Sunday, February 25, 2018

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MYTH: Home care will take away my independence.

Written by  Tina Bell

FACT: Home care services offer an alternative to assisted living or nursing home care and help seniors live independently at home.  

What is home care or home health care? The answer is different for different people, and can be adapted to an individual person’s needs. For example, some seniors may only need weekly drives to the grocery store and light housekeeping help. Other seniors may need physical therapy or skilled nursing in addition to household help. Whatever assistance is needed, the goal is the same—to help seniors maintain independent living and the ability to stay in their home for as long as possible.

It’s a reality of aging—freedom is compromised by declines in physical or mental health. Sometimes, a senior temporarily loses the ability to care for himself following an illness or surgery. Whatever the cause, as seniors lose the ability to self-care, they become reliant on friends and family members. If they don’t have family members or capable friends nearby, they risk having to relocate to a facility that can provide the necessary care.

Home care is an alternative to relocation, and is often a cost-effective bridge to independence. It is well known that being in one’s own environment, among possessions and memories, is the best place to promote health and healing. Having to downsize and squeeze a lifetime into a new, smaller residence is not ideal. With a little support in the home in the form of therapy to promote strength, skilled nursing to help monitor medications, and personal care to assist with those tasks that have become more difficult, health can be regained and independence can be kept.

How exactly is independence promoted? In some cases, a person is told they can no longer safely drive. A home care service can drive for them, making sure they still get haircuts, groceries, and to doctor’s appointments—even a picnic in the park if they wish. For those with compromised mobility, home health care trained providers will assist them in getting around to help minimize the risk of falling. For those who lose the ability to read because of poor eyesight or other limitations, a home health care worker reads to them so they don’t lose touch with the outside world. Home health care workers are compassionate caregivers who can provide both practical and emotional support in many ways.
Home care seeks to reinstate and preserve independence–it provides solutions to grant the wishes of a senior citizen to continue living a full life in the place they already call home.

Tina Bell
Care Advantage
Richmond | 804.323.9464