When to Use Home Health Care Services

Many aging adults face increasing struggles in their daily lives. Things that once were simple to do and that even required minimal thought and effort may be almost impossible to do on your own in your later years. Many older adults will use home health care services for assistance with a wide range of tasks. The good news is that these services can often be customized based on your skill level, your physical ability and even the ability of family members to help you at certain times of the day. By learning more about the best times to use home health care services, you can set up the service that is best for you.

When You Need Help With Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is important to total body health as well as to mental and emotional health. However, it becomes harder to take a shower or even to put your pants on as you get older. In addition, some activities are dangerous for older adults to do on their own. With in-home care services, you can benefit from assistance bathing, getting dressed and more. You can also get help remembering to take your medication on time and following other necessary steps to care for your health and well-being.

When Home Chores Become Too Challenging
If you choose to live independently in your older years, you will still need to care for your home just as you did in your younger years. Vacuuming, cleaning toilets and bathtubs, dusting and more become challenging and even dangerous. Light housekeeping chores as well as meal planning and preparation may be taken care of by an in-home caregiver. Keep in mind that some caregivers are only in the home for a few hours each day, and others are in the home around the clock as needed.

When You Cannot Get Around Town
Some home health care Toronto services only provide assistance in home, but others also include assistance traveling outside the home. For example, you may need help getting to the grocery store, driving to the doctor’s office or running to the pharmacy. Home care services may provide you with the reliable, safe method of transportation that is needed so that you can continue to live independently in your own home.

In-home care services vary from provider to provider, and the costs for the services also vary. A smart idea is to learn more about the care services available in your area and to compare those services against your needs. If you are concerned about costs, consider having a caregiver visit your home for a few hours each day rather than around the clock. This is a great way to get the extra help you need so that you can continue to live safely at home.

How to Prepare Home Health Care Employees for Your Loved One

Arranging home health care services for a loved one provides helpful family support and additional care for an aging or ill family member. However, each patient is unique, and the better prepared the home health worker is to assist the patient, the better the outcomes for everyone. The following tips can help to prepare home care providers to assist an elderly relative.

Make introductions in advance.

Before a home health care Toronto comes to the patient’s home to provide services, a comfortable and friendly introduction ahead of time can benefit both patient and caregiver. The health care provider can stop by the house to meet the patient informally, exchanging casual greetings as a basis on which to build a friendship. This will ease tensions before home caregiving services begin.

Write a list of special conditions.

A written list of helpful notes about the patient’s special needs will be appreciated by the home health care Toronto provider, even if the agency was informed previously. Posting the list near the patient or in a prominent area of the home, for example, the refrigerator, serves as a simple reminder of important points to be considered, such as a medication schedule, code words to help an Alzheimer’s patient remember helpful facts, and favorite foods or topics of conversation.

Inform health care agency of patient’s preferences.

Every patient has preferences that a health care agency should note. One example is nap time. If a patient is used to an afternoon nap at 2 p.m., the home health caregiver may be able to schedule home visits before or after that time. Some patients want to do as much for themselves as possible, while others prefer extra assistance. This can be noted with the agency in advance to better prepare the home health caregiver to work successfully with the patient.

Explain family members’ availability.

While this information is usually noted in the agency’s file on the patient, schedules sometimes change, for example, when a mom attends children’s afterschool games during soccer season. Family members who alert the agency or home care providers to upcoming schedule changes as well as doctor appointments for the patient will be appreciated by the agency, as opposed to those who forget to inform the staff until the last minute, or not at all, leading to confusion and misunderstandings.

Families can help to establish bonds of cooperation with a home health care agency and staff that will make their jobs easier as well as make home health care a comfortable process for their loved one. Planning ahead, putting information in writing, and highlighting patient preferences can make home health care even more successful than it might otherwise be.

How Seniors Can Be Safe On The Road

Ideally, seniors would be able to continue to drive for the rest of their lives. Being able to drive gives a senior a significantly greater amount of independence and mobility. However, as seniors age, it becomes more likely that they will become involved in a crash due to cognitive impairment and other difficulties. However, even for seniors who are struggling to drive, there are home care services that may be able to help as well.

