It’s a fact of life that as we age, we may require more and more medical care and other services. In some situations, it is necessary for the senior citizen to move into a convalescent or care home so that services can be provided around the clock. Depending on the medical situation, there may be no alternative but to seek a long term residential facility designed to care for the elderly.
In many cases, however, it is possible for older adults to remain in their own homes and have caregivers come to them there to provide services. This is known as homecare and if it is medically appropriate, it is usually the preferred choice. Senior citizens often do not wish to leave their homes, which are of course imbued with important memories. More significantly, seniors are most comfortable in their own homes. They know where everything is stored there, which can be a huge advantage since short term memory can become unreliable as we age.
When are Medical Homecare Services the Best Option?
The answer to this will vary by individual, but some of the most important matters to consider are discussed in this article.
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Access to medical care: Senior citizens who live a great distance from top notch medical care facilities are at the most risk as they age. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to get to a full service hospital emergency room in no more than 30 minutes. If you live within that radius of a major hospital, homecare may be appropriate since major medical events that would not be handled by a homecare worker can be quickly referred to a full emergency staff.
Seniors who live more than 30 minutes from a major hospital may wish to opt for a residential care facility which will be better able to meet emergency needs than will a homecare health worker.
Other Kinds of Homecare Services
Sometimes homecare is not designed to provide medical assistance at all. Some senior citizens need other kinds of services, such as someone to bring in groceries or cook meals. Senior citizens who can no longer stand for long periods of time may need this kind of assistance.
Daily personal care is another area where homecare services may be needed. Senior citizens may need assistance with such tasks as bathing and getting dressed in the morning, or undressing to go to bed at night. Help organizing medications and reminders to take it are another way in which homecare workers can help seniors attain a higher quality of life.
Homecare services of these sorts are most often needed in cases where the senior citizen has no close relatives nearby who can take on these kinds of tasks. The elderly man or woman whose spouse has died and who has no children in the area may need professional services of these sorts.
Hiring a Homecare Services Worker
Always hire from reputable firms who do thorough background checks on their employees. Since homecare workers will be entering the home, there is possible danger of robbery or assault if great care is not taken to screen for reputable workers.