for the elderly.
5 Home Care Benefits for Seniors
1. Companionship and Social Opportunities
If there is one thing that becomes clear as someone ages, it’s the importance of social connections. “Far too many elderly individuals in the United States live alone, and when they have trouble getting around, lose their driving privileges, or do not have family and friends nearby, it can make them feel even more isolated,” explains Kevin Watkins, co-founder of Caring Hearts of Rochester in New York. Fortunately, companionship becomes a quintessential part of any home care services.
Companion care provides invaluable social interaction. This could be something as simple as conversing over coffee, going for walks, or cooking or gardening together. In the process of doing their job, caregivers stave off loneliness and depression in older adults.
2. Safe Transportation
At some point, most aging adults become unsafe drivers and must give up their car keys. This blow to their independence severely limits their ability to complete everyday tasks, such as buying groceries, going to church and visiting friends. A professional caregiver can transport and accompany your loved one to stores, meetings, doctor’s appointments, social events and more. Such assistance can expand a senior’s world outside of their home and help them remain physically and mentally active.
3. Extended Independence
By providing ongoing personal care, professional caregivers are able to help aging individuals continue living safely, comfortably and socially at home. A little extra support can be all that is needed to extend an older adult’s sense of independence. This goes a long way toward improving their outlook on life and boosting self-confidence. Most aging individuals are comforted by remaining in familiar surroundings where they have spent much of their lives. In-home care services support aging in place and can delay or prevent the move to a long-term care facility.
4. Oversight of Daily Life
An in-home caregiver will keep an eye on your loved one and detect changes in their condition, such as refusal to eat, sudden weight loss, medication mismanagement, or fluctuations in memory and reasoning. This kind of accountability can make a significant difference in preventing accidents and avoidable health complications, particularly in situations where an older adult has difficulty communicating and/or remembering things. Personal care aides are specifically trained to read subtle cues that a senior’s mental or physical condition has changed and act quickly to remedy the situation.
5. Peace of Mind for the Family
Whether you live 10 minutes away or on the other side of the country, it’s impossible not to worry about a loved one who is showing signs of needing help at home. Home care services provide the one-on-one, personalized care that a sole caregiver cannot realistically offer full time. This valuable addition to a senior’s care plan grants their family members priceless respite opportunities that reduce stress levels and prevent caregiver burnout.
By Michele Teter