Benefits Of Being A Senior Driver

There are some advantages to being a senior motorist. Seniors are more likely to wear seat belts. They are more likely to drive under conditions that are safer. Seniors are also more likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol. There are also actions seniors can take to reduce the risk that they will be involved in accidents. Also, seniors have more experience as drivers, which also plays a role in having fewer accidents.

Stay In Good Shape

Seniors should exercise and try to stay in good shape. Exercise is good for the brain and will leave the senior more prepared for any incidents that he or she will need to quickly respond to. Performing workouts to improve strength and flexibility will also assist a senior in better operating the motor vehicle.

Consult With Your Doctor

Seniors should consult with their doctors about whether their medications will have an impact on their ability to drive. Certain medications may need to be changed or senior may simply be unable to operate a motor vehicle if he or she is still under the medications.

Adapt Your Environment

Seniors benefit considerably from adaptive equipment that is designed to make it easier for seniors to sit comfortably. Pedal extenders, seat lifts, steering devices and panoramic mirrors will all make it easier for a senior to remain comfortable while controlling a vehicle. Seat belt adjusters are recommended for seniors who are struggling to use their seat belts. Easy-locking seat belts are also recommended.

Have Your Eyes And Ears Checked

Make sure to have your eyes checked every year. Vision is more likely to decline with age. Also important is to have your hearing checked every year.

If you are having a difficult time driving, it may be important to consider whether you should have someone else drive for you. It can be difficult to do away with the independence that you once had. If you do not want to rely on friends and family members to drive you from destination to destination, there are also home care Toronto agencies that provide a variety of services, including transportation.

All about Home Care Services

Home care is for persons of all ages and includes chronic or acute, preventative, rehabilitative, and short or long-term medical care. The services involved can be as simple as giving a bath and helping with errands to something as intricate as the infusion of antibiotics.

In simple terms, Home Care Toronto entails receiving quality medical attention while in the comforts of your home. Due to the support provided by loved ones and their proximity, patients usually increase their independence when treated in familiar home surroundings. Home care services are typically offered under the direction of a patient’s physician and often delivered by health care practitioners such as registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, or by a coordinated team of professionals that usually includes nurses, social workers, and therapists in coordination with the patient’s doctor.

Advantages
As one of the most cost-effective healthcare solutions for senior patients, home care offers a more positive environment, promotes healing, helps to prevent infections, improves the quality of life, and is proven to extend life. In addition, this type of medical care not only allows patients to maintain their independence but also eliminates or at least postpones the need for institutionalization. As such, it helps keep families together.

For patients recovering from surgery and those with acute injuries or chronic illnesses, home care is currently the preferred alternative to nursing or hospital care. According to statistics, the availability of this particular type of medical care results in faster recoveries, fewer hospital admissions, and reduced healthcare costs. Technological advancements make it possible for professional health practitioners to provide the highest levels of care possible within a nurturing home environment. With advances in technology, an aging population, and the rising cost of hospital stays, the healthcare industry currently relies on this type of medical care as the most viable option to complete a patient’s healing process.

Services
Most Medicare-certified and state-licensed home health agencies provide the following core services:
• Apart from developing a plan of care that includes the patient and their family with the patient’s doctor, nurses are also responsible for nursing care treatments.
• Home health aides assist with everyday routines such as bathing and medication reminders, albeit under the supervision of a registered nurse.
• Through exercises, instructions, and several other therapeutic treatments, physical therapists work to relieve joint and muscle pain, improve gait and mobility, and restore muscle function.
• With instructions on living with disabilities, self-care, and how to use adaptive equipment, occupational therapists guide patients back to the routines of everyday life.
• Speech therapists work on swallowing and speech problems like those caused by stroke.
• Apart from providing counseling and case management services to patients and their families, medical social workers are also helpful when it comes to identifying suitable community services.

An Introduction to Home Health Care in Canada

As many families age and grow many will start to think about the best way to find the best home health care for their parents and elder loved ones. There are many topics and choices in home health care to look at and consider.

Should we bring Mom or Dad into our home and care for them?
Should we find a care facility for them?
Should we hire someone to go to their home and take care of them?

Each question has merit and poses a host of other questions with it. Knowing where to start is important, so listed below are some resources you can find on the internet that can provide some basic information and give you some ideas.

