GUEST COLUMN: In-Home Care Allows Seniors to Maintain Independence
By Debbie Miller, Senior Helpers
It can be heartbreaking to watch an elderly loved one decline into someone who needs constant care. With 36 million seniors living in the U.S. and the population projected to double, caring for an elderly loved one is a reality most people will face.
When physical capabilities diminish, in-home care is considered by many to be one of the most desirable options because it allows seniors to maintain their independence while remaining in the one place they feel most comfortable.
In many cases, an aging parent moves in with one of their adult children. This caregiving can be overwhelming, especially to those who work full time and/or have families of their own. Statistics show that:
- 45 million U.S. households provide care for an elderly loved one
- 80% of adult children report emotional strain from caregiving for an aging parent
- 50% of adult children report missing work due to caregiving for an aging parent
10 Warning Signs A Senior Relative Needs Assistance
- Losing track in a conversation, forgetting the names of children or grandchildren, the day of the week, etc.
- Death of a spouse
- The refrigerator and cupboards are bare
- Personal hygiene is poor
- Constantly making excuses when asked to go somewhere or do something, or wanting to be alone
- Sudden weight loss
- Never cleaning or delaying home repairs
- Failure to take prescribed medications
- Behavior changes
- The house is cold, the telephone is cut off
Hiring a senior home care agency can provide assistance with non-medical daily living tasks including meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, and companionship. Some agencies are licensed to provide personal care, including personal hygiene assistance. A senior home care agency provides personalized care for seniors as an alternative to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. After all, the longer a person can remain at home, the more active, both mentally and physically, they will stay.
Debbie Miller is the co-owner of Senior Helpers in Nashville. For more information, call (615) 591-7007 (south) and (615) 822-9233 (north) or visit www.seniorhelpers.com/nashville.~