What is In-Home Elder Care & Why do I Need It?

What is elder care? Home Sweet Home Care Inc.

Home Sweet Home Care Inc.
In-Home Elder Care

In-Home Elder Care includes services that  can improve the quality of life, increase safety, and simply make life less of a chore for the elderly. It can be provided at a residence, a nursing home, and even at the hospital. It is typically tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual and can be as simple as visiting and reading a book, initiating a conversation or playing a game with an elder in a nursing home or a hospital setting. In-home elder care covers a wide variety of tasks. It addresses one or several of the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) or Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). A number of studies have shown positive benefits for people who take advantage of bringing someone in to assist with the care and companionship of an elder.

For the elderly in-home elder care can help ensure their independence, make life more enjoyable, and even improve their overall health. For Family Caregivers it can bring peace of mind and respite that is often needed more than it is used. Numerous studies have addressed the importance of respite care for family caregivers. In short, in-home elderly care helps keep the elderly safe and independent. According to a recent AARP Research Study on Older Americans, most people want to continue to live in their homes.

Even if they begin to need day-to-day assistance or ongoing health care during retirement, most (82 percent) would prefer to stay in their homes.  Only a few express a preference for moving to a facility where care is provided (9 percent) or for moving to a relative’s home (4 percent).

So what does in-home elder care include?  There are two types of care and both are classified as Non-Medical because they do not require a nurse to carry them out. The first is Companion Care which allows a professionally trained caregiver to provide IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living). The second type of in-home elder care is Personal Care which allows for the provision of ADLs (Activities of Daily Living).  A breakdown of the differences between these two types of non-medical care is provided below:

In-Home Elder Care provided by Companion Care Professionals (IADLs)

Companion Care provides you or your loved one with personalized services to fit his or her needs and can include the following types of services and many other IADLs (instrumental activities of daily living):

  • light housekeeping
  • laundry and changing linens
  • errands
  • medication reminders
  • incidental transportation
  • home organization assistance
  • shopping (groceries, clothes, gifts)
  • gift wrapping
  • meal preparation and cleanup
  • monitoring bathing safety
  • supervise dressing and grooming
  • activities to encourage exercise of the body and mind

Many people do not require care beyond assistance with IADLs, as long as they are fairly mobile, able to bath, dress and eat with minimal assistance. However, if they also need assistance with ADLs, then it is time to consider Personal Care Services. For example, a Companion Caregiver can prepare a meal for a client, but they cannot feed the client. The client must be able to utilize utensils and feed herself. A Personal Care Professional can both prepare the meal, cut up the food, and assist the client with eating it.

In-Home Care Provided by Personal Care Professionals (ADLs)

Personal Care provides you or your loved one with personalized services to fit his or her needs which includes All Companion Care Services listed above PLUS the following types of services:

  • bathing
  • dressing
  • transferring
  • incontinence care
  • assistance with eating
  • mobility

ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), such as those listed above require additional training and cannot be performed by a Companion Caregiver. Employees who deliver Personal Care Services are also periodically supervised by a Registered RN.  It is imperative that persons who are transferring, bathing, dressing or assisting persons with incontinence care have the proper training so that neither patient nor caregiver is injured or put in danger during the process of providing assistance.

If you are looking for assistance for yourself, may we recommend that you explore the section Personal Elder Care: When Home is Where you Want to Be.

If you are a family member or friend looking for how to better help an elder that you care about, may we recommend that you explore the section Family Caregivers: A Rewarding Quest of Life, Love & Balance

If you are a medical professional exploring how In-Home Elder Care might help your patients, may we recommend that you explore the section Non Medical Care is Good Medicine for Your Patients