Elder Care Resources, Canada
Help for Mom – Canada’s Elder Care Advisor – Free Referrals
Guide to Seniors Housing in Canada/Retirement in Canada

This is a small sampling of what you will find. It may be difficult to be objective about what needs to be done and it is advisable to talk to the person directly and consult with their physician to determine what type of care they may need. Is this a temporary or more permanent decision? Your discussion with the senior person involved should include a talk about their finances. It is important to know what the cost will be, what services are included and so forth. Do they have insurance or medical coverage that can cover the cost? Will you need to contribute also?

After you have gathered some information about places that provide Home Health Care Toronto, you will want to contact them for informational materials such as pamphlets and handouts. Please take the time to check the reputation of any company before you agree to place anyone in their care.

If it is decided that in home health care is best, be sure to investigate the agency and make sure their employees are thoroughly screened, with no criminal offenses or complaints and are properly trained and licensed. You and your family member should establish guidelines to follow and it is advised that you check in regularly to see these are being met and that your senior person is happy and being well treated. The positive for having someone come to their home and provide care is that the person can remain in a familiar environment with all their own things, in their neighborhood with their friends and acquaintances and with access to shopping and other conveniences they are accustomed to.

If you choose the option of in home care, please go and visit periodically to see how things are going. You can stop by without notice if you are close enough to the person who needs home health care. It is also advised that you continue to include them in family gatherings and special days and that you have an opportunity to speak to them without the caregiver present. If they are happy and well cared for at home, they will thrive and appreciate the extra help while being able to maintain their independence. A care giver can provide services such as meal preparation, bathing and dressing assistance, housekeeping, transportation to shopping or medical appointments and companionship. Be sure to ask the care giver for their impressions of how things are progressing also.

If the decision is made to consider an assisted living community, please collect some literature and again, check their reputation and comment history. Make an appointment to go and tour the facility and view how the residents are treated and how they respond to each other and the staff.

If you would prefer to have your family member come to live with you, please bear in mind that this will put the responsibility of home care on the entire family. Make sure everyone understands that this may mean a change in some routines and considerations. Does someone have to give up their room for their Grandparent? Will it restrict friends from dropping by or the family from entertaining or even going on a vacation? Please ask yourself these types of questions and consider the extra work and time needed to provide proper care. It is important to remember that the role of a caregiver can be very emotional and tiring even while you are providing the love and nurturing that is needed. Be sure to take care of yourself also.

This introduction to home health care is provided to give you some basic information that you can build from. Making sure our beloved seniors get the best care possible is a big responsibility, so take the time to ask for information from the experts and medical personnel. You are just getting started.

Overview of Home Health Care Statistics in Canada

Home health care services are being accessed more regularly by people in Canada and the United States. A primary reason why home health care services are being accessed at an ever higher rate rests in the fact that people want to maintain as much independence as possible. Home support services provide older Canadians this opportunity.

Use of Home Health Care Services by Gender

Women over the age of 65 are significantly more likely to take advantage of Home Health Care Toronto service than is the case with their male counterparts. Home health services usage by women is 55 percent higher than for men.

There a number of reasons for this deviation in usage. There is evidence to suggest that when both spouses are living, a husband is more apt to access home health assistance for his wife. On the other hand, a wife is a bit less likely to access these services for a husband. The theory is that when it comes to more minor issues, a female spouse seems more willing to provide necessary assistance and not seek out professional aid for her husband.

Relationship Status and Home health care

When it comes to home health services, a significant percentage of women were over the age of 85 and widowed when they first sought assistance of this nature. The primary spousal relationship was not the only one considered when home health services were analyzed.

Over 85 percent of home health patients over the age of 65 actually have a primary caregiver outside of the home. Thus, this out-of-residence primary caregiver typically is significantly involved in the process of obtaining and assisting with the individual or individuals provided trough a home care agency.

Unlike women, men over the age of 65 in home health care were far less likely to have an out-of-residence primary care provider. Men over the age of 65 are three times as likely to have their spouse serving as a their primary caretaker than is the case with women over that age.

Types of Home Health Services

By far the most common type of home health service provided to people over the age of 65 is skilled nursing. About 84 percent of all services provided fall into this category.

Physical therapy accounts for about 40 percent of services provided. Wound care accounts for about 14 percent of home health services provided to people over the age of 65. Some individuals receive multiple types of services.