As baby boomers age, many of them want to remain in the comfort of their own homes. Seeking out in-home care can be the bridge between having help at home and not requiring an assisted living facility for dependence.
The result is bringing caregivers into the home to assist those in need with a variety of tasks. When you’re considering in-home care for your loved one, this overview will help you understand the services and much more.
Who Needs In-Home Care?
In-home care is provided for several types of people. Primarily, it’s intended for those who wish to age in their home. However, those people may also be losing some of their independence through physical ailments and even memory issues.
While the elderly can benefit from in-home care, this service can also benefit those of all ages with disabilities. These disabilities may be physical or mental.
Some of the conditions in-home care patients may include but are not limited to the following:
- Frequent forgetfulness
- Unable to drive to appointments
- Patients recovering from surgery
- Debilitating medical conditions
- Cognitively impaired
- Stroke victims
- People who have trouble speaking and swallowing
- Lack of energy
Those who receive in-home care are both young and old. They may be temporarily or permanently disabled. They live in both rural and city settings. There is an extremely large blanket that covers possible patients who benefit from in-home care.
Now that you know what kind of patients and in-home caregivers can help, let’s talk about their roles.
What is an In-Home Caregiver?
An in-home caregiver provides care to your loved ones in their own home setting. They tend to help seniors age and place while providing comfort to those who need care. They work directly with the elderly or person who needs assistance at home.
First, know that there are different types of in-home caregivers. Some are licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and home healthcare aides.
The most common type of in-home caregiver is a personal care aide. PCAs are hired to assist patients who have trouble completing day-to-day activities on their own.
The right type of in-home caregiver depends on the patient. Those recovering from surgery may benefit best from a registered nurse in the home.
No matter the official title or licensing of the in-home caregiver, the goal is to improve their quality of life.
How Can an In-Home Caregiver Help?
While working with patients at home, the care is documented by the in-home caregiver. There may or may not be a care plan, which typically depends on the patient.
If the patient has a care plan in place, the in-home caregiver uses this guide on what they should do each day with the patient. Health conditions are nearly always reported to keep the family in the loop.
The in-home caregiver will assist with a variety of activities for the patient, such as:
- Basic living activities and functions
- Help patients get around the house
- Assist with eating meals
- Aid patients in brushing teeth and going to the bathroom
- Bathing and combing hair
- Staying active with low impact exercise
- Common chores
- Sweeping the floor
- Cleaning out the refrigerator
Don’t forget that your in-home healthcare worker can also help patients have fun. They can take patients to bingo and other outings to help them socialize. These workers enjoy hearing stories and getting to know each client as an individual.
Furthermore, the patient can receive help with maintaining a clean and organized living space. This is especially important to prevent tripping hazards and other dangerous environments for the patients.
Finally, caregivers can offer transportation as needed. Sometimes the caregiver will drive their own car or the patient’s car. In some situations, the caregiver can accompany the patient in an Uber or taxi. The caregiver can take the patient to doctor’s appointments, the salon, and much more.
The amount of care provided depends on the needs of each patient. Some patients only require a couple of hours each day or each week.
Meanwhile, other patients need around-the-clock care. In this situation, normally two or three caregivers work with the same patient in shifts.
Ensuring Safety in the Home Setting
Unlike hospital settings, no two homes are alike. This makes it very important for the caregiver to ensure safety for each patient at all costs.
There are several ways that both the caregiver and patient can make sure the home is as safe as possible.
- Make sure there are no tripping hazards on the floor, ranging from clothing to loose floorboards and tiles. If this is found, repair should be arranged to eliminate the hazard.
- Elderly patients can consider the installation of walk-in tubs.
- Grab bars in the bathroom and shower can help prevent slips and falls.
- Maintaining a sanitary environment can help prevent illnesses.
- Encourage frequent washing of hands as necessary.
- Install monitoring tools that allow for drop-ins from friends, family, and caregivers.
- Consider an Apple watch that has a fall detection feature.
- Put motion detection devices on the wall or by the side of the bed, so you’ll be aware that the patient got out of bed.
- Put carpet treads or anti-slip paint on stairs if they are made from wood.
- Install low-pile carpeting and ensure that rugs are not flipped up.
- Ensure there are handrails on both sides of the staircase.
Preventing falls is one of the most important tasks for an in-home caregiver. Each year, 36 million adults fall resulting in 32,000 deaths.
Choosing the Right In-Home Caregivers
Inviting a stranger into your home to care for yourself or a loved one can feel intimidating. However, there are ways that you can vet the right fit and create a pleasurable experience for all parties.
First, know that there are multiple types of in-home care facilities. These include home health agencies, hospice, homemaker agencies, and staffing agencies.
Once you narrow down your choices, you’ll want to ask a series of questions to caregivers you are considering. Some of those questions include:
- Can the caregiver meet specific or special needs, such as language or culture?
- Does the provider clearly explain the services and expectations for those services?
- How long has the provider been offering services?
- Is the provider licensed by the state?
- Is the staff equipped to evaluate the needs of the patient?
- Does the staff undergo background checks?
- Are caregivers available 24 hours a day?
- What is the cost of your in-home care services?
- Are there additional costs for holidays?
- What kind of payment do you accept?
- What kind of insurance plans do you accept?
- How does the billing procedure work?
- Will the agency provide backup care if you become sick or unable to tend to your loved one?
This interview is best when it’s completed at home. Having a third person present is helpful so they can give their own view and impression of the caregiver.
Furthermore, another action is coming up with a list of care needs. Consider all of the needs of yourself or your loved one who is receiving care. Do they need around-the-clock attention? Is English their native language? You’ll also need to consider specific dietary needs, preferences, and any toiletry instructions to prepare the in-home caregiver.
Another idea is to describe a typical day at home. Tell the caregiver the typical types of problems that arise. Ask them how they will handle each situation.
Getting to know your caregiver of choice is important. You will also want to check for references. These references can include doctors and discharge planners. If someone you know used the caregiver in question, ask how their experience is going.
Why Choose Integrity Senior Placement for In-Home Care?
Integrity senior placement is highly experienced with patient in-home care services. We want families to know that moving into a senior living facility is not the only option for your loved one. Your loved one can stay in the comfort of their own home along with the help of our experienced caregivers.
When you work with us, you can expect a very high quality of life no matter the age or condition of the patient. Our regular welfare and safety checks give you peace of mind. Meanwhile, our in-home care medical services include therapy and rehabilitation.
Rest assured that you are making the best decision possible when choosing Integrity Senior Placement. We are pleased to provide you with references as proof of our services. We can also answer any questions or concerns that you have about licensing, billing, and overall in-home care for your loved one.
When you are ready to invite us into your home, please contact us to get started.