Thursday, June 6, 2013

Will Home Care help my parent remain in their Independent Living Facility?

By Bob Gregory

It’s natural for an elderly parent to want to remain independent for as long as possible but sometimes they need some help and that creates a dilemma for the entire family.  If your elderly parent is living in their own home or have already transitioned to an Independent Living Facility but require help, don’t immediately think it’s time to make a move to an Assisted Living Facility as there may be another solution to extend your parent’s independence and help them remain in their own home!  Today, many informed seniors are electing Home Care to help them remain in their homes for as long as possible.  There are really two distinct types of Home Care and one may very well fit your parent.

Home Care Companionship/Personal Care.  This type of Home Care is non-medical and is available to help your parent.  This type of service offers both domestic and personal assistance and can be for as little as a few hours a week or 24 hours a day for as long as needed.  There are two main areas of focuses for this service:

Domestic Care Services:
·         Light housekeeping. Chores such as vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, laundry and most any light work you predefine.
·         Cooking services. Preparing home-cooked meals that meet nutrition standards either daily or preparing several meals for refrigerating.
Cooking! (Photo credit: Webb Zahn)
·         Errands. Give them a list and they will get your errands done for you. This is especially great for those who have trouble driving.  You may also have them drive you to get your shopping completed and help with packages.
·         Companionship.  This is especially important for seniors who find themselves confined to their home and unable to get out socializing.  They will provide conversation, play board games or cards or just simply enjoy a watching television.
·         Organization.  This may include helping get bills paid on time, reminders to take medication, attend important appointments or organize a closet or cabinets to make them more accessible.

Personal Services:
Helping Grandmother Walk
Helping Walk (Photo credit: Rosie O'Beirne)
·         Mobility assistance.  This includes helping with walkers or wheelchair or giving a steady hand to go on a walk.  It may also include moving from bed to chair or repositioning to protect skin and muscles.
·         Personal Hygiene.  This may include bathing, hair washing and trimming nails.  It may also include toileting and dealing with Incontinence.

Do not confuse this type of service with housekeeping or maid services even though they will provide some of these services.  These professionals are usually trained to not only perform tasks for the senior they service, but to also provide a warm and endearing atmosphere to help stimulate and encourage the senior they serve.  Be sure to define all the types of services that are required up front so that there is no misunderstanding or friction between the service provider and the senior.

therapy in the mirror
therapy (Photo credit: gaspi *yg)
Home Health Care.  Home Health Care is very different from the Companionship or Personal Care.  Service is provided by a trained and licensed health care specialist.  They do not perform domestic chores but may offer personal services as part of their service.  This type of service is generally best suited for transition back home after being treated in the hospital.  Typically, after a fall or a life changing event, an elderly patient will be treated in a hospital, and then transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility for short term rehabilitation (usually less than 90 days).  After a hospital stay and rehab, the patient is used to an environment where sleep is intermittent and physical rehab is intense.  Once all this is complete, the patient is not really used to doing things for themselves or they are in need of additional less intense rehabilitation to get them accustomed to being more independent.  In this situation, Home Health Care is able to be contracted to come into the home and teach the patient to do their own medications, work with the home environment and adapt it properly to meet the changing needs of the patient and/or continue with less intense physical therapy.

Home Care may be a good solution to help extend you or your elderly parent’s independence.  There are many agencies that provide these services.  You may also find individuals who provide these services independently.  Be sure and do a thorough check of the individual or the agency before contracting for services.  You should also ask for references and follow up on and check out the references.  An advantage of using an agency is that they pre-screen all their employees, but check the agency’s references to make sure they are reputable.  Also, some of the services provided may be covered by your insurance (usually the medical services) so be sure and inquire. Finally, make sure you are very detailed in the services you need so that there are no unexpected charges for services that you need but forgot to mention!

If you would like a list Independent Living Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes or any other type of Senior Facility, I hope you will consider
If you would like to contribute your thoughts and ideas, please leave them in our comment section. We want to hear them. Helping people care for themselves or their loved ones is what we care about. 

We look forward to reading yours.

Bob Gregory is an advocate for Seniors and is one of the founders of At, we are dedicated to helping families get the Elder Care help they need without having to provide their personal information! If find you need an assisted living facility or other type of senior facility, please consider
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  1. Hi Bob,

    I have a quick question for you regarding your site, but I couldn't find your contact information. Do you think you could send me an email whenever you get a chance?




  2. Good informative article on the types of Home Care like domestic,health care or personal care.
    Senior Care at Home

    1. Senior Care at Home is a good option. Home care which includes medical care is also available. Most seniors prefer to stay at home because they feel comfortable, independent and secure in familiar surroundings.Their family can support by modifying the house as per requirement so that seniors can move around safely. A dedicated and trained home care provider can make a positive change in their life.Home care is also cost effective.