Elderly Care Services at home can be challenging for family members. Most of the time, it requires full-time attention, which family members are often unable to provide by themselves especially when they already have families of their own to look after, and a demanding job to keep for a living.

If you have a senior member of the family who’s:

  • Suffering from a chronic or terminal illness
  • Trying to recover from an injury
  • Undergoing multiple medications and/or regular medical treatments that require supervision

Then chances are, they also require round-the-clock care. If you’re considering hiring a home health care service but still cannot decide, understanding the benefits of in-home health care for the elderly may help you. Here are the best benefits of an in-home health care service for seniors:

1. Understaffing Won’t Be An Issue

Sending an elderly to the hospital is often one of the first solutions a family member would think of, but it’s not always the ideal option. Hospitalization is beneficial for senior patients that require close critical care. However, if your elderly family member is stable and only requires routine care, in-home health care has more advantages.

One particular problem with hospitals is that they’re often understaffed. When this happens, patients may find it difficult to get optimum care. Elderly patients sometimes require urgent assistance, but when they’re in an understaffed facility, it can make them feel frustrated when their needs are not attended to immediately. 

On the other hand, if they’re taken care of at the comfort of their home, there will be a caregiver assigned exclusively to them. With a personal caregiver, understaffing would never be an issue.

2. Patients Get A More Personalized Health Care Plan

An ideal healthcare plan is customized to the patient’s needs and preferences. Although this is also the goal in any healthcare setting, in larger facilities, patient care plans are usually not as specific as the ones a personal caregiver can provide.

For one, because of the closer and more personal interaction, an exclusive caregiver understands their patient better, and sometimes, on an even deeper level. This helps them to develop a care plan that’s not only more specific but also one that addresses issues that may otherwise be overlooked in bigger facilities with more patients.

A recovering patient’s needs extend well beyond their physical well-being. To be precise, it also encompasses the mental, psychological, and emotional aspects of their lifestyle, most of which are not easily accommodated in health care facilities. In-home health care services tackle these issues quite intimately by including routines like behavioral and occupational therapy.

Subtle changes in the patient’s symptoms and behavior that may require a further evaluation are also detected earlier by personal caregivers. Details like this can be crucial in a patient’s treatment process and can help address issues that may turn out to be serious if found out late.

3. It May Help Build Patient’s Independence And Confidence

Depending on the senior patient’s health condition, they can be involved in their health care plans too. If your elderly loved one is used to being independent but now requires assistance and regular health care, a plan that doesn’t take away their independence completely may be beneficial.

This can be possible in an in-home health care service. Family members can ask the personal caregiver to involve the patient more when it comes to their care plan. For example, caregivers can help patients to properly carry out routine self-care that they can safely do on their own after enough training. Over time, as the elderly patient gets used to their routine, doing these things would be second nature. They can also ask how the patient prefers to do their activities, as long as they’re safe.

Even if the caretaker were to take a break or resign from their job, the patient would still retain a portion, if not the whole routine they got used to, allowing them to maintain some form of the independence they were used to.

4. In-Home Health Care Services Are Generally Cheaper

One of the most obvious reasons to go for in-home health care is that it’s generally cheaper than sending a senior to a retirement home or a healthcare facility. This is mainly because, in a health care facility, you’re paying not only for the labor of the caretakers and nurses but also for the access to their utilities and resources. On the other hand, in-home health care only requires you to pay for the services of the caregiver, and the use of medical equipment that they may have to take with them sometimes. which explains the lower expense.

Furthermore, in retirement homes or hospitals, seniors are charged for using their services and facilities 24/7. With in-home health care, however, the senior would only have to cover the fees of the caregiver on a per-hour or per-shift basis.

5. It Helps To Avoid Homesickness

If you’ve been around seniors for some time, you’d know how fragile they can be. If you were to uproot them from the comfort of their home, then they most likely would end up with a lot of stress, mainly from homesickness. This is one of the most significant reasons why sending elderly parents to retirement homes is such as massive burden to their families. Not to mention seniors often think that entering a retirement home is perhaps the last chapter of their life.

When an elderly patient in a health care facility becomes homesick, the intended benefits of these facilities, which are to improve the senior’s health, may be negated by the amount of stress they may accumulate throughout their stay.

Sending the patient to an unfamiliar environment has also proven to be quite detrimental for seniors with dementia. The worst-case scenario is the patient’s cognitive condition may decline much faster. In conclusion, caring for seniors in the comfort of their homes may save them from stress and potentially faster cognitive decline.

6. It May Help Build A Closer Caregiver-Patient Relationship

Companionship is one of the many things that can significantly improve a senior’s health or at least slow down their health’s decline. However, in health care facilities where it can get very busy, caregivers may not be able to talk to or at least interact with their patients regularly enough throughout the day. This may end up isolating the seniors, which may affect not only their physical health but also their emotional and mental state.

In an in-home health care service, a personal caregiver can spend more time with them, which may also help foster friendship.

7. There Is No Strict Schedule

Another part of hospitalization and retirement homes that most patients don’t like is the fact that there’s a strict schedule. There’s a schedule for when they can socialize, there’s a schedule for when they can eat, and there’s a schedule for when they can go out.

While a schedule certainly makes things more organized, if given the chance, your senior family member may prefer more freedom to enjoy their time how they want it spent. For one, the realization of losing control of their own life may take a toll on their emotional and mental health. 

One solution to this dilemma is to minimize the control over their schedule, and what better way to do that than through in-home health care. By hiring a caregiver and involving the patient in setting a few ground rules that don’t compromise their safety, it may help them feel more in control.

8. Senior-Proofing Can Be Customized Better

Senior-proofing involves taking steps to ensure that seniors don’t get into avoidable accidents inside the facility as much as possible. It’s a common practice among people who are taking care of their elderly parents at home, and also in special care facilities that cater to senior patients.

However, senior proofing in health care facilities is often done with a more general approach. If you prefer a more customized senior proofing, especially if your senior loved one requires more specific changes, you may only be able to do it at home. The good thing is you can have more freedom to customize at home. You can set up surveillance cameras where you want, make modifications as much as you want, and you can make sure all changes are specific to their needs.

Final Words

Closely knit families may particularly benefit from an in-home health care service for their senior loved ones.

Being separated from a family member may cause everyone worry, and it can be difficult to have peace of mind, mainly because you have no way of assuring your concerns unless you see them yourself. This is what makes in-home health care beneficial not only to the seniors but also to you, their loved ones.

But remember, in-home health care won’t always be the ideal solution, especially if the patient has some special needs and require critical care. However, before you and the rest of the family make a final decision, make sure to always consider your elderly loved one’s overall well-being. If possible, come up with a plan that can help build their independence again without compromising their health and safety. At the end of the day, they’ll be the ones who’ll be impacted the most by the quality of care they receive, and it’s the responsibility of family members to make sure they receive the best overall care possible.