All those with aging parents know the dilemma of deciding on the best care for them. You weigh the possibility of a nursing home, wonder about how to choose the best one, think about bringing in a professional caregiver or doing the job yourself. You want what is best for Mom and Dad. Perhaps you have heard the saying, “Not deciding is a decision,” meaning that if you put off deciding you are really deciding to stay with what you have. In this case, that may not be bad.
How Simple Home Modifications Can Enable Aging-In-Place
First evaluate the physical and medical needs of Mom and Dad. Is their home a safe environment? Can it be made safe for them with a few home improvements? Consider Margie’s case. Margie’s son Tom realized that his Mom still wasn’t ready for the care facility she had helped choose, and that she might never be ready. But some new cupboards in the kitchen that were low enough for her to reach made her kitchen accessible to her shortened stature. Then a ramp to replace the back steps made it easy for her to get in and out of the house with her walker. Tom realized that Margie’s medical needs were not extensive, even though she is on oxygen. If her medical needs get worse, a care facility may be necessary. But for now Margie is happiest in the familiar surroundings of her own cottage.
Even when Margie broke her hip, her recovery was faster once she was allowed to go home. The Avalere Study of 2008 showed that seniors heal faster mentally and physically in their own homes when compared to hospitals and nursing homes. All the attention and interruptions that go on in these facilities can be confusing to older adults.
How In-Home-Care is Cost-Efficient
Because Tom and his wife work, they decided to hire someone to come in four hours a day to help Margie. She has two different ladies who help her and she has become friends with them even though she resisted the idea of a stranger coming into her home. Tom and his wife take care of his Mom on Sundays. This is much more economical for them than paying for a residential care facility. A room in an assisted living community costs $43,200 per year on average, whereas even if Tom decides eight hours a day of home health care is needed, it would run about $8,300. With the average hourly rate of $20/hour, non-medical home health care can cost about one third of what a nursing home costs, especially if you’re only paying for a handful of hours per week.
Because Tom decided on home health care, he is respecting Margie’s independence and dignity. He can personalize the care to Margie’s changing needs so that she has exactly what she needs. Home care keeps Tom’s family together, as they routinely check on Margie, take her on outings and touch base with caregivers. The care Margie gets is safe since Tom looks into any complaints immediately.
Is In-Home Care Right for You?
Home care is the oldest and most respected form of elder care. It extends and improves the quality of Margie’s life and will also do so for your Mom and Dad if it is appropriate for them. Learn more about home care or call (866) 592-8119 to speak with one of our local Home Care Advisors for free help finding an agency near you.