Home is Where the Heart Is

Settings May Change But Person-Centered Home Care Doesn’t

Elie Bernager

Home means different things to different people. As we grow and age, where we live and call home changes based on current needs: we might have a couple of friends as roommates before marriage; then we might need a larger home as the kids are growing up; once the nest empties out, it’s an opportunity to downsize; later in life we may need help with daily activities and require other living arrangements, maybe in a new state close to adult children or in a care facility.

Home care is not just for people who have remained in their lifelong home where they raised their family and know all of the neighbors on the block. Home care services can be delivered in a variety of settings and adjusted as needs change over time.

Home Economics

There are many reasons that an elder might move into an assisted living facility or with their adult children or other family members. Perhaps they can no longer afford to keep up their home or the time was right to sell a large home. Or they might have developed a chronic condition that prevents them from sufficiently and safely performing basic activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living so they must move into an assisted living facility. Maybe they long for companionship with people their own age so they opt for a retirement community.

Whatever the cause for a change in residences, home care services that span from meeting personal care to companionship needs can move with them.

In other words, home care services are not limited to individuals dwelling in single family homes with a caregiver just coming to the home.

Home Sweet Home

Although there is staff to provide care at different communities or facilities, home care provides a one-to-one relationship between the caregiver and the client.

A person’s needs for in home care may vary from temporary assistance after a surgery to more routine visits to assist someone in and out of the shower or bath.

For example, a woman in her 90s who always took baths instead of showers moved into an assisted living facility that only had showers in the private bathrooms of each apartment and one private bathtub near the facility’s gym. She hired a private professional caregiver to come three days a week and help her in and out of the bathtub and help her return to private room, while also enjoying the companionship her caregiver provided.  Another woman moved in with her adult daughter and grandson, but since they were both gone at work and school each day, the woman arranged to have a caregiver visit a couple of times per week to take her to the beauty salon and play cards and other games together.

Also, home care services can start as someone is leaving a rehab facility or hospital when a caregiver picks them up and transitions them home as opposed to starting services once they are already back home. Or a caregiver can bring a loved to a doctor’s appointment when a family member has to be at work.

Although it is all called “home care” the care can be delivered away from the home with the same quality and positive outcomes for the person who needs assistance.

Jennifer is Vice President of Homewatch CareGivers International, a company whose more than 200 locations provide home care services to elders and others. 

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