Most people bemoan their own loss of independence as a result of age and/or illness in addition to the discomfort/pain they experience. Where hospital care isn't mandatory, loved ones should consider placing their family member in a familiar environment where they are allowed to have some control over what they do or need. This article discusses three circumstances that make home care more suitable.
1. Person desires more independence
In-home caregivers should integrate medical therapies with task-oriented activities to improve the person's independence. These activities aim at improving the person's well-being:
Physically – Physical exertion, according to the patient's ability and hobbies, can include walking, stretching, gardening, dancing, housekeeping.
Socially – Being around family and friends reduces feelings of isolation, and where possible, patients can attend out-of-home events they love.
Mentally – Playing card games, board games, doing crosswords, reading and making arts and crafts are excellent ways to stimulate the brain.
Emotionally – Ensure they keep up with friends and family, find new hobbies (if they can't do the old ones), and participate in counselling therapy as necessary.
Unlike hospital care, in-home care should allow the person to participate in home activities according to their preferences and/or abilities so that they feel less isolated from the world. This can have a huge positive impact on recovery, prolonged life or reduction of their symptoms.
2. Strong support system
While receiving specialised medical attention, an elderly loved one will benefit greatly from being surrounded by family and friends. Unlike hospitals, which may be far and have strict visiting schedules, being at home means the patient can interact with almost anyone at any time. Home care becomes counter-intuitive if the person is placed in a home far away; they should have a readily available support system close by (even if not under the same roof).
3. Modifiable home
This is important for people that require a modified home environment. It is vital to ensure that the person is placed in a safe place that's easy for them to navigate. Your caregiver can help you to make the necessary modifications to your home. Where specialised conditions for therapy/recovery cannot be recreated in the home, the person should be remain in the hospital to avoid potential deterioration.
4. Caregiver-patient integration
Finally, selecting a caregiver for your loved one is much like selecting a nanny/babysitter for a child: There must be a good relationship between the person and their caregiver for the personal care to be most beneficial. If your loved one isn't comfortable with their caregiver, find out the reasons and try to improve their integration. Or else change the caregiver.
Introduce them to the caregiver slowly, and make any changes slowly. For instance, have a familiar face around until they are comfortable with their new caregiver. In the end, if your loved one is always on edge, they won't gain the benefits you're trying to avail to them.