The AARP reports that 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes as long as possible; however, the reality is that many seniors can't remain at home without help of some kind. Homecare services are the perfect bridge between your loved one's desire and reality. Homecare providers are licensed professionals who can provide personal care, housekeeping services, transportation, and companionship.
Housekeeping Services: Meal preparation, dish washing, laundry, changing bed linens, sweeping, dusting, taking out the trash, pet care, attending to the mail, and more can all be seen to by a service provider.
Transportation: A homecare service can drive your loved one to doctor's appointments, social engagements, or to run errands. Some providers also offer transition of care services, picking up a senior after a hospital discharge, for instance, and bringing them home.
Companionship: Even the most involved families can't be with their senior loved one all the time. Homecare services keep clients from getting lonely. A good service will do more than simply asking the senior what they want to do; they will plan a daily schedule with a variety of activities to keep clients healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
Most homecare providers do not offer nursing care.
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By far, the most common reason for homecare services is dementia. If you're currently struggling with a loved one who's showing signs of cognitive impairment or has been diagnosed with dementia, good news and genuine consolation is hard to come by. But you're not alone: One in ten people over 65 and half of people over 85 are afflicted with dementia. Of the many trials you'll undoubtedly face over the next few months and/or years, trying to determine the best living arrangements for your loved one and convincing them that these arrangements are in their best interests frequently lands near the top of the list. We wish we could give you a sure-fire solution to soothe your loved one's fears about homecare, as well as other living arrangements you may need to make in the future. But, of course, no such solution exists. This in mind, here are some useful ideas and strategies to hopefully make the transition a little easier on everyone involved.
Selling Homecare Services to the Elderly
In the early and early-to-moderate stages of cognitive impairment, denial is commonplace. In one way, it's even a good sign. The vast majority of us go through our lives with a certain amount of denial. Arguably, it's healthy to some extent and even necessary to get through our daily lives. It may not be any different with your loved one who needs to believe in an unrealistic level of continued independence simply to keep it together. As such, selling homecare services to the elderly is often as delicate as it is difficult, as mentally-draining as it is heart-breaking. The good news is that if you're trying to sell the idea of homecare, you don't yet have to deal with more intensive and expensive senior care alternatives.
Accusations, Lies, Love, and Trust
Understandably paralyzed by fear, many elderly people don't wait till the next stage of their cognitive decline to lash out at the idea of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. As clear as you may be about the idea of hiring homecare services on a limited basis, the response may very well become a personal attack. "You want to send me away, don't you?" There's also a good chance you'll hear an argument like, "Why don't we just wait a little while and see?" Both of these arguments are probably best countered by demonstrating that homecare services are a way to delay the need for more institutionalized care. You can honestly tell them that some in-home assistance can actually increase their daily functioning level and decrease the likelihood that a major accident will occur. Furthermore, developing new living habits now may actually help them maintain their new daily routine even in the face of increased cognitive decline.
Other elderly people may react in a completely opposite manner. Very proud loved ones, who above all else don't want to become a burden, may take a defeatist tact: "Why don't you just go ahead and send me away then! Why wait?" There may arise a moment in which it becomes tempting to lie your loved one to try to make them feel better. Here the consequences are so unpredictable that any advice is just as likely to back-fire as it is to be helpful. But even if you've lived your entire life trying to be honest with the people you love, only to go against your own beliefs in this late hour, cut yourself some slack. You love them as just as much now as you did before, and you always will.
Finding Reliable Homecare Services
Take it from someone who spent several years in the homecare services industry, this occupation attracts the most giving, compassionate people you'll ever meet and, unfortunately, a smaller number of the most despicable, swindling con artists who see the elderly as little more than an easy mark. At ServiceMagic, we do everything we can to connect you with the former caregivers and shield you from the latter group who would take advantage of your loved one. Each and every professional in our database is prescreened for background checks and basic industry credentials. Moreover, our system of customer ratings and reviews allows you to see what other local elderly people and their families have to say about their experience with individual caregivers and homecare service companies. Much like giving advice, even our rigorous screening process can't provide a 100% guarantee against those who would take advantage of your loved oneno service canbut we do provide these innovative consumer protections that, along with your own interview process and gut feeling, can get you as close as possible to guaranteeing a safe environment for your loved one.