As people grow older, they often discover they can no longer do everything for themselves as was previously the case. The person’s children or other loved ones may attempt to help out by taking over tasks that the elderly individual can no longer complete without assistance. However, eventually the primary caretaker may become overwhelmed, particularly if the person has children of his or her own, works full-time, or has other obligations that make it difficult to provide proper care for the aging parent. If this is the case, hiring a home care aide to provide non-medical help for the person is an ideal solution.
Benefits of In-Home Assistance
Seniors who suffer from chronic illnesses or who have simply reached the stage where assistance with activities of daily living is necessary often benefit greatly from the services of properly trained aides. The latter can assist them with a broad range of tasks to keep them independent as long as possible. One of the greatest benefits of employing a person to take on the role of caregiver is that it allows the senior to stay in his or her own home, rather than having to relocate to an assisted living facility or similar establishment. This ensures that the elderly person can age with dignity in an environment with which he or she is familiar.
Peace of Mind
When the services of a home care aide are sought, families will enjoy greater peace of mind concerning their loved one. This is because even if they cannot be there each day for extended amounts of time, they know that the family member is receiving professional, compassionate and personalized care from a qualified individual.
It is vitally important for older individuals with acute or chronic illnesses to get a suitable amount of rest, proper nutrition, and take all prescriptions at the appropriate times. Personal care workers assist seniors with activities of this type and in numerous instances, such assistance goes a long way toward helping the older person maintain his or her current level of wellness.
Levels of Care
Various levels of care are offered by professional aides, but most agencies include the following options for those who are seeking non-medical services:
• Personal care, such as assistance with washing hair, showering or bathing, shaving, hairstyling, dressing and fastening jewelry or a wristwatch.
• Homemaker services, including light yard work, laundry, feeding pets and housecleaning
• Preparing a meal and reminding clients to take medications or vitamins
• Errands such as grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions at a local pharmacy
• Transporting the client to social events or doctors appointments
Additionally, simple tasks such as making sure the elderly person does not fall when going for a walk or ambulating throughout the house are always an integral part of duties of a home care aide.
The list above is a basic example of the types of services provided by home care aides; however, most agencies make every attempt to tailor their services to the specific needs of each client. In the majority of cases, the level of help can be increased, if it becomes necessary. If the aide notices that the time is approaching where medical supervision is necessary, he or she will likely make that recommendation to the client’s immediate family.
Training and Qualifications
Although the services offered by home health care aides may be non-medical in nature, the aides must still be qualified to perform the duties found within the scope of their position.
Agency-employed certified health aides are generally required to complete at least 75 hours of training, which must be supervised by a qualified employee with a significant amount of experience in the field. The senior employee will observe the work of the trainee and document the person’s competence in various categories. Additionally, a comprehensive examination is given to test the general knowledge of the prospective aide before clients are assigned to the person on a regular basis.
Choosing the Best Agency or Registry
Many elderly individuals are not resistant to help from a family member, but may have an adverse reaction to a stranger coming into their dwelling. Fortunately, properly trained home care workers understand this and are virtually always willing to meet with the person in need of assistance as well as members of his or her family to discuss the services they provide and reassure the client that his or her wishes will be accommodated whenever possible.
Ultimately, the objective of hiring a home care professional is to ensure that independence and safety can be maintained as an elderly individual ages and prevent the person from having to make radical lifestyle changes. Those who believe such services may be beneficial for themselves or an elderly loved one should make an appointment with a qualified agency that can assist them to locate the home care aide that will best meet their needs. In Boca Raton and the neighboring cities of Broward and Palm Beach counties, call the compassionate home care registry of Paradise Home Health Care for all the information you need.