by Patricia LaCroix, Contributing Writer
Providing services for the aged is not a new idea or trend. As early as the 17th century until our present time, enough concern has existed about caring for the elderly that various laws have been passed and social systems set up to help ensure that people get the care they need as they age.
But it can also be argued that quality, availability and even affordability of elder care have increased as time has gone by and as the population of older adults has increased.
Enter in-home care. Thanks to agencies such as Care & Comfort at Home, which provides in-home care services to seniors and America’s veterans as well, nursing homes and assisted living centers are no longer the only options for families. These in-home care services help the elderly — as well as the family members who care for them — live better, more enjoyable, and less stressful lives, without having to leave the home that they’ve known and lived in for years.
What is in-home care?
In-home care is exactly what it claims to be: care being provided to a person, often an older adult, right within that person’s own home. How that gets provided can happen in various ways.
A caregiver might be someone related to the person in need for care. Or, the caregiver might be a friend or neighbor who helps out from time to time. Or, the care might be provided by a person who works privately, outside of an agency.
Ideally, however, the caregiver is a professional, who is qualified and experience in providing such care, as well as employed by a in-home care agency. To learn why hiring a caregiver via an agency is so important, CLICK HERE to read the article, “You Need Us!”
What are the benefits to in-home care?
The benefits of in-home care are numerous. Here are some, just to name a few:
- Enjoyment and peace of mind thanks to familiar surroundings.
- Elimination of the fear and anxiety the comes with having to move elsewhere and needing to get acquainted with a new environment.
- Greater control over the type of care and the quality of the care provided.
- A feeling of remaining independent and maintaining one’s autonomy.
- The ability to determine what care is given, how the care is administered, and when the care is provided.
- A likelihood that current health levels will be maintained longer or that a decline in health will be slowed.
- A more affordable option, when compared to assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Addressing the needs of the Sandwich Generation
In-home care is often the answer to what’s been called the Sandwich Generation. The name alludes to the position that many family members, particularly daughters, find themselves in as their parents get older. While these daughters often have families of their own and retain the role of caregiver in many ways to their own children and even their spouses, they now have the additional responsibility of caring for their elderly parents. They are, essentially, “sandwiched” in between the needs of their parents and the needs of their immediate family.
In trying to care for so many people, these family caregivers quickly learn that they can’t be all things to everyone. Someone inevitably gets the short end of the care stick. If a mom wants to go to her son’s soccer game, the consequence is that her elderly father will be by himself for several hours. If she needs to stay with her mother on Monday afternoon, that means she won’t be available to take her daughter to her dentist appointment.
The Sandwich Generation also finds themselves failing to care for themselves. Self care has become a huge issue for these caregivers, who discover that, in caring for everyone else, they have neglected themselves. The result is stress, exhaustion, and even a breakdown in their own health and wellbeing. (CLICK HERE to read more about how caregivers can take better care of themselves.)
But thanks to in-home care, these family caregivers can receive respite. They can have the break they badly need. They can attend to others in their family without neglecting the senior.
What does in-home care look like?
In-home care looks different for different people, as it’s based on needs. Some seniors have more needs than others, and those needs might not all be the same. That’s why it’s crucial for an agency to visit with the senior and do an assessment to identify the person’s unique needs. (If you live in Chicagoland or the Denver area, you can CLICK HERE to schedule your own FREE consultation.) But in general, there are two types of in-home care: skilled nursing and non-medical.
Most in-home agencies provide non-medical care. These services help with what’s commonly referred to as “activities of daily living” (or ADLs for short). To learn more about this type of in-home care, CLICK HERE to see the in-home care services that Care & Comfort at Home provides.
Some agencies also provide skilled nursing services (also called “home health care”, which allows for many services medical in nature to be performed. In Chicagoland, Care & Comfort at Home is licensed by the state of Illinois to provide such skilled nursing services. CLICK HERE to see a list of many of the skilled nursing services available to clients in Chicagoland.
How to get in-home care for your loved one
If you are in Chicagoland or the Denver area, contact Care & Comfort at Home. We can help! To learn how, contact us today by calling 630-333-9262 in Chicagoland, 720-492-0080 in the Denver area, or just CLICK HERE to contact us via our online form for either location.