Deciding what type of long-term care is best for a loved one is no easy task.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The care provided, whether in the home or in a facility, needs to be based on the individual’s needs.
Whenever it is possible, families usually prefer that their loved one (or ones) remain at home. The reasons can be as diverse as the backgrounds and unique histories of any given family, but here are three common factors:
The Comforts of Home
The line was popularized 75 years ago in The Wizard of Oz, but it’s as true today as it was then for Dorothy looking to get back to Kansas: “There’s no place like home.” Maybe your loved one enjoys the birds that come to the feeder. Keeping these lasting memories in place often lowers their stress and encourages restoration of health. “Aging in place,” a term often used to describe home care, allows your loved one to be in a familiar environment while surrounded by an experienced caregiver. Caregivers provide the much-needed respite that family members need as they juggle the many roles they already play: spouse, parent, employee and so forth.
Overall Family Health
Let’s say you are the daughter of a 79-year-old who is recovering from a stroke. You are wracked with guilt at the thought of hiring someone else to watch Mom, but then again, you have responsibilities at work and in maintaining your own household, including children to care for. Hiring an experienced, competent caregiver does not reflect any shortcoming on your part—it’s an acknowledgment of the heavy load you are already bearing. It is also a way to ensure that you can be the most attentive daughter during those times when you are caring for Mom. Providing one-on-one professional attention can dramatically reduce hospital readmissions. Personalized care can prevent falls, detect declines in overall health and well-being, promotes a sense of independence, and increases sense of self.
So you are having trouble getting your father into the shower? Often, what was impossible for a family member suddenly becomes a simple task when a trusted caregiver enters the picture.
There is usually a deeply ingrained establishment of roles among and between family members. A caregiver offers a distance from that “baggage” and is viewed primarily in his or her professional role. As a result, the once-resistant family member is transformed into a cooperative client who performs tasks now that they are fully in the light of being integral to their own health.
A caregiver often has the tools to transform these negative habits into positive ones. These tools could be as subtle as a different tone of voice or, in some instances, a healthy trick to redirect. For example, when faced with a client who was adamantly avoiding baths, a newly introduced caregiver said she needed to see how the woman normally entered the bathtub. When the client demonstrated her technique, it meant getting in the tub. From there, the bath flowed easily and the client was shocked and pleased that it was so effortless.
Witnessing these types of positive changes can be uplifting to often-frazzled loved ones and reinforces their decision for home care.
Based in Oak Park and operating throughout Chicagoland, ARIS at home is a family-owned provider of compassionate, quality in-home care. ARIS stands for Accountability, Respect, Integrity and Service. Online, visit www.arisathome.com, email: email@example.com, or by Phone: 708-934-4676.