Many people are under the assumption that life in a nursing home or assisted living facility is unavoidable for the elderly. But is it possible to age safely and independently at home? Surprisingly, home care can be a long-term, feasible option for many. Remaining at home not only provides the comfort of familiar surroundings and freedom from rigid schedules found in geriatric centers, but according to Genworth’s 2014 Cost of Care Survey , home care can be a cost-effective option as well. It’s only when seniors begin to need round-the-clock care that staying at home becomes financially challenging. Up to that point, the cost of care at home is typically a fraction of what a nursing home or assisted living facility will cost.
To determine if your elderly loved one could benefit from the help of an in-home caregiver rather than making the decision to sell his or her home and move into one of these facilities, assess the level of functionality in these two areas:
• Look at Activities of Daily Living or ADLs: ADLs are the activities that everyone engages in on a daily basis while living from day to day, such as bathing, getting dressed, getting in or out of bed or a chair, using the toilet, eating and getting around or walking. These activities are fundamental to caring for oneself and maintaining independence. When seniors are no longer able to do these activities easily or safely, assistance becomes absolutely necessary, whether it’s assistance in the home or in a facility.
• Also look at Instrumental Activities of Daily Living: These are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money (writing checks, paying bills), shopping for groceries or personal items, maintaining a residence/performing housework (e.g. laundry, cleaning), taking medications, using a telephone, handling mail and traveling via car or public transportation.
At AAging Better In-Home Care, we look at both sets of needs mentioned above. Loss of ADLs makes it imperative that family members obtain help for their loved ones quickly, while loss of Instrumental ADLs makes it important for family members to begin conversations with their loved ones about having some assistance at home.
And while it’s easy to understand that accepting a stranger into one’s home is never easy, we work very closely with both the clients and family members to make that process as comfortable as possible when it’s been determined that a loved one needs assistance with one or both sets of ADLs.
Is home care a possibility for your elderly loved one? Our RNs at AAging Better In-Home Care can help you with that decision by coming to the home and conducting a complimentary assessment of the situation. Once it’s been determined that the loved one could benefit from some assistance around the home, our compassionate and highly skilled nurse’s aides, homemakers and caregivers offer an alternative to placing an aging loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Feel free to contact us today with any questions or concerns you might have about your loved one or care for yourself. We can be reached by phone at (208) 777-0308 in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or Hayden areas; (208) 263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; or (208) 784-1505 in the Kellogg, Wallace or Pinehurst areas. We are always ready to answer any questions you might have.