Posted by on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 in Blog

Americans live longer today than they did a few generations ago. As a result, long-term care may be needed for a senior. Fortunately, families now have more options than ever before, and a senior care franchise can be of help in finding the right solution.

A nursing home was at one time the only choice for a senior who could no longer live alone or with family members. Today, this remains an option, but a person can also choose assisted living, home health care or several other options. Actually, a home healthcare franchise may be an option for any person looking to start their own business. 

Home health care is the preferred choice of many. The senior can remain in his or her own home while still receiving the necessary care. What are some of the benefits associated with this option?

Time for Caregivers

Caregivers need time to get away and recharge. This is something that is often overlooked by families but it is essential if the loved one will get the care he or she needs. A tired, overworked loved one is no benefit to the person who needs assistance. 

The home health aide steps in to assist the caregiver when he or she needs time away. This is especially helpful when family members live far away. The task of caring for the loved one may fall on one person and any help is appreciated when this is the case. 

Home Assessments

A person who serves as a caregiver is trained to assess his or her client on a regular basis and make recommendations on changes that may need to be made to the home. For instance, a person might need to have rugs removed so he or she doesn’t slip and fall. Another may need a hospital bed brought in to make getting a good night’s rest easier. 

The caregiver evaluates the home regularly, taking into account the changing needs of the client. Furthermore, he or she may speak with the medical team to determine if they have suggestions to improve the level of care. These individuals could catch things the family overlooks, as they have experience working with clients with different issues and know what these people need. 

Customized Schedules

The senior and his or her loved ones determine how often the caregiver comes to the home. It may be the family only needs someone one day a week. Others, however, find they need someone around the clock as they have other commitments and can’t be there for their loved ones. The right home health provider will find the person or persons perfect for spending time with the senior when family members can’t be there. 

The needs of the senior may change with time. For example, one person may only need care for a short period of time after being released from the hospital. Another senior might need continuous care around the clock. Providers obtained through an elder care franchise can accommodate either request or anything in between. 

Nutrition

Seniors often don’t eat as they should. It may be that they don’t want to spend the time cooking when they will be the only ones enjoying the meals. Others find they can no longer cook even if they would like to.

A home health worker can be of great help in this area. The worker will help the senior plan meals, grocery shop, and prepare meals that can simply be cooked or reheated. This ensures the person gets the required amounts of various nutrients to maintain his or her health. 

This is of great importance to all seniors. However, those who have recently been released from a nursing facility or hospital and those with a chronic condition are more at risk of being malnourished. Bed rest, any illness or injury, and the aging process all bring about a loss of lean body mass as well. Nutritional counseling and support will be of help in combating this common issue. 

Patient Monitoring

When a home health worker visits a senior on a regular basis, he or she gets to know this person. This is of great help when changes are observed, as the home health worker can provide information on how the person has changed to determine the underlying cause. While there are now devices that can assist with patient monitoring, having a person in the home to assist in this task is greatly appreciated. 

One-on-One Support

Families feel comfortable when they get to know the home health care worker. They see their loved one get the attention he or she deserves. In fact, the worker may become a part of the family as the relationship progresses. 

A strong bond develops between the home health provider and the senior. This bond is of great benefit to the elderly individual. In fact, it may even help to improve the client’s health.

Better Health Outcomes

Studies have been done to determine the benefits of home health care on health outcomes. Individuals with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or COPD, have fewer complications when they have a home health care team. In fact, the clinical results are comparable or better than those individuals who do not receive this type of care. 

Affordable

Families might express concern over the cost of long-term health care. The expense of a skilled nursing facility might even lead to the individual being forced to reside in a facility that is less than ideal. 

Home health care should always be an option, as it is a fraction of the cost of a skilled nursing facility. In fact, the National Association of Home Care reports home health care is less than 25% of the cost of a skilled nursing facility per day. The individual remains in a familiar environment without sacrificing his or her quality of life to do so. 

Medication Reminders

Men and women of every age often become confused as to whether they have taken their daily medication. It’s easy to assume this task has been handled because it becomes routine. However, missing even one dose can be dangerous for many individuals.

A home health worker ensures his or her clients take medications as directed. This may involve taking the medications and dividing them into separate compartments so the client and his or her loved ones can easily determine if a dose has been missed. This is something the family will need to discuss with the home health worker to determine who will be responsible for which tasks. 

Fewer Hospital Readmissions

Seniors who have recently been released from the hospital or another health care facility are at higher risk of an accident. They may be shaky and need assistance until they regain their strength. A home health worker may be of help until they can function alone once again. 

Furthermore, seniors in their own homes are less at risk of a fall that results in injuries. In fact, NIH reported on a study that found seniors are more likely to be injured from a fall in a health care setting than in their own homes. For this reason alone, palliative home care should be offered to any senior being released from the hospital as they will be less likely to need readmittance within a 30-day period. 

Independence for the Elderly

Quite a few seniors prefer to stay in their own homes but find they are unable to do so without help. The home health aide can provide this help. He or she might take on basic housekeeping tasks or simply serve as a companion to the client. It all depends on what the family desires and the client’s needs. 

A wide range of services is offered to provide this assistance. Home health workers often provide transportation for their clients or remind them to take their medication as directed by the doctor. Others prepare meals or help the senior bathe and get dressed.

Home health services are designed around the client. Each person is unique and what works for one person might not be appropriate for another. The client and his or her family work with the home health provider to determine what is needed and what the senior can do for him or herself. 

Companionship

The most important thing a home health worker can provide for any individual is companionship. Research has shown that elderly individuals are more at risk of problems when they are socially isolated. Their physical and mental health deteriorate when this is the case.

The home health worker may do nothing more than simply sit and talk with the senior or play board games. This is more than enough to help his or her health. It’s the interaction that is of great importance, and family members can feel comforted knowing their loved one is receiving this attention when they may not be able to provide it. 

If you are looking into home health care for a loved one, be aware that these are only some of the benefits associated with this type of care. There are several others, and families everywhere are finding they can help their loved one live the life he or she desires with this type of help. 

Consider this option when you have a loved one in need of assistance. It may be exactly what they need for the highest quality of life. Additionally, anyone looking to start a business should look into a home care franchise opportunity, as this is one industry that will only continue to grow and thrive in the coming years.