You’ve determined that your aging parent needs some help, but now what? As you may have discovered, there are many options for eldercare available these days. Assisted living, in-home care, and adult day care are just a few of the possibilities, and comparing the various options can be overwhelming.
Going the in-home care route can be a wonderful way to help your parent age in place and stay as independent as possible in their own home. And although there are many other benefits to be had from bringing in a professional caregiver, it may not be the right choice for everyone.
In this article, we’ll discuss four factors that can help you determine if in-home care is right for your family.
Your time/ability to be involved
Perhaps one of the first things to determine is how much time you as the family caregiver will have to participate in your loved one’s care. It’s a common misconception that bringing in an in-home caregiver will automatically free up your time. But that depends entirely on how you go about hiring one.
There are two ways you can bring in a caregiver to help your parent – by hiring one yourself, or by engaging the services of an in-home care agency. If you hire a caregiver privately, it’s important to know that it can be rather time-consuming. You’ll need to interview, vet candidates, and run background and reference checks before they even begin. Once the care starts, there will be time spent managing the caregiver, making sure they are doing what they need to do, and troubleshooting issues that come up. Another task that many people don’t account for is the added time spent staying on top of payroll, taxes, and insurance to keep everything legal.
If you don’t have a lot of extra time or desire to manage an employee, in-home care with an agency is a great option. An agency takes care of all the hiring, training, and management of the caregiver. And many agencies work to match clients with a caregiver that has the experience and training to meet their specific needs, as well as similar interests and personality traits. This can make the transition easier and help build bonds and even friendships between caregiver and client.
Another bonus to in-home care with an agency? It’s much quicker to get started. It may be possible to have a caregiver in your parent’s home as quickly as a few days after you make the request. And if the caregiver gets sick, an agency can easily send a sub so there’s no interruption in care.
The desire to stay in the home
Not surprisingly, some seniors are resistant to leaving their home to move to a senior community or assisted living facility. They can view it as a loss of their independence or a loss of control over their own lives. It’s an understandable feeling!
If your parent or loved one is determined to stay in their home as long as possible, but they aren’t able to do so safely on their own, in-home care can be a great compromise. A caregiver can assist with the activities of daily living that may become difficult with aging, such as personal care, housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. They will also be able to keep the home safe and free from obstacles to prevent falls and help your parent stay compliant with their doctor’s recommendations. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing they are safe and healthy, while they get to remain in their home.
Bringing in a caregiver might be a bit of an adjustment at first, but it’s certainly much less disruptive than moving your parent out of their home to another location. And once they get used to having some assistance and realize that it’s a positive thing, it’s likely they’ll be more receptive to other types of care in the future should needs change.
Your parent’s health
In-home care may be a good choice for your family if your loved one doesn’t have serious conditions that require frequent trained medical supervision. In-home caregivers can provide medication reminders, but they aren’t able to directly administer the medication or other medical treatments such as wound care.
That said, there are many conditions that caregivers are trained and experienced to help seniors with. Arthritis, Parkinson’s, dementia, stroke recovery, and diabetes are just a few of the specialty programs offered at Sequoia Senior Solutions. (You can learn more about how those programs work here)
And should your parent need some medical assistance, in-home care can still work for you. Many families utilize home health care in conjunction with non-medical in-home care. Combining the two can keep costs down and allow your parent to stay in their home rather than going to a facility.
Costs tend to play a big role in the eldercare decision-making process. In-home care can be unaffordable for some, but it really comes down to how much care your parent needs. If they need 24/7 or live-in support, it may make more financial sense to choose an assisted living facility if budget is the only factor. But if they only need help a few hours per day, in-home care can potentially be the more budget-friendly choice.
If you’re weighing your options between in-home care and assisted living, you may want to think beyond budget and consider the value. In-home care can sometimes cost more per hour, but your parent will get one-on-one personalized support. This typically isn’t the case with an assisted living facility, where the ratio of staff to residents can be as high as 1:8. This means your parent may not be receiving as much attention, or they may be waiting long periods before their needs are met.
There are many advantages to using in-home care, but it really depends on your unique situation. If it fits into the budget and your parent wants to stay in their home, it’s something to strongly consider.
If you’d like to learn more about in-home care services with an agency or have questions, we’d love to talk. We offer a complimentary discovery call, assessment, and home evaluation to determine if it’s a fit for your family – no obligation. Simply fill out our form to be contacted by a client service specialist.