By JENNIFER HARVEY, RN, BSN, CPD
Clinical Director, Live Free Home Health Care
NEW HAMPTON — Deciding what type of long-term care loved ones need when they are no longer able to live totally independently is an important decision that should not be considered lightly. If given the option to live one's golden years in an institutional setting or in one's own home, the majority of people would choose their own homes. There are many instances when home care is a perfectly appropriate and less expensive care choice than nursing home placement or a permanent move to a retirement or assisted living facility.
"When making a long-term care decision for a sick, elderly or frail family member, it is useful to understand the benefits of in-home care services," explained Jason Harvey, co-owner of Live Free Home Health Care. "Whether only a small amount of assistance is needed to help avoid a future crisis, or home care is required in the aftermath of a fall or acute illness, home care enables one to reside and recuperate in comfortable, familiar surroundings. Live Free Home Health Care wants to help educate the local community on the advantages of choosing home care in these types of situations."
In-home care helps a frail person to live independently for as long as possible, given the limits of his/her medical condition. It covers a wide range of services and often delays the need for long-term nursing home care or serves as an aging in place solution to help seniors stay in their homes. Home care services can include:
• Household chores such as cleaning and preparing meals;
• Personal care such as bathing, dressing or moving around the house; and,
• Health and medical care, such as through a nurse, home health aide, or physical therapist
There's no place like home
You don't have to be Dorothy and Toto to understand this concept. Homes are often havens to people, representing an environment of familiarity and comfort. Home care promotes healing – research demonstrates that patients heal more quickly and comfortably at home versus in a hospital or nursing home setting and there is significantly less chance of re-hospitalization when recuperation is at home. Additionally, making a decision to move into a facility and sell a home is an unalterable decision, once completed.
More for your money
According to the Genworth 2014 Annual Cost of Care Survey, on average, the annual cost to stay in a private room in a nursing home in New Hampshire is $118,625; the annual cost for home care, however, is between $52,624 and $56,056. A good rule across the board is that eight hours a day or less of home care will be less expensive than moving elsewhere. Many people fail to realize that nursing home care and other types of long-term care are not covered by Medicare.
Providing peace of mind
Home care services are delivered one-on-one, assuring more private attention than in a nursing home or a facility. There is no "waiting for one's turn" when care is needed. Also, using a home care agency such as Live Free Home Health Care that carefully screens and trains all caregivers and provides ongoing supervision can help provide families with peace of mind that their loved ones are in good hands.
Assurance of a healthy lifestyle
A home caregiver can be effective in promoting and ensuring a healthy lifestyle. Home caregivers produce healthy and nutritional meals that appeal to the individual and can also keep a close eye on the amount of food eaten. In addition, a personalized daily exercise program can be implemented and followed through, with the added safety of a qualified professional being present.
Dignity + Independence = Higher quality of life
In-home care fosters dignity and independence, important ingredients for a happy lifestyle. Home care (in particular, private pay home care) can offer personalized care tailored to the needs of the family and individual on any given day, whether the needs are as simple as companionship or more complex, such as personal care. With the additional benefit of accompaniment on transportation to and from various appointments, social activities or errands, home care allows families more free time together.
Determining the best options for a loved one's care can be a difficult process, but there are many resources available to aid in the decision. For more information on in-home care options available and guidance on whether in-home care is an appropriate option for a particular situation, contact Live Free Home Health Care.