October 3, 2023

Home Health Care: a Beginner’s Guide

No matter how well a person takes care of their bodies and their health, at some point the aging process is going to catch up. There will be physical and mental changes that will need more attention from medical professionals and the person will need more help with their care. Home health care is a great option for getting a grandparent, parent, or other loved one help so they can stay in their home, but how do you know when it’s time to enlist their support?


In many cases, changes in a person’s ability to care for themselves don’t happen overnight. The loss of movement and ability is a gradual loss. If you visit your parents’ home and notice the house isn’t as clean as usual, this could mean your mother or father is unable to do the work anymore. Changes in appearance, hygiene, routine, and habits that seem out of character for your loved one are things to watch out for. It could mean they are no longer able to do these tasks without support. If you notice weight loss or excessive bruising, these could also point to loss of mobility and ability.


If you are already providing in home care yourself, be careful about doing too much. Adding another person’s schedule to your own is never easy and if you aren’t careful, will affect and strain your own life, work, and family. Many people feel obligated to care for elderly parents or grandparents themselves, without outside support. Caring for a senior is exhausting both mentally and physically, increasing stress and often anxiety and/or depression. Be honest with yourself about how caregiving is affecting you. Hiring a home health aide could be the best solution.


Discussing the need for in-home care can be a difficult conversation. Most seniors want to keep their independence and it’s important to recognize this. Their doctor could help you with this discussion if you want support. Once you’ve agreed that a home health aide is needed and will be beneficial to both you and your loved one, choosing an in-home care company is next. Keep your parent or grandparent a part of the process and value their input. It’s their home and life and the decision should be left to them if possible.


Caregiver services are as varied as the people who need them. A great home care agency will work closely with you and your aging charge in determining their needs and the services they will provide. These can be as simple as helping a person get to appointments and run errands or as challenging as wound care, distributing and managing medications, and other medical services. Make an appointment to discuss what companies in your area offer and how these can be customized to meet your loved one’s needs. The goal is to allow a parent, grandparent, or other loved one to age in place while retaining as much independence as possible. In-home care can make this possible.

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