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Deciding Between 24/7 Care and Limited Care - How to Know Which to Choose

elderly woman laying in bed
By Tim Bodor

In-home care can be a critical step in allowing your loved one to age in place, if they so choose. By the time you know that your loved one needs care, and they are willing to accept it, it can be hard to determine how much care that they need.

Your loved one may have already started out with limited care, and you’re wondering if it’s time to go to 24-hour care now instead. This article is designed to help explain the differences and show when limited care might be a good option, and when more advanced care is needed.

When limited care is appropriate

Many times an aging adult may be fine living an independent lifestyle, but still may need help with occasional tasks. They may no longer feel comfortable driving a car, but are not a fall risk and can be otherwise independent.

Other times they might want a helping hand with the housework, or prepping meals, but can be alone at night without worries.

If your loved one is worried about in-home care, starting out with limited care can also be a great way to test the waters and see how many more hours of care they need to live a comfortable, full life.

When more advanced care is needed

24/7 care has a caregiver available to help your loved one in the home at all times. Among other things, this is helpful if your loved one is at risk of falling, so they don’t have to wait for hours to get help should they fall and be unable to reach a phone.

This can also be helpful if they have dementia or other conditions that make them lose track of time and where they are. If your loved one often forgets the time or place, 24-hour care can help reduce their distress and keep them calm and safe in their home.

24-hour care should be considered any time there is a danger to your loved one, ideally before they have had a major crisis that proves they need the care.

How to choose

If your loved one has suffered from frequent falls, has injured themselves falling in the past, wanders away from the home, or has had a serious hospitalization recently, 24/7 care could be beneficial. As a family caregiver, it’s also worthwhile to consider your own care and needs.

If you are taking care of your loved one round the clock, and are afraid to sleep-in in case something happens, 24-hour care may benefit you. With 24-hour care, someone is awake and watching over your loved one every second of the day, so you can get some rest.

If you’re not entirely sure, consider talking to a home care provider for their recommendations. If your home care provider is already doing hourly care, they will have a good feel for how your loved one is doing and may be able to make recommendations based on what they have seen.

Whether considering hourly, 24-hour or respite care, contact Homewatch CareGivers of Loudoun today for more information or for a free in-home consultation.