What Is Home Care? Part 1, Companionship and Home Helper


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By Stephen Lair


home-instead-flower-arranging.jpgWhen you hear the phrase “home care,” most people think home health care – perhaps rehabilitation after surgery or an injury, administering medications, giving insulin injections or taking blood samples. While many seniors do require medical care from licensed medical providers, there are scores of others who need help with the tasks of everyday living so they can continue living at home. 


Unlike home health care, our in-home care focuses on assisting with the activities of everyday living. Our CAREGiversSM provide help with everything from bathing, showering and using the bathroom, to Alzheimer’s and other dementias care. In this series, we’ll take a look at the many things that comprise home care and how important they are to aging gracefully. In this first installment, we’ll examine the CAREGiver’s role of companion and home helper. 


There are everyday tasks that most of us think we’ll be able to handle for our loved ones when the time comes. But life gets in the way – work, children, GOOD things get in the way – and we find that we aren’t able to be there like we’d hoped. Next thing you know, your loved one’s house isn’t as tidy as it used to be, Mom and Dad aren’t eating healthy, home-cooked meals, baths are becoming less and less frequent. These are all signs that your loved one could use some assistance with daily activities. 


The inability to do these daily activities often comes as a result of health-related issues. A person with heart or lung disease may lack the physical stamina to manage household tasks like cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. People with arthritis may be unable to perform the small, precise movements of the hands and arms that are needed for daily tasks. Taking medicines incorrectly may be due to trouble reading prescription labels, difficulty opening bottles, or not remembering to take the medication at all. These issues vary in degree and arise gradually. Our CAREGivers can help with all of these activities and more, making sure your loved one gets to doctor appointments, takes medications as prescribed, has healthy food in the house and meals prepared, as well as laundry and light housekeeping. 


But what might make the biggest difference of all, and is perhaps the hardest to encapsulate, is our CAREGivers’ ability to provide companionship. You do your best to call and visit often, but it’s impossible to be with your loved one every minute of every day. That’s where Home Instead comes in. Our CAREGivers provide the healthy interactions and activities that promote physical and cognitive health. For some, this might mean looking at old photos and reminiscing; for others, it may mean talking a walk or gardening. The great thing about Home Instead’s care is that it’s personalized to your loved one’s needs.


These are the little things that our CAREGivers provide that are different from home health care. We take time to get to know our clients and become not just a helper, but a companion first. 


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