While the passing of time allows for wonderful memories to form, it can also lead to health limitations becoming an issue. If your senior family member has begun to show negative side effects from aging, it’s normal to have worries about their safety at home.
Whether your loved one lives alone or with a spouse, you might feel that help is needed in order to ensure their health is being monitored and supported and uncompromised.
Health Conditions Impacting Senior Lives
As people age, their immune systems, bone strength, and overall health may worsen or weaken. While it can be worrying or upsetting, it is not an uncommon occurrence. It is estimated that 80% of senior citizens are currently living with an illness or chronic condition, and 50% of them battle at least two serious conditions simultaneously. Some more common conditions include arthritis, heart disease, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. Illnesses such as these increase the risk of injury for seniors living at home and alone.
Options for Senior Care
There are several options that loved ones and caretakers typically consider when selecting senior care. First, are skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes). Second, are assisted living facilities.
The main difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is that nursing homes provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting, while assisted living primarily provides personal care in a more home-like, social setting.
These options may be an appropriate choice for some, depending on the level of care and quantity of care needed. Often, but not always, a facility can be avoided.
The third most commonly considered option is in-home care. If you have a senior relative or friend who would like to stay in their home, you’re not alone. Our homes are where we feel our safest, where all of our warmest memories are made, and where we’re most comfortable. Fortunately, many medical services provided in a facility setting (skilled nursing, rehab services, etc) can now be provided in-home alongside paraprofessional assistance — such as home health aide services and companionship care.
Remaining at Home and Staying Safe
Home healthcare allows seniors to remain in their homes while also receiving care they greatly benefit from. Home Health Aide (HHA) services are designed to assist chronically ill or disabled individuals. With these services, a home health aide pays visits to the patient in their home and provides assistance in a variety of ways. Depending on the medical necessity of the person in question, services may also include nursing care, therapy services, medication administration (from skilled staff), personal care assistance, help with running errands, dietary assistance, and perhaps most importantly, companionship.
In New York, company’s licensed to provide in-home care are referred to as LHCSAs or Licensed Home Care Service Agency’s. They are licensed specifically by the NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health). These companies have an obligation to provide clients with compassionate care from the comfort of their homes. They must employ and oversee well trained paraprofessionals. Something else to keep in mind; not only do home health aides provide care related to the individual’s medical needs, but they are also an extra set of eyes and ears to ensure their client’s safety and wellbeing.
Accidents happen but having the right safeguards and services in place can prevent them from occurring. However in a situation where an incident does occur, having in-home care can help get emergency medical attention promptly, rather than hours after an incident occurs and no one is home to witness or assist. Household falls are the leading contributor of injuries and death in seniors, with about 25% of seniors having a fall each year according to the CDC. Should a senior fall down in their home, the most important factor in recovery is a quick response and prompt emergency medical attention.
Home Health Aide Service Advantages
Home health aide services are aimed to allow your loved one to live independently while maintaining their health and safety. Trained, credentialed home health aides provide a myriad of services in order to help your loved one to live as comfortably as possible.
If your family member has a chronic condition or suffers from a disease or ailment, and wants to maintain their independence, home health care is an excellent option to consider.