Home Care is the
professional care of seniors in their home, and a wonderful
alternative to assisted living when the senior just needs some
help, but can otherwise do fine.
Sooner or later, if we live
long enough, all of us will require assistance in managing the
things that we once handled very efficiently. Chronic
disease, physical aliments, loss of motor skills, and weakened
systems are all a natural part of the aging process.
Some people require assistance
sooner than others so while
some people may require some level of assistance in their early
60's others may not require any assistance until some time in
In cases where sudden a sudden
illness or accident requires home care, the changes are
relatively sudden and easy to identify. Most people accept
the necessity for these changes easier too.
When the decline is gradual,
the little aches and pains that grow into big aches and pains
slowly eat away at a person's ability to accomplish tasks.
It starts with an occasional bad day and the occasional bad day
doesn't mean that help is required. But then as time goes
on, the bad days become more frequent.
Psychological barriers to
It's not easy to accept the necessity for help either.
To do so necessarily admits to frailty which is something that
we have been taught is synonymous with weakness of the spirit or
mind. We have been told that weakness makes us less
Some experts say that this
boils down to a matter of perspective. Do you view the
help as a convenience, as an entitlement or do you view it as a
necessity? Is getting the help a luxury or a
It all depends on the way you
look at it. People that view home care assistance as a
convenience or luxury generally handle it better than those that
view it as a necessity.
Sometimes it also helps to
start adding services one at a time and before they are really
needed. It's easier to accept services as a convenience and
adding other services later just isn't as big of a deal.
Health related services
Home care services are often required as a result of poor
health, illness, or poor nutritional balance. Age can
often change our attitude towards food and can reduce food
cravings. Taste buds don't give the satisfaction from
eating as much as they used to and sometimes, seniors just don't
feel hungry or care to eat.
When people live alone,
regardless of age, there is a tendency towards poor
nutrition. "There is nobody to cook for, so why go
through all the trouble."
It's the family members that
generally come across these situations. Like finding out
that Mom usually only has a piece of toast in the morning, maybe
a couple of nuts for lunch, and a cookie for dinner. It
doesn't happen to everyone, but it does happen to some.
Poor diet always leads to poor
health and often needless degradation of other body
systems. Seniors should always be watched for nutritional
balance. With regular visits and checks of the
refrigerator and shelves, you can generally get a pretty good
handle on what their nutrition is like.
Poor nutrition and medicine
Poor nutrition should be
addressed promptly before other symptoms develop. The
answer may be as simple as a local Meals
on Wheels program. With such services around, the
likelihood of a proper diet is much higher.
Other health problems can be
much more severe or catastrophic if not handled promptly.
Forgetting to take medications or taking them improperly can
cause severe reactions or worse.
A good way to determine whether
someone is taking medications properly is to keep an inventory
balance of their medications. Start with a beginning
balance and determine how many pills they should have left at
the end of a given period of time.
For instance, if you start out
with 60 pills and you know the person is supposed to take 2
pills per day, then at the end of 15 days, there should only be
30 pills remaining.
If you have more or less
medication that you should have, it's obvious that the person
has not been taking the proper amount of medication and
alternative plans should be made to monitor the taking of that