Once a family starts considering home health care for a loved one, it is because they’ve realized that they can’t provide the level of care their family member needs. The key is that the entire family, especially the loved one in need of care, must be part of the process. Home health care benefits both the patient and the caregiver(s). Moreover, knowing all that you can about home health care before you need it is the most proactive step you can take to help decide when the right time for it should be. |
Rarely do we take a hard look at ourselves enough to know when things aren’t well, let alone decide that our family, as a whole, needs assistance. Still, this assessment is necessary for a family to help find the right home health care agency that’s right for their loved one.
If you and your family are deciding on home health care options, here are a few tips:
Assess Effect on Schedules — Are family members having to alter work schedules to take shifts with a loved one? Are personal relationships being affected by these changes? It seems a little selfish, but if your life is on pause while you sort out caregiver duties, then home health care should be discussed.
Keep Track of the Number of Incidents — Depending on the severity of issues affecting your loved one, leaving them alone may no longer be an option. Home health care agencies are there to help, and while your loved one may find their presence unnecessary, you might need to have a frank talk with them about why such a move is needed.
Manageable vs Critical Need — Family will usually come together to make sure a loved one’s needs are being met, but that can have limitations as time goes by. If a family member’s health is compromised to the point that caregiving takes on more involved duties, being able to separate your personal relationship from your duties becomes almost impossible.
Maintain Independence — Whether your loved one’s needs are severe or not, having a little extra help through home health care is a great way to help keep your loved one feeling independent. Whether it’s being at home in an environment they know well to having some help with mundane errands like grocery shopping, being able to maintain independence can be a real booster for your loved one’s mental health.
Home health care can be a scary thing for families to deal. However, remember that home health care is also just an extension of primary care at a hospital or other medical facility. Things don’t necessarily have to be ‘wrong’. A patient may be homebound for a number of reasons, and a having a home health care agency can be an extra pair of hands to help around the house. Nonetheless, families should maintain a healthy conversation about home health care before it’s needed so that they know how to handle it down the road.
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