The senior population is growing, and seniors are living longer, well into their 90s and 100s. As seniors age, however, activities of daily living (ADLs) can become increasingly difficult due to diminished strength, illness, or recovery from surgeries. Family members who live close by often take on the activities of caring for their loved one. They may or may not always be free to serve the immediate needs of their senior loved one. Since seniors are living longer, many of the children of those seniors are also seniors themselves, and they may be gainfully employed or are caring for younger generations of their families. Stress can mount and struggles between family members may develop.
Those who live far away often become concerned about their loved one continuing to live alone, especially since they cannot be there to check-in. These concerns often lead to difficult conversations about where and how to live. It is very important to display compassion and understanding during these conversations with elderly parents and senior members of the family.
Many seniors voice their preference to stay in the comfort of their own homes where the surroundings are familiar. Additionally, many adult children have also promised their aging parents that they would never put them in a “home.” While there are a growing number of residential options available in the community for senior living, staying at home and aging in place is what most people prefer. Hiring a live-in caregiver could provide the assistance needed and peace of mind for family members, but many people don’t really know what in-home care for seniors really consists of. People often associate hiring a caregiver with a difficult time in their lives, and the elderly and their family members tend to avoid the conversation about needing a caregiver for as long as possible. Caregiving services are usually needed months before someone hires a caregiver but making that decision can seem daunting and undesirable, especially when trying to preserve the independence of a loved one.
What is Home Care?
Senior Safety. Safety is the number one responsibility of a live-in caregiver. If a senior client is at risk for falling, an aide is not there not to stop the senior from walking and doing as much as possible. On the contrary, they are there to help seniors stay independent but also to guide and assist them when necessary. The aide is there to watch over their client’s health and ensure a timely response to any physical or cognitive changes. They are the ever-present eyes and ears for the family, homecare agency and healthcare providers. They provide medication reminders, ensuring prescriptions are taken correctly. They create safe environments for their clients, help them avoid any emergencies and react quickly if an emergency does occur.
Physical Care. Personalized services meet the unique needs and wishes of each senior and follow a care plan prepared by our supervising nurse. At the beginning of service, the nurse will visit the client and assess what their needs are and how the caregiver can provide the needed care. Assistance with bathing, grooming, and dressing is performed in accordance with the ability of the senior while maintaining and respecting their independence and wishes. Meal plans and cooking reflect the specific needs and preferences of the senior. The timing of sleep, showers and meals are personalized to the senior’s schedule and how they want to live their unique life. Support from a caregiver ensures that the senior's living environment remains clean, organized, and comfortable, reducing stress and enhancing safety within the home.
Companionship. With a live-in caregiver, your loved one is never alone. The aide provides emotional support and interaction through meaningful conversations, going for walks, performing errands, and participating in enjoyable activities together, both in and outside the home. Live-in aides often become trusted companions and friends, as well as part of the family, enhancing the overall quality of life for older adults. Family members can feel secure that their loved one is being cared for by someone who knows and understands them.
Family Support. As their senior loved one shows signs of needing increased care, family members may feel increased stress. Certified, live-in home health aides provide the necessary daily care allowing family members a respite where they can focus on their responsibilities, their own well-being, and maintain good quality family relationships. A caregiver from Homewatch CareGivers of South Orange is supervised by both a registered nurse and an experienced social worker, together forming a dedicated Care Team. The nurse provides medical support to the family while the social worker can give guidance to both the family and the caregiver during difficult times. The Care Team is there to support families coping with the stress of new or increased needs of their loved one and provides resources to help manage and address these challenges.
For more information about 24-hour live-in or hourly in-home care for seniors, call (973) 755-0996.