Long-term care is many different things such as in home care services, assisted living, nursing homes and more. One person may use each of these options progressively, more than one at a time or might choose just one in their lifetime. With many choices available it can be hard to know which one is right for you and your family.
Check out these five reasons that home care could be the best long-term care for you at this time:
- If you’re a family caregiver, you need to remember to take care of yourself too. If there is no one to step in for you when you simply need to see friends, exercise, go to work, take a vacation—such as another reliable friend or family member—then who is going to fill your shoes if you get sick? Caregiving for a loved one can be physically and emotionally taxing. Research shows that 70 percent of family caregiver report symptoms of depression and 19% experience physical strain. A majority of family caregivers also work outside of the home and 61% have to make some kind of accommodation such as taking time from work in order to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. Hiring a professional caregiver can give family caregivers the break they need and a solid backup plan.
- Everybody needs a friend. Loneliness has become an epidemic, with an AARP study showing about one third of adults age 45+ feeling lonely. This might be attributed in part to families no longer staying under one roof for generations, or even in the same town or state. Feelings of chronic loneliness can lead to depression and this has been linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. When a caregiver is assisting with daily activities in the home—such as meal preparation, grooming, or medication reminders—a relationship develops that improves social connectedness.
- Home sweet home. People simply want to “age in place” or remain where things are familiar and comfortable, where they have made memories. Being in a place where friends and routines are known can ward off loneliness and help to maintain feelings of connection. Many studies have shown that a high percentage of people would prefer to live out their lives in their home rather than move. In home care can help make a home safe as abilities change and provide reliable assistance when needed.
- Cost matters. Not all long-term care needs are identical and therefore neither are the costs. Home care can be affordable compared to other options, such as nursing homes. Some people may only need services for a few hours a week, whereas others may require 24-hour care. In home care may save money in the long run if it helps to prevent a fall, a medication error or other problem that leads to expensive medical care in the hospital or rehabilitation.
- In a word, well-being. Falls prevention, decreased loneliness, assistance with eating well, taking medications properly, and someone to get you to medical appointments are all services offered with in home care. When someone is eating right, taking necessary medications, and engaging with others in a meaningful way, they are more likely to feel better and be happier in their life.
Maybe home care is the solution you’ve been looking for in your family.