Posted: February 9, 2024

An Assessment of Home Care Services and Advocacy

Home care is a rapidly expanding trend that offers people non-medical support in the convenience of their own homes. Many people are considering home care as an alternative to traditional healthcare settings due to the aging population and the desire for individualized care. The choice to use home care services should not be made hastily. It is important to carefully evaluate one’s own needs, health conditions, level of independence, resources, and support network before determining if home care is the right choice for them. A variety of services for everyday living activities are provided by home care, such as companionship, meal preparation, medication assistance, and personal care.

The person’s health is the main factor taken into account when determining whether home care is appropriate. For people who need continuous care due to chronic illnesses or disabilities, home care is ideal. For instance, home care services can be extremely beneficial to an individual who needs assistance with everyday activities and has mobility issues. In these situations, home health care providers can offer the required assistance while guaranteeing the person’s comfort and convenience.

The degree of independence possessed by the individual is another important consideration. Home care is especially appropriate for people who prefer to keep control over their daily routines and value their independence. Unlike institutionalized care settings, home care allows individuals to make decisions about their own care, such as when to eat, sleep, or engage in recreational activities. This level of independence can greatly improve the person’s general well-being and quality of life.

When deciding if home care is the best option for a particular person, the presence of a support system is crucial. For those with a large support system of family and friends who can offer extra assistance, home care can be a great choice. In these situations, home health care providers can cooperate with the individual’s network of support to provide all-encompassing care. This shared responsibility can alleviate the burden on both the individual and their loved ones while fostering a sense of community and shared commitment to the individual’s well-being.

Take the example of an elderly person with dementia to demonstrate the appropriateness of home care. To protect their safety and well-being, this person might need specific attention and supervision. Home care providers can offer individualized care, carry out activities that improve memory, and establish a comfortable environment that supports cognitive function. The person can retain a sense of familiarity and comfort while receiving care at home, which helps to lessen the confusion and anxiety that are frequently present in institutionalized care settings. Home care is not just for older adults. A young adult who has a physical disability might need help with everyday tasks like getting dressed, taking a shower, and making meals. Professionals in home care can offer the required assistance while upholding the person’s dignity and privacy. This enables the person to continue being independent and partake in pursuits that make them happy and fulfilled.

Improving quality of life, encouraging independence, and enhancing general well-being are the objectives of home care. The individualized attention and one-on-one care that home care providers offer can also be advantageous to them. Those recovering from surgery or hospital stays, as well as those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, can all benefit greatly from home care.

Home care professionals’ caregivers are trained to provide personalized care tailored to the specific needs of everyone. They collaborate closely with the individual, their family, and their healthcare team to create a comprehensive care plan that addresses their medical, physical, and emotional needs. Depending on the needs of the individual, either full-time or part-time home care services can be offered. In addition to helping with practical duties, home care providers offer emotional support and social interaction. For those who might feel alone or isolated, this can be extremely helpful. Home care providers actively participate in each patient’s care, which helps to avoid errors and misunderstandings. Verifying prescription dosages twice, getting clarification on any doubts, and asking questions about procedures give peace of mind to those near and dear.

In any healthcare environment, including home care, it is essential to be one’s own advocate. Home care recipients should actively participate in their care and speak up for their needs, even though home care professionals are trained to deliver high-quality care. Individuals can let the home care professionals know their preferences, worries, and goals by actively engaging in their care. This ensures that their needs are successfully met and helps to customize the care plan to meet their specific requirements. The key to self-advocacy is effective communication. In addition to fostering a cooperative relationship with the home care team, open and transparent communication ensures that the care given is in line with the needs of the individual. Self-advocacy in home care encourages self-reliance and gives people the ability to actively participate in their own care. Individuals are better equipped to make decisions about their daily routines, lifestyle choices, and treatment options when they are able to effectively advocate for their needs. The individual’s overall well-being is improved by this degree of involvement, which cultivates a sense of autonomy and control.

Older adults and loved ones should educate themselves about their condition, available resources, and treatment options in order to be an effective advocate. This includes being aware and understanding the diagnosis, medications, and potential side effects. Older adults who are knowledgeable can take an active role in their care and make wise decisions. They can maintain their organization and knowledge by keeping a record of their prescriptions, therapies, and appointments. This includes keeping track of all the medications that are currently being taken, recording any changes in symptoms or adverse effects, and writing down any questions or worries that need to be addressed with the home care providers. These documents are an invaluable resource and support strong self-advocacy. Older adults can effectively advocate for their needs during home care by using techniques like self-education, open communication, and record- keeping. Individuals can get the most out of their home care experience and improve it by taking initiative and being involved.

This article was written by David Alcaraz, Client Services Manager, at Arena Home Care.