5 Options for Elderly Care at Home

Portrait of an african young nurse helping old elderly disable man grandfather to walk using walker equipment in the bedroom. Senior patient of nursing home moving with walking frame and nurse support
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While living facilities for seniors are a great option for some, many elderly people understandably want to age in place. However, many seniors still need some kind of assistance, even if they are still living at home. Here are five options for elderly care at home that you should know about:

Family Caregiver

Many family members volunteer to take care of older relatives, sometimes even moving their senior loved ones into their houses. This is by far the most affordable option and guarantees that you know what level of care your loved ones are receiving. However, the caregivers do need to have enough time and effort to give to your loved one, which might not be possible if they are already working or raising children. If your loved one needs complex medical care, volunteer caregivers might not also have the training they need to deliver it. Thus, family caregivers are a good option when your loved one mostly needs help with daily activities and simple medical tasks such as taking medications.

Home Health Aide

Home health aides are paid caregivers who may work part-time or full-time. They mostly help the client with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating and dressing in men’s adaptive clothing. They may also help with light housekeeping tasks or simple errands, such as grocery shopping and dusting furniture. They usually are not certified to provide medical care, and many agencies put restrictions on what home health aides can do in this arena. Because of this, home health aides are not a good option for elderly people who need medical help. However, if your loved one just needs help with daily tasks, then they can be a great solution.

Certified Nursing Assistant or Private Duty Nurse

You should look for a certified nursing assistant or a private duty nurse if your elderly loved one needs help with medical care. Certified nursing assistants are equipped to take vital signs, insert catheters and other basic medical tasks. Private duty nurses have more schooling and experience and are therefore certified to deal with more complex medical care, which may include giving injections or administering IVs. This increased experience does come at a greater cost to the client, and certified nursing assistants are usually the more affordable option compared to private duty nurses. Carefully consider what level of medical care your loved one needs before making a hire.

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Recovery Care

Recovery care is time-limited, at-home care that is necessary for recovery after a surgery or accident. Recovery care can take many forms, from help with bathing to changing bandage dressings. Your loved one might need a home health aide, a certified nursing assistant or a private duty nurse during recovery care. It all depends on their procedure and prognosis. Talk with their doctor or surgeon about what kind of care they will need to determine if you can handle it with volunteer family caregivers or if you need to hire outside help.

Hospice or Palliative Care

Hospice or palliative care is available for people who are approaching the end of their lives. While there are hospice facilities that you can move your loved one into, palliative care at home is often a more comfortable and private experience for both the patient and their family. It allows everyone to grieve together in a familiar setting and enjoy their last days together instead of trying to navigate an unfamiliar facility. Look for at-home hospice or palliative care providers in your area to see what your options are.

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Deciding on what options for elderly care at home you will pursue is a big decision. Keep in mind that your senior loved ones’ needs may change over time. Just because volunteer family caregivers will suffice for now doesn’t mean that you won’t need to hire help in the future. You should double-check with your loved one’s insurance to see what kind of at-home care it will cover (if anything). You might even be able to pay yourself for your volunteer caregiving efforts, depending on your situation.

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