As people age and require extra help, it is important to decide where and how they will live. Many people choose home care for their parent or aging loved one over other options such as nursing homes. Home care means caring for an elderly person who lives in your home and needs assistance with eating, bathing or even simply getting up and moving around to stay active.
While it is still common for family members to take on this role, external home care service providers are growing in popularity. This person will be in your home regularly, caring for a member of your family, so it is important to prepare for the best and safest situation.
Agency or Individual
The best way to ensure that someone has the qualifications necessary for safe home care is to work with an agency, rather than an unassociated individual. With agencies, you can confirm their education and training procedures. In many cases, you will be able to evaluate multiple agencies in a region to decide which is the best fit. If you’re looking for home care Massachusetts, a great agency will be up to date on any local and regional laws and guidelines so you can expect the highest quality of care.
Many able-bodied people take for granted the different parts of their home that become difficult, if not impossible, to live with for older people or people who have a physical impairment. Some more obvious obstacles would be stairs or bathtubs. However, it’s also important to consider smaller changes like wider doorways and hallways, using nonslip wax on hard surface floors and using lever handles instead of doorknobs. Even small changes can make your environment safer.
It is most important to maintain frequent, open communication between the family and caregiver. Medical professionals will only have access to information in medical files, but there is important, anecdotal information to share, as well. Maybe Grandma has trouble hearing people speak while the television is on, or Grandpa prefers to take his medication with milk rather than water.
If the caregiver is a family member, it is vital to allow that person a safe space to express how he or she feels. Caring for someone who needs full-time help can be emotionally exhausting. If the caregiver doesn’t feel safe discussing struggles or problems, it can lead to many more issues for the family later on.
Taking care of an elderly person within the home is often the best choice for many families. You may not feel comfortable with your loved one living too far away, or maybe you would like to keep the family close. Whatever your reason, there are plenty of opportunities to provide a happy, healthy and safe environment for home care within your current home.