Assisted living, nursing homes and home health care are issues most elderly persons and their loved ones will be faced with at some point. Whether the person struggles with mental disabilities, physical incapacities or chronic illnesses, most times care outside of what family and friends can provide is necessary. When the time comes to think about options, the process of researching and deciding on an approach can be particularly stressful. Some elderly people may be resistant to change, and would prefer to keep present arrangements because they are comfortable and familiar.
Factors to Consider
Home health care is an excellent way to receive specialized medical care in the comfort and familiarity of the patient’s home. However, before determining if this is the right option for you or your loved one, there are several factors to consider.
- Does the person have an accessible, nearby network of loved ones and friends?This is critical because home health care involves the participation and companionship of those close to the patient. When receiving home health care it’s easy for the person to feel alienated, especially if they live alone, and a familiar support system is very important to a successful in home health care plan.
- Is the person’s home easily maintained and modified?When an elderly person has medical needs and conditions, it’s important that their living environment is safe. Many times home health care professionals, like nurses and therapists, will recommend some home modifications be made to create a more safe, stable environment for the patient.
- Is the person comfortable with having unfamiliar faces in their home?This question might seem obvious, but many times it isn’t until a home health aide, nurse or therapist makes their first visit that the patient feels uncomfortable with the arrangement. Make sure you or your loved one understands who is visiting and why. It’s important to work with the home health agency to ensure there is a good match between the medical professional and the patient.
There are many other key points to consider that are unique to each person. Talk to your family and loved one about the available options of care and try to get feedback in all areas. Together you can decide if this is the right time for in home health care.