Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to provide information, including that person’s primary health provider or local home health professionals like Accredited Home Care. Even local assisted living centers can provide details about their facilities and why it could be a good fit for some, especially residents who may need extra care and services than they can get on their own. But in other cases, people might be fine living on their own or at least receiving regular home health care rather than having to relocate.
Talking with the loved one themselves about their wishes is vital. Sometimes these can be difficult, emotional discussions, but ultimately they can give an indication whether a person believes they are mentally and physically able to stay at home with or without assistance.
Or if they’re starting to doubt these abilities, it might be a good time to begin discussing other options, including possibly changing levels of care.
Family members in these situations are often asked to observe their loved one throughout the course of a typical day. Do they still do well at everything they used to? Are there situations that have become more difficult than they used to be? Are they forgetting more details than they used to? Are there more situations that are unsafe or dangerous, such as forgetting to turn the stove off or having difficulty walking down the stairs? Or are things going well?
Answers to these questions can provide guidance to providers and others involved in these discussions and decisions.
Therapy can help
One thing that home health care agencies can provide is access to a variety of therapists who can focus on building and improving certain areas of someone’s health. A period of regular therapy may help improve someone’s mental or health conditions and help their efforts to remain independent.
Some of these can include:
- Physical therapy. A trained physical therapist can help people rebuild and improve strength and flexibility in their muscles and range of motion that may have been diminished due to injury or health conditions like a stroke. Physical therapy can help clients get up and moving, which can also provide boots to their mental state as well.
- Occupational therapy. Along with building up general muscles and motion, being able to show independence on a regular basis is also important. So an occupational therapist can help people build or improve basic tasks for their normal day, especially if some abilities have been lost or modified due to health changes. This can start by simply getting out of bed, getting dressed and grooming. But occupational therapy also can include tasks like preparing meals or housework. Therapists can also look at someone’s home to make sure it’s safe for them, and recommend additions like railings in the bathroom or removing area rugs that can be falling or tripping hazards.
- Massage therapy. Just about everyone can benefit from the power of touch. A massage therapist can help relax tense muscles, an action that can have all sorts of benefits, from pain relief to improving someone’s general outlook. Feeling physically better can lead to more interest in getting up and moving around, which can have even more positive benefits.
- Health Aide. Some home health employees may provide other areas of care that, while not as hands-on as a physical or occupational therapist, can be appreciated and make someone feel comfortable and secure. For instance, they can help with light housework, shopping, transportation or meal preparation.
Whether a caregiver visits for a few hours or is available daily, they can provide all sorts of services depending on the client’s needs. This can include helping with exercises, bathing or mobility. But they can also provide emotional support, which can include everything from reminders to take medicine to simple conversation.
Levels of care
All the above therapists and home care providers can also be excellent resources to help gather data and observations about someone’s mental and physical state. Along with providing their respective services to directly help the client, they can also report any progress and recommendations to that person’s family members and to their provider.
They can also communicate with other home health professionals, such as nurses, social workers or others who are assessing the client’s well-being and capabilities to live independently or whether changes might need to be made.
This might not even need to be as severe as making someone relocate, which can be difficult if someone doesn’t feel they’re ready to go. Or in some cases, they may begin to recognize their limitations or declining health.
They still may be available to live at home but different care might be needed or offered. For instance, someone who is no longer able to go grocery shopping on their own may be able to have grocery items delivered or picked up for them.
Or they may need assistance in the bathroom, everything from help bathing to recommendations on ways to make taking showers safer.
Accredited Home Care is happy to help clients and family members with these types of questions and concerns.