Use this list to help you decide if home health care would be a good alternative for you. Home health care services can keep you in your home. Whether you live alone or have a loved one who may require care, there is no shame in asking for help when and if you need it.
The below checklist is compiled from the U.S. National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging. More information can be found from their site at www.nia.nih.gov and from their downloadable tip sheet found here: http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/stayinghome.htm.
The main thing and place to start is to plan ahead by asking your doctor how your or your loved one’s condition may make taking care of a house or their personal needs more difficult. Be aware of your options and make a plan in the event someone starts struggling with everyday things.
In considering whether or not you or your loved one might be ready for home health care, ask the following questions. Do you or your loved one struggle with:
1) Bathing, hair washing, teeth brushing, getting dressed, using the bathroom?
2) Housecleaning, yard work, grocery shopping, laundry?
3) Cooking meals, eating sufficiently, getting enough vitamins and minerals?
4) Paying bills on time?
5) Remembering to take medications? Remembering doctors’ instructions?
6) Turning door knobs, climbing stairs or getting in and out of the bathtub?
7) Walking or getting from one place to the other?
8) Loneliness and depression from being stuck inside for days at a time?
9) Feeling secure in their neighborhood or handling scam artists and door-to-door salespeople or telemarketers?
10) Navigating the current layout and furnishing of the house?
Remember that some of these issues can be addressed by family and friends and may not require a nurse or trained health care staff, but getting help and finding solutions to these struggles alleviates stress for the person needing help and worry for the family. Sometimes the simplest changes can make the biggest difference.