May 7, 2021

How in-home care may be right for your family

Shannon Wright Special to SENIOR SOLUTIONS BLOG

Q: My 72-year old mother is going to move in with us. She needs help with some things and I'm not sure we can handle it. My neighbor mentioned in-home care care?

A: In-home care care is appropriate when the senior in your life needs more care than you can provide. It can be quite affordable. A source of professional quality home care is one strategy to help seniors live safely and independently.

When I am consulting with a client and their family, one of the first questions I ask is where they see themselves aging. If the answer is "at home as long as possible" then I will usually suggest they explore in-home care.

Shannon Wright, Zone 3 Operations Manager for Senior Solutions in Brentwood, TN.

What can in-home care include? 

  • Companionship, conversation, socialization
  • Assistance with bathing, dressing, and oral hygiene   
  • Meal preparation and eating assistance
  • Walking and ambulation assistance
  • Posture positioning 
  • Continence care
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping and laundry services
  • Shopping and errand services
  • Family respite care
  • Recreational activities

Extensive in-home care care can be provided in a variety of home settings, including private homes, hospitals, independent living communities, assisted living facilities and even long-term care facilities to address problems and monitor services. 

Annual, semi-annual or quarterly evaluations can be done to assess and recommend services to improve home safety, well-being and quality of life for your loved one. Our caregivers are trained to implement the plan of care and coordinate your loved one’s non-medical care. 

For long-distance relatives, a caregiver can be your eyes and ears on a local level, keeping you informed and involved as a decision maker.

It is typically either paid for privately or with TennCare Choices (Medicaid) health insurance. In addition, long-term care insurance policies often will cover the cost of in-home care and we help with filing.

Our Veterans Services Manager Jim Barrazza works together with experts in the preparation of the application for VA Pension with Aid and Attendance so that Veterans and their surviving spouses can secure the home care they want and need. This includes Area Agency on Aging and Disability, VA, Vet Assist, Veterans Care Coordination, and Medicare Advantage Programs.

In-home care benefits seniors and their families.

Hygiene. As we age, it may be more difficult to bathe or dress on our own. Caregivers can assist with these "daily living" activities. Daily hygiene care is shown to significantly decrease risk of infection.

Nutrition. We all know a sandwich is tasty and easy to make. But for dinner every night? Seniors who receive assistance with meal planning and preparation are more likely to maintain good nutrition. And that means a better chance of remaining active and independent longer.

Socialization. The COVID-19 pandemic aside, it is often difficult for seniors to get out and socialize as they would like. A caregiver can supply the opportunity for continued socialization by providing transportation to favorite events or just being a friend to talk with.

Respite. Everyone needs a break. In-home care can provide an important period of "down time" for a family member who may be serving as a caregiver. By allowing an in-home care caregiver to step in, the family member becomes free to spend genuine quality time with their loved one, or attend to their own needs or those of others.

We are all aging, so coordinating with your family to provide education and support during the aging process is important. If you plan to stay at home, we encourage you to make in-home care part of your plan. 

Senior Solutions is a resource and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this blog are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Email your questions, call (615) 377-6566 extension 3005 or visit Senior Solutions, a non-medical comprehensive in-home care agency.

Shannon is Zone 3 Operations Manager for Senior Solutions in Brentwood, TN.

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