Improving Life with Personal In-Home Care Services
Many seniors critically lose the ability to function as they age. Personal in-home care services can support their quality of life and help them maintain healthy habits.
Many seniors lose the capacity for physical reasons or social reasons and accumulate “unmet needs.” Occasionally a senior will move into an assisted living environment because he or she feels lonely or doesn’t want to burden relatives, but most of the time, seniors remain in their homes as long as they can, until their unmet needs pile up to an unmanageable level.
Money is an issue for many–it is often a weighing of the level of unmet needs against money resources. The national median cost of assisted living is $3,500 per month. The question remains after the money is spent, how often do those supposed solutions provide enough services to merit the high cost.
A 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study sampled 4,000 Medicare recipients over 65 who have difficulty with daily activities and did not live in nursing homes. The majority (82 percent) still lived in their own homes. The seniors were asked what they had to go without because they didn’t have the help they need or found it too difficult to do on their own. They responded:
- Having to stay in bed.
- Not being able to leave their homes.
- Going without eating.
- Not being able to get cleaned up.
Assisted Living and Unmet Needs:
The surprising thing was that 37 percent of seniors in retirement and senior housing and 41.5 percent of seniors in assisted living said they have gone without hot meals, have not been able to do laundry, go shopping, or bathe. Twenty percent of assisted living residents reported being unable to use a toilet before soiling or wetting themselves. Assisted living seniors do tend to be older and frailer than those in their own homes. When frailty is matched in the study, there is no difference between seniors living in their own homes and those in assisted living. In other words, according to the study, even though they are older and more impaired, those in assisted living have no more unmet needs than those living in their homes. It is clear, however, that seniors living under a wide range of circumstances are experiencing many unmet needs.
Outline of Personal In-Home Care Services:
The services provided by in-home care are designed to match the unmet needs of seniors.
Often the simple companionship of a sympathetic attendant can deeply enrich the lives of isolated seniors who are unable to meet neighbors or friends.
Unmet needs to appropriately bathe or shower, maintain personal hygiene and grooming, incontinence, can be met by trained attendants who can help seniors negotiate the in and out of bathing and showering while maintaining dignity and modesty.
Trained caregivers can accompany seniors on walks to assist their mobility and keep them safe.
Trained caregivers make special efforts to maintain the dignity of seniors with incontinence problems. Mobility problems which complicate incontinence can be overcome in many cases.
Caregivers can arrange grocery deliveries, provide regular nutritious meals, and account for special diets. When the senior wishes, the attendant can serve as an assistant, lending a hand with cooking activities that the senior feels unable to do.
Caregivers can do laundry or assist in doing laundry to maintain clean wardrobe and linens.
Driving seniors where they wish to go can deeply enrich the lives of seniors who are isolated in their homes. Modern communities, designed around cars, are often very isolating for seniors who are unable to drive.
Interactive caregivers can help maintain the home by performing light housekeeping duties can be vital to enabling a senior to remain independent in his or her home.
Comfort Keepers® offers customized living at home senior care services to meet the unique needs of seniors in Chester, Montgomery and Delaware Counties of Pennsylvania. Contact us at 610-543-6300 and please feel free to reach out to learn more about all of the care options we offer.