Home Care:  Not an End, but a Beginning

May 6, 2016

Many older folks are threatened by the suggestion they might need care of any kind. They can’t get past the feeling that bringing in an aide is the first step towards taking away their independence.

That’s hardly the case. Here are five things to know about home care:

1. It doesn’t mean that you’re sick.

Instead, it’s an opportunity to make life easier.  A caregiver can help prepare meals, tidy the house or take you to doctors’ appointments. If you live alone, it’s an opportunity for companionship…. to play cards, go for a walk, etc.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 6.06.30 PM2. It won’t restrict your independence.

In many ways, having a caregiver lets you do more.  Frequently, when someone needs extra help or does not drive, they stop getting out and forego activities they enjoy because they don’t want to impose on friends or family to take them.  Having a caregiver whose purpose is to provide assistance changes that.  They can go with you to the activities you enjoy, helping you to maintain your independence.

3. You won’t feel like there’s a stranger in your home.

Most agencies gladly have the family meet prospective aides before they start. Yes, everyone is a stranger until you get to know them.  You will not only have a say on who is hired, but can rest assured that the individual will have been carefully vetted.  In our experience, you and the aide will bond and become close friends.

4. It can be affordable.

You can have an aide come as little or as often as you want (or feel you can afford). Many people have someone for just a few hours per week.   While it’s not cheap, it’s certainly much less expensive than institutional care.

5. It’s not an omen of things to come.

Many older people see home care as a harbinger of things to come.   It’s a caregiver today, and a nursing home tomorrow.  The reality is that many clients end up spending years in home care, often with the same caregiver.

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