If you are considering providing your elderly family member with the care that they need in your home instead of a nursing home or elderly care facility, there are many things that you will need to consider. Two terms that come up frequently is home care and respite care. Here is a look at what the two terms imply and the benefits of each.
First, you can take a look at home care. Home care is generally defined as having a trained worker come in to take care of the elderly person’s needs. Their job is to support the elderly person by giving them the assistance that they need and that the family is unable to provide. This may be because of difficult health issues, scheduling conflicts (as when other family members need to work and the elderly family member cannot be left alone for long periods of time), and other reasons.
Elderly care workers can come in for a variety of reasons. They may simply be a type of housekeeper, assisting with cleaning, laundry, or cooking duties that the elderly person cannot perform on their own. They may run errands, such as shopping for food or picking up prescriptions. They may also provide assistance with more personal care duties, such as bathing or medication of bedridden patients, or assisting those persons with mobility issues with activities like dressing or personal grooming. They may even drive your family member to doctor appointments or social events. The actual services that your home care worker will provide depends on your needs and the terms you decide on.
Another positive benefit that a home care worker can provide is a source of companionship for the elderly family member. They can give them someone to talk to throughout the day when other family members are indisposed. Their training may also provide them with the capability of giving advice on diet, nutrition, or exercise, or allow them to provide counseling through an emotional situation.
Respite care is another option if you are considering doing elderly care at home. Unlike home care, respite care is a temporary assignment, where the home care worker comes in and allows the primary caregiver (usually a family member) a chance to take a break from the daily routine of caring for their loved one.
For example, you may consider being the primary care giver of your elderly mother. However, what do you do if you want to take a family vacation with your kids? Get called out of town on an important business trip? Have a wedding/funeral/graduation or other event that you need to attend? Having a respite care worker come in can allow you to leave to attend to such matters without having to worry about your elderly family member while you are gone. They can step in for a few days or weeks and provide the same care that you would if you were home.
Either way, you have plenty of options for caring for your loved ones at home if you decide. Whether you need help on a temporary or help on a full time basis, there are options for you and your family to consider.