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The Benefits of Home Care and Home Health Care for Elderly Loved Ones

By HERWriter
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Caregiving related image Photo: Getty Images

Whether recovering from surgery or illness, or just generally decreased ability and mobility due to aging, home care and home health care can provide loved ones with the independence and dignity and comfort of living and recovering in their own home.

Elderly home care also provides families and friends with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is taken care of. As more and more families and friends take on the caregiver role and try to balance their family’s needs and those of their loved one, home care and home health care providers will become an even more integral part of these family health care dynamics.

While in-home health care appears to be a recent phenomenon, it has actually been around since the 1880s. Currently, nearly 12 million people receive care from home health care providers (NAHCH).

Home Care vs. Home Health Care

Basically, home care and home health care is care that is provided by someone who comes to your loved one’s home to help look after their individual needs. But it is the extent of care needed that makes the difference between whether one needs home care or home health care.

Home health care is more medically oriented and often provided by registered nurses, therapists and home health aides who are licensed by the state. Home care, however, involves help with chores such as housecleaning services and other household coping issues.

The cost of elderly care at home varies from state to state and even within states, and will be determined by how much elderly care is required. Medicare, Medicaid, the Older American Act, the Veterans’ Administration and private insurance all provide some form of funding for home health care services for seniors.

According to John Hancock’s 2011 Cost of Care Survey, in-home health care can cost approximately $2000 less per year than an assisted living facility and nearly $50,000 less per year than a private nursing home room.

Moving from Family Care to In-Home Care

Obviously, there are many emotions surrounding this time and the decisions that need to be made for the well-being of everyone.

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Making the decision on home care vs. a care facility for your aging loved one is a difficult one. As there are many pros and cons of staying in the home as well providing a care facility for the elderly
In Home Care

October 22, 2012 - 10:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for sharing this information! I always have been a big fan and believer in home health and senior care. I have had lots of family go through it and I have seen the results and how great it has been for them. So this is really a great article!

September 4, 2012 - 12:34pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you. It really is a great option for many seniors who want to continue living at home. There are always some risks as people age that make even doing ordinary things more difficult, but some help and a few simple changes are often all that's required to keep things going as long as it is safe and reasonable to do so.

September 11, 2012 - 11:16am

It's so easy to ignore the benefits of sending your loved one to an adult family home, until such time that you can no longer provide them the best care that they need. So yes, insignificant as this facility may seem now, you'll sure be needing the services of one later on in life.

July 31, 2012 - 6:51am

It would probably be a good idea to have her home situation assessed. There may be things that a home-assessor can suggest to help make living at home easier for your mom. I would certainly be concerned if she is falling and the fact that she is a diabetic.

Whether you arrange with friends for people to check in on her, or you arrange and pay for a nurse or personal care person, obviously that's entirely up to you.

Be prepared for the fact that your grandmother may not be open to the idea. Suggest it. Voice your concerns about her falls (it would be good to find out of the diabetes was part of the cause of those falls). Let her get used to the idea of having someone in the house. Let her participate in the selection of a person and/or in the selection of what should be done next in her life -- of course assuming she's cognitively able to help make the decision. As much as you are able though keep her in the loop.

If your grandmother lives alone, perhaps it would be nice for her to have the company anyway.

Good luck! Keep us posted on what you decide and what happens.

June 12, 2012 - 12:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Don't forget about Care Corner, a home care service in Phoenix, AZ.

April 30, 2012 - 11:46am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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