When visiting with aging family members over the holidays (or any other time of year) it’s a great opportunity to observe and detect clues that signal a need for some form of care.
The signs creep up on you. But you eventually realize that something has changed. Some kind of care needs to be considered.
• Meds aren’t being taken
• The pantry doesn’t have enough food
• Laundry and unopened mail is piling up
• The car has some new dents in it
• Personal hygiene isn’t up to par
• Mobility is severely impaired
Do these signs automatically mean that a long-term care community is in order? Mark Adkisson doesn’t think so. As the owner of Home Instead Senior Care in St. Louis, he sees in-home care as a much better initial option.
“Most people would rather age in home for as long as they can. Frankly, it’s often a more practical solution. A long-term care community might eventually be required. But don’t assume that it’s the only option.”
Aging in Place – comfort and safety at home
When your loved-one’s capacity to manage activities of daily living is diminished, it’s time to get help. Rather than making a dramatic change in location, staying at home should be your first consideration. It can be done safely, with the help of an in-home senior care service.
Services are typically offered only a la carte, making in-home care a more affordable, comfortable option. Mark suggests that it’s about much more than daily tasks. It’s about preserving dignity and honor.
Companionship is an added benefit to the variety of services offered. Assisting with mobility, personal care and cooking are practical examples, along with making sure medications are being taken and mail is being tended to.
More importantly, in-home care professionals offer the insight of a trusted advisor. Things change with age, sometimes suddenly. Navigating through the many options in unfamiliar territory is intimidating. Your in-home care professional helps you bridge the gap, providing trustworthy guidance that fits your wishes and situation.
In-home Senior Care – Getting help early is a game changer
No one has a crystal ball to predict how things will play out. But costs can be reduced and outcomes can be improved if help is accepted before there’s a major need.
Mark shared a compelling example to highlight this idea. The story is fictitious, but representative of his experience in elder care.
George and Eva were aging happily in their home, having made a few simple modifications. With one important exception, they were well able to maintain their lives with little difficulty. Eva had trouble getting in and out of bed. They decided against a long-term care community, not wanting the separation or the expense. George helped Eva every morning and evening, until George fell and broke his hip trying to help Eva. She is now getting care in a great community. Hopefully, George will survive and join her after his recovery.
Had they known about in-home senior care, things would be different for George and Eva. They would only be paying help with Eva’s minor mobility issues, instead of the much bigger expense of the elder community. And George probably would not have broken his hip.
Sticking with in-home care vs moving to a long-term care community
At some point, more intensive care may be required. In some cases it may become financially practical for an aging senior to move into a long-term care community. Still, the option remains to continue getting care at home if financial resources are available. Even if 24 hour care is required, it is possible to remain in the comfort of your home.