Getting elderly loved ones into a care home may seem like the best solution when they become less able to take care of themselves – but is it? There are strong arguments in favor of home-based care for the aged, so before you initiate that difficult conversation with your folks, or even if they raise it themselves, consider these reasons why they may be better off at home.
1. Emergency Medical Response is Available
In most care homes, the most qualified medical experts available on call are registered nurses. In case of emergencies, they will still call an ambulance. Explore what medical alert systems have to offer. Wearable alert alarms can summon emergency medical help at the touch of a button allowing elders, or any carers they may have, to get speedy assistance when needed. Knowing that help is at hand is a big confidence booster, and most elderly people are more than happy to keep their alert devices handy since they are as aware of the risks they face as you are, and possibly even more so.
2. Avoid the Stress of a Move
Anyone who has worked with older people will know that the effects of stress, bad enough for people in their prime, are much more severe for the elderly. Moving house is one of the biggest stress factors one can experience, and if that’s coupled with having to get rid of treasured possessions and a sense of having to relinquish independence, it’s even worse. It’s not uncommon for elders faced with a move to “age” visibly within a matter of weeks or for the stress to aggravate existing medical conditions, placing them at risk. Avoiding a move for as long as possible could be the best thing you can do for your elders’ health and peace of mind.
3. Home Care For Individual Attention
Home care beats institutional care, even when you choose high-end facilities. If you can afford it, having 24/7 support from a care worker means that even elders with mobility issues and certain chronic illnesses get more individual attention. They’ll also get more psychological support. Workers at care homes have busy schedules and are often saddened by the fact that they don’t have time to spend time with residents in need of nothing more than a little company. Home-based care adds the benefits of companionship to the advantage of knowing that physical needs will be promptly taken care of.
4. More Control Over Their Schedule
Most elderly people thrive on routine. They like to get up at a certain time, eat meals on schedule, and follow their own timetable and set of bedtime rituals. In a care home, they don’t have absolute control over their schedules. At home, they do. They also have a greater feeling of self-determination. After all, who doesn’t like sleeping in from time to time or grabbing a snack whenever they feel like it?
Home care leaves them feeling in charge. Institutional care limits their options for doing what they like when they like. Instead of routines fitting them, they have to fit into the routine. Besides chilling reports of elder abuse, it has even been reported that some care homes instruct workers to take away unfinished meals that elders would still want to eat simply because they are “eating too slowly” and throwing out the schedule.
5. On the Subject of Food: They Can Eat Their Favorite Meals
There are many reasons why older people are prone to depression. The loss or reduction in physical capability, having to give up driving a car, or needing others to help them with simple chores are all blows to their self-esteem. Creating an environment where they get to make their own decisions as far as possible can be a big help in keeping their spirits up. Simple things, like deciding what to eat at mealtimes, and allowing them to supervise kitchen activities, add interest to their lives and help them to feel more independent, in control of events, and self-confident.
6. Taking Control of Disease Management Through Home Caregiving
Home care disease management for elderly people is an important aspect of health care. It is a process in which home caregivers work with patients and their families to manage chronic conditions and illnesses. Home care disease management can include providing advice and support on lifestyle changes such as healthy meal plan for elderly, medication management, exercise, and other health-related topics. It also provides educational materials, resources, and support to help manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and prevent potential complications from chronic conditions. Home care disease management can be beneficial for those with chronic illnesses and their families, as it can provide assistance in managing their condition at home and reduce the need for frequent hospitalization. Additionally, home care disease management can reduce healthcare costs and improve overall health outcomes.
Think Before You Resort to a Home
While there are times when people have no other option than to place their elders in care homes, choosing home-based care for as long as possible is a gentler solution. It may even be more cost-effective. If you aren’t sure what will be best, consult with your elder’s doctor to get a professional opinion. In most instances, a little assistance at home can go a long way and can result in better outcomes in end-of-life care.