In-home care covers a wide range of services provided in the home, rather than in a hospital or care facility. It allows a person with Alzheimer’s or other type of dementia to stay in the comfort of their own home. It also can be of great assistance to caregivers.
Types of in-home services
In-home services are different. Some in-home services focus on non-medical help, such as assistance with daily living. Other in-home services include medical care given by a licensed health professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist.
Common types of in-home services are:
• Companion services: This includes help with supervision, recreational activities and visiting.
• Personal care services: This involves with bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation and eating, exercising and other personal care.
• Homemaker services: This involves help with housekeeping, shopping or meal preparation.
• Skilled care: This aides individuals who need help with wound care, injections, physical therapy and other medical needs that only a licensed health professional can provide. Often, a home health care agency coordinates these types of skilled care services after they have been ordered by a physician
The following steps can be helpful when trying to find the right care:
• Decide who will provide home care as everyone’s circumstance is different. For some, using a home health agency is the best choice. Others find an individual care provider to be a better fit.
• Create a list of care needs before contacting prospective providers, to make sure your expectations are clear and will be met.
• Call and schedule an initial consultation to get a feel for the kind of help they offer and if it meets your specific needs.
• Interview at your home to give them an idea of what the job entails and see if it’s a good fit for everyone involved.
• Check references as some agencies conduct criminal background checks. You have to right to request whether all security checks have been carried out.
It’s a good idea to also talk to other clients of the agency about their impressions.
Keep in mind that finding a suitable home health aide requires a give and take dynamic. Talk to the provider you have chosen – the more they know about the person they are caring for, the better care they can offer you. Even with memory loss, persons with dementia maintain strong memories from periods of their past, so it’s important to have a strong safety net around them. Families and care providers need to work together to make the transition as comfortable as possible for the person who needs care. It will allow for a much greater bond to form between the home health aide and the patient – something everyone will benefit from.