Do you have a parent or loved one who struggles with a physical or mental illness? Are you looking for ways to avoid locking them away in a nursing home?
Thankfully, there is an alternative to understaffed senior living facilities. You may not realize it, but insurance often covers at-home care.
If you’re wondering about the benefits of home health care, this article’s for you. We’ll give you insider information that may surprise you.
1. Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs
While you may have heard that in-home care is prohibitively expensive, in reality, it’s often covered by insurance. If your loved one only needs a few hours of assistance per day, home health care can be a cost-effective option.
The average cost of a private room in a nursing home is about $250 per day. That adds up to $7,500 or more per month for residential care.
On the other hand, the cost of having in-home care is $20 per hour. You may find that home health care is a much better deal than a nursing home, even if you eventually end up contracting for 24-hour, live-in care.
To get started with home health care, you can call your family’s primary care physician and ask for recommendations. Look for agencies with low turnover rates that can provide proof of certification for their employees.
2. Quicker Recovery
Another reason to consider home health care is that people recover from surgery quicker in their own homes. One reason for this phenomenon is that familiar surroundings promote healing and feelings of safety.
Another reason for accelerated at-home recovery is that hospitals and nursing homes are hosts to dozens of contagious, life-threatening illnesses. Families may not realize just how much peril their loved ones are in at a nursing home.
Every year, more than 1.5 million people develop HAIs or healthcare-acquired infections. Almost 100,000 people with HAIs end up passing away each year—deaths that could have been avoided if the patients had recovered at home.
Home care allows your loved one to recover without the risk of airborne infection. They can also watch television, take a walk outside, and have visitors in a calm, soothing environment.
If your loved one is dealing with a terminal illness, they may still be able to stay at home. Home health care businesses may be able to recommend a local option for in-home hospice care.
3. Independent Living
One of the most practical benefits of home care for elderly people is prescription management. If your parent or loved one has memory issues, having a home health aide manage their medications can literally be a lifesaver.
Even if your parent doesn’t have to deal with memory issues, it can be nice to have some help managing ADLs, the activities of daily living.
A home health aide can provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, help renew medical benefits or even do food shopping and meal prep.
They can help family members stay connected through photos and phone calls, do light housekeeping, and care for pets and houseplants.
The most important thing for active seniors is to continue living independently. They don’t want to lose their home, their pets, and their sense of dignity.
If you live in another state, you may want to request periodic videoconferencing calls so you can get a sense of your parent’s state of mind and ability to live independently.
4. Caregiver Respite
If you’ve been caring for your senior parent, it’s okay to admit you’re exhausted. You’re probably working full-time and working with your parent when you get home.
You probably worry when you’re not around, and you may even be stressed out because you feel like you’re not supporting your parent enough.
One of the benefits of home care is having a healthcare professional come into your parent’s home. The aides have been trained to do memory care, emotional support, and infection prevention.
It’s kind of like fixing your own car. You may be able to do it yourself, but a professional garage will have many more tools and seasoned professionals.
Home health care doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Once you see that your loved one is happy and well-taken care of, you’ll relax and be able to spend more quality time with them.
5. Companionship and Mental Health
We don’t talk about it enough, but getting older can be kind of lonely. Seniors may lose the ability to drive, limiting the time they can spend with their friends and family.
They may also be dealing with the loss of a spouse, a life event which can contribute to anxiety and depression.
An in-home health aide provides a listening ear and a sympathetic friend. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get someone in a better mood.
If you hire a home health aide, you can ask them to do an assessment of your loved one’s memory, mobility, and ability to do self-care.
You can also ask them for regular reports on weight, blood pressure, and overall physical and mental health.
Benefits of Home Health Care Agencies
If you decide to hire a home health aide, make sure to go through a reputable agency. Look at their Better Business Bureau profile and review client testimonials before you sign a contract.
You should always feel free to contact your home health company with any questions or concerns about their aides. If your parent or loved one doesn’t like the aide for any reason, you can always ask for a replacement.
Life as a senior doesn’t have to mean illness and isolation. The key is to make decisions that make seniors safe, comfortable, and happy.
Now that you know the benefits of home health care, it’s time to learn more about senior health and the future of medicine.
Did you know that your parents can meet with a doctor without leaving home? That’s telemedicine, a brand new idea that’s turning the healthcare world in its nose.
We have blogs on a wide range of senior health topics. We also have articles about home care and hospice care. Or access bdd.