In light of the contagion which is currently sweeping the world and impacting literally billions of people, it’s worth taking a look at in-home care, as opposed to care delivered by a specific residential facility. Senior home care can be very effective in both settings, in Hernando and elsewhere around the country, so the difference can really be pointed up when a situation like the present contagion is factored in. Great care can still be administered by a residential facility under such circumstances, but there are some definite advantages to having care delivered in-home, where a senior is already most comfortable and confident.
Social distancing is easier
When a senior is situated in a residential facility, there are always a great many more individuals involved in that person’s daily routine. In a normal day, a senior might come in contact with several caregivers, as well as a number of other residents at the facility. Even if precautions are taken, the sheer numbers involved in daily contact will make it difficult to establish safe distancing from all other persons at the facility.
In a home setting, there might typically be a single caregiver and the senior person, and no one else at the home, or perhaps a few loved ones. That can make social distancing much easier to maintain so that the possibility of spreading a virus is greatly reduced. In a critical situation where all interaction must be carried out under the safest possible restrictions, the in-home setting is inherently safer and easier to maintain.
It’s always much easier for a senior to be cared for according to their own schedule, as opposed to the schedule in effect at a residential facility. A senior might really only need several hours of care each day, and the in-home setting is ideal for that. In addition, when care is administered in a home setting, the patient becomes the sole focus of the caregiver, and there’s no one else involved who requires attention. That means any needs the senior patient might have can be attended to much more quickly because the caregiver will not be distracted by any other individuals needing attention.
If you were to ask most seniors what their number one fear is as they get older, you would probably find that a great number of them make responses about losing their independence. In fact, this is the answer given in a great many surveys conducted on the subject, and it is often mentioned more frequently than failing health. This should tell you how important it is to most seniors that they maintain their independence, rather than sacrificing it to a schedule that might be imposed on them in a setting other than their home.
By receiving care right in their own home, seniors can still exercise a great deal of independence, as long as they are in reasonably good health and have mobility which allows them to navigate around the house. They can still order their lives according to their own wishes, maintaining their own schedule for eating, sleeping, exercising, and socializing. When it’s necessary for them to move around town or to keep doctor appointments, a caregiver can provide assistance in that area. This will allow them to live at home, and still meet all their obligations for personal health and well-being.
More family involvement
When a senior is able to receive in-home care right in the same house they’ve been living in for years, there will generally be much more interaction with family members who might also be living there. Of course, when others are going in and out of the house, there is a slightly increased risk of spreading bacteria and disease, because there are more individuals interacting with others outside the home.
This is still considerably less interaction than you might find at a residential facility and provided everyone is conscientious about good hygiene, the risk can be managed effectively. It’s worth that little extra trouble in order to maintain solid family relations and to allow a senior to live among people whom he/she genuinely cares about.
It’s also true that many seniors form attachments with pets such as dogs or cats, which keep them company during hours of loneliness. It has often been demonstrated that this kind of companionship is critical for seniors, especially when there are few others around in the household for many hours of the day. It is especially helpful for dementia patients, because they tend to focus on their pet as a trusted and loved companion. Assuming that the senior person has some kind of help in caring for the pet, it can be one of the big advantages of being able to stay in a home setting to receive care.