How to Find In-Home Care for the Elderly

After years of living in the same home, it’s natural to feel an attachment to it. You’ve built memories among those walls—holidays, celebrations, and quiet moments. You may have even raised your children in it. So, as you age, the thought of leaving your home is more and more distressing.

For many older adults, aging in place is the ideal outcome, but it may get to a point where it is no longer safe for you to live at home alone anymore. Perhaps it’s difficult for you to get around the home, or perhaps you’ve begun to struggle with bathing. If you are intent on staying in your home, it may be time to consider in-home care—but how does one find in-home care for the elderly?

Before you make any decisions, there are a few things you must consider.

How to Find In-Home Care for the Elderly

What is in-home care for the elderly?

First and foremost, you must understand what sets in-home care apart from other senior care services. Instead of moving you to a facility where you’re monitored at all hours of the day, you remain in the comfort of your home. A caregiver comes in for a certain number of hours a day to assist with the activities of daily living (ADLs)

The level of care provided depends on your needs. For some, it may just be about medication reminders and companion care. Others, however, may need assistance with personal care, meal preparation, and errands. Your case manager should work with you to create a plan that best fits your life and needs.

Home care can get even more specialized. There are three main subsets of home care.

  • Companion care: Some seniors don’t need too much help around the house, but may feel isolated living alone. Companion caregivers come to offer some light assistance, but primarily are there for the social benefits.
  • Personal care assistance: In addition to the above service, caregivers who assist with personal care help with all non-medical ADLs. This can mean toileting, dressing, grooming, and bathing, as well as running errands and preparing meals.
  • Home health care: This is the only type of home care that involves skilled nursing or therapy services. Home health aides undergo specialized training, or even have a degree, to perform medical tasks such as administering injections, maintaining equipment, or conducting physical/occupational therapy.

How do I know if home care is best for me?

Home care isn’t right for everyone. Those who need more substantial medical care or supervision may be better suited for a nursing home. But if most of your concerns center around the activities of daily living, you may benefit from home care. Here are some key indicators that it is time for home care.

  • You’re experiencing physical changes. Have you noticed significant weight loss? Have you struggled with slips and falls recently? Or have you noticed decreased mobility all around? If any of these are a problem, you might need help around the home.
  • Your hygiene and grooming are suffering. Bathing involves more stretching and reaching than one might think. The dressing is hard for those with arthritis. Your home caregiver can assist with all your hygiene and grooming needs so you feel confident again.
  • Housekeeping is difficult. Maintaining a home is difficult for those of all ages, but especially seniors. If cleaning, washing dishes, and maintaining clutter has grown hard, call upon the help of a caregiver.
  • You’re feeling depressed. Living at home is isolating. This can lead many seniors to feel lonely or even depressed. Regular companionship from a caregiver can help.

4 steps to finding in-home care

If home care sounds like the right option for you, a new question arises: how do I find in-home care? The process may seem daunting, but it is similar to finding any other service provider. You have to consider your needs, then fit the option that best suits you.

  1. First and foremost, you must assess your care needs. What is it that you need help with, and how often do you need it? Should someone come in every day, or is only a few days a week fine? Determine what it is you need from an at-home caregiver and move on from there.
  2. Learn about your options by talking with friends, family, and your doctor. Chances are, someone you know is either receiving care or has a loved one who is. They will be able to give you a clear opinion about the quality of care from a certain provider or agency. If no one you know can help on this front, your doctor may have recommendations.
  3. Decide if you want to go through a caregiver agency or hire a private caregiver. Some might prefer to hire an independent caregiver. However, these professionals do not go through the same checks and balances one at an agency would. An agency will perform background checks before hiring an individual.
  4. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you will interview the agencies that best fit you. Most agencies will send a representative to visit your home and speak with you. This will help you both determine whether or not you are the right fit for one another.

For senior care in Chicago, consider Home Care Powered by AUAF

For nearly 30 years, Home Care Powered by AUAF has provided elderly care services to seniors in the greater Chicago area. Our staff provides clients with compassionate and dignified service, no matter how much or how little support they require. We would be honored to provide you with that same service.

As you try to find in-home care for the elderly, consider us. For more information on our program, call us at 773-274-9262.

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