An estimated 1.5 million elderly individuals in the UK rely on family and friends for their care needs. As a family member or friend, caring for an elderly individual can be satisfying and rewarding, especially when it means they can remain in their home rather than shifting to a care home. However, caring can also be a taxing responsibility and may not always be accommodated into busy work/life schedules. Balancing your loved one’s health needs with your financial resources may be difficult, but when it is possible – in-home care is the most promising option in such situations.
What does home care entail?
There are two types of home care, medical and non-medical. Non-medical home care entails basic physical and psychological needs, an individual receiving this type of care needs assistance with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) such as:
- Meals – preparing and cooking
- Personal hygiene – bathing, washing hair, shaving, or getting dressed
- Transferring to and from bed and around the house
- Medication Reminders
- Transportation – to appointments or while running errands
- Staying active
- Post Operation Recovery
Understandably, non-medical home care is usually the first choice for most elderly individuals as few want to leave their homes and in-home care tends to be much cheaper than other options such as home health or nursing home care.
The benefits of in-home care for elderly individuals
The two key benefits of in-home care are the improvements on elderly individuals’ physical and psychological health.
1. Benefits to Physical Health – The fact that in-home carers are present for timely medication reminders, transferring to and from beds and around the house, and for meal preparation and cooking, ensures that elderly individuals maintain their physical health. In addition, their physical strength can also be sustained as in-home carers can keep them active and moving by doing exercises with them as well as ensuring that they maintain healthy diets.
2. Benefits to Psychological Health – In-home carer can help prevent older individuals from falling victim to depression and loneliness. Depression is a serious problem that can go unnoticed. It interferes with your body’s basic functioning by causing sleeping problems, irregular eating, headaches and fatigue. Sometimes all one needs is companionship, individuals can take comfort in knowing that beyond their family there is another individual that cares and is invested in their wellbeing. In addition, they have the comfort and security of remaining in a familiar environment – their homes.