When it comes to aging and entering the elderly years, all people will have a choice to make: do they want to remain living in their homes or do they want to live at a retirement/assisted-living community? Living in a retirement or assisted-living community as opposed to living at home is advantageous in the sense that a retirement/assisted-living community will be able to provide around-the-clock assistance as well as a sense of safety, as help will always be nearby. However, living in a retirement or assisted-living community may cause some seniors to feel less independent and self-sufficient, which, of course, is greatly understandable.
Although many seniors who choose to stay in their homes choose to do so because they are still more or less able to take care of themselves, it is likely that they will require some help performing chores and certain tasks in order to continue living in their own home. If you have a loved one in your life who is entering their golden years and desires to remain in their own homes, but you yourself are unable to provide the adequate care and assistance that he or she would need to be able to do so, you may want to consider hiring an in-home caregiver.
In-home caregivers are basically assistants who provide the necessary care that seniors need to remain living independently in their homes. There are two basic types of in-home care-giving services available: “medical” in-home care-giving and “non-medical” in-home care-giving.
Medical in-home caregivers are people who are certified to provide medical-based care for their clients. These types of caregivers follow medical care-giving guidelines as set forth by state and federal statutes; the agency that employs medical in-home caregivers will assume full liability for their services. Common medical services provided by these in-home caregivers can include:
- Monitoring the client’s vitals, such as temperature and blood pressure, on a regular basis
- Administering any medications as needed
- Changing bandages or dressings
- Helping with necessary exercises or physical therapy
- Assistance with any at-home medical equipment
Non-medical in-home caregivers are people who provide their clients with care and help that is non-medical in nature, such as performing household chores or running errands. Non-medical in-home care is often referred to as “private home care” and therefore is not covered by Medicare and almost all health insurance plans; seniors who have private home care typically pay for it through long-term care insurance plans that have an allowance for these types of home care services.
Although Medicare and health insurance do not provide financial assistance when it comes to non-medical in-home care, it can be a worthwhile investment for many seniors as these in-home caregivers can provide assistance with a number of various tasks that might otherwise require specialized care from different persons. For example, non-medical in-home caregivers can provide much transportation assistance as well as meal preparation assistance; with a non-medical in-home caregiver, a senior may need to hire to separate services to complete those two tasks.
- Besides providing transportation and meal preparation assistance, non-medical in-home caregivers are typically trained to provide the following services as well:
- Assistance with bathroom activities, such as bathing, using the toilet, and taking care of dental hygiene
- Respite care
- Running errands, such as shopping for groceries or picking up prescriptions
- Performing housekeeping or household chores and tasks, such as cleaning or paying bills
- Providing companionship for those who are isolated by distance or social factors
- Reminding seniors to take their medications on time and supervising them while they are doing so
You may not find a need for all the different types of services that in-home caregivers can provide, but chances are, as your loved one gets older, there will come a time when those previously unnecessary services can come in handy. That is the beauty of in-home care-giving services- the services that are performed can be tailored to meet your changing needs.