In-home services provide living assistance to older Americans without requiring them to leave their homes. With healthcare costs continually on the rise, the number of seniors requesting in-home services has increased significantly over the years. Approximately 7.6 million individuals in the United States receive home health care from certified care providers, according to U.S. Census data. In addition to the costs savings, many seniors register for in-home services to maintain their familiar surroundings. They want to sleep in their own beds, cook in their own kitchens and tend to their own gardens. There's something to be said for receiving long-term care at home.
The intensity of in-home services varies significantly from services offered through an assisted living community or nursing home. In-home services are for able-bodied seniors who can mostly take care of themselves. The extremely frail elderly are often better off in residential care facilities where they can be monitored and more carefully provided for.
That said, seniors can reap several benefits through their in-home service providers:
Routine chores: Once-simple tasks such as bathing and cleaning house can become overwhelming for elderly people. Caregivers can lend a hand with these basic chores during their in-home visits.
Meal preparation: Cooking three meals a day can become arduous for seniors at a time when proper nutrition is extremely important. In-home caregivers can cook meals in the homes of their clients, or they can bring weekly deliveries of pre-cooked frozen meals.
Paying bills: Keeping track of different bills can be complicated for weary seniors. Caregivers can help make sure the bills get paid correctly and on time, preventing the shutdown of important utilities such as water and electricity.
Transportation: A time may come when an elderly person loses the ability to drive, making it difficult to visit the doctor, go shopping or run other errands. In-home service providers can often provide transportation for the elderly.
Healthcare Assistance: Sorting out health insurance information, social security benefits and other healthcare issues can be complicated. Through in-home services, seniors have access to trained staff members who can explain these relevant and complex issues.
Companionship: Many elderly people live alone in their homes. They may have lost spouses, they may be neglected by family members or they may not have many friends. Sometimes, seniors just need someone to talk to. In-home caregivers make many visits simply to provide companionship to isolated elderly residents.