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When is the right time to start in-home care?

Home Helpers Home Care Enfield article published by The Enfield Press

If you are thinking about home care or senior care, chances are you already need it. Many people postpone this decision until it is too late. Hiring in-home care early keeps your loved one safe and healthy, living independently for a longer time. And it helps you to reduce costs because other options for care are in fact more costly than home care.

Home Care Costs vs Nursing Home Costs

Waiting too long to hire in-home care increases the risk of an accident or deterioration in health conditions that could mean hospitalization. After that, it all goes downhill, and our loved one loses his or her ability to live independently.

When this happens, another option for care, like nursing homes, rehab centers or assisted living becomes necessary, as they now need the assistance of skilled nursing and other medical personnel, like physical therapists.

In the end, the costs of hospital, medical assistance, and rehabilitation surpass in-home care costs by a great amount.

However, if you choose to start in-home care assistance early on, falls and other health complications are prevented and, in the end, the care costs are lower.

Home care, fall risk, and senior safety

However, when talking about caring for someone we love, cost shouldn't be the main component of a decision.

Usually, when I meet someone over 75 or 80 years old who lives alone, my main concern is a fall risk. It is natural for older people to lose balance and to have difficulty standing on their feet. According to studies published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), more than one in four older adults reported falling, and more than 27,000 older adults died as a result of falls in 2014 alone. Falling once doubles the chances of someone falling again. And, what is worse, every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United States.

Falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions and 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year. In-home care can improve significantly the possibility that your loved one continues to live independently, at home. A trained caregiver will help them to get out of bed, shower, get up, sit and take a walk safely, reducing significantly the risk of falling.

Home Helpers Home Care caregivers are trained to prevent illnesses

There are other health benefits of adopting in-home care early. A trained and certified nursing assistant will be able to identify signs of illnesses that affect the elderly, alerting the family to seek medical care when it is necessary. For example, sometimes, signs of aggressive behavior could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. They also may help with preparing meals and making sure that they are eating a balanced meal at least three times a day. With help, your loved one will also be able to stay physically active, by taking a walk in a safe and protected environment.

A caregiver can also be in charge of driving the car, reducing significantly the risk of accidents. The caregiver will help with running errands, paying bills and taking your loved one to see friends or participate in supervised physical activities (in the Senior Center, for example).

Our main goal is always to keep them safe, healthy, happy, physically active and socially engaged

That could help with socialization and reduce depression, a severe risk for the elderly, in particular men over 85. Older adults have the highest rates of suicide of any age group, and this is pronounced among men. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), depression affects 13.5% of older adults in need of home healthcare and 11.5% in older hospital patients.

Family caregiver burnout

Finally, getting early in-home care will prevent a series of issues that affect family caregivers. Many people try to deal on their own, with having a loved one who is aging. This task is often burdensome, and they face the risk of burnout.

It is important to ask for help

Therefore, get help as soon as you think you need it. From a few hours a day to 24/7 assistance, in-home care will give you peace of mind, reduce stress and support your loved one to live independently, at home, for as long as possible, at a lower cost.


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