Home Care, Suffolk County, Long Island, NY:
I often tell new clients and families when we start our home care services that this is a service that is always needed but never wanted. The majority of our clients that start with our services have not utilized a home care service before and are often times apprehensive about having a stranger in their home. And who wouldn’t be!
One thing that they do recognize is that without the assistance, they would not be able to maintain their independent lifestyle at home and stay in the community that they feel so connected to and a part of. As we age, it’s important to keep a healthy regimen of social, physical, and mental activities. Many of our older clients still drive, attend social clubs, exercise each day, go out with friends, and are actively involved in their family life. Our Caregivers help to enable these daily living activities and empower our clients to stay healthy and independent as they age. As the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
One of the most important benefits of our home care services is protecting our clients from hazards and preventing serious medical situations. Our Caregivers are trained to observe and report on physical health concerns, mental health concerns, and safety concerns. An example of this is when a Caregiver reports that a client has started to have greater difficulty with walking. These reports have allowed for our clients to be diagnosed with urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and dehydration, which has prevented hospitalizations and led to the appropriate medication or medical intervention to help those clients recover. It’s the eyes and ears of someone being there to take notice and say something.
How do you know when your aging parents need assistance at home? Recognizing when care is needed at home can be challenging because many older adults do not want to admit that they need help. Some may even go as far as to disguise or cover up their difficulties so that no one can see that they are having trouble. When it comes to identifying the needs that the person has, it’s important to listen to what they are not saying and look for what’s not there.
- Disorganized household. If you are noticing things such as, unopened mail, dirty laundry, a low stocked fridge and kitchen, unpaid bills, etc. this may mean that the person is unable to keep up with their regular responsibilities and household items.
- Missed medications. It goes without saying that mismanaging medication can have serious consequences on a person’s health. If your elderly loved one is missing medications or forgetting to renew prescriptions, it may be time to hire a professional Caregiver who will make reminders to take the medication.
- Frequent falls. One of the most common reasons for a client to start utilizing our home care services is because of the risk for falls. If your elderly loved one has had more than two falls in the past year, it’s important to take measures to prevent another fall from happening and consider hiring a home care service.
- Isolation. Many older adults suffer from isolation for various reasons. If the person has depression, has given up driving, or suffers from a chronic illness, getting out of the home and socializing with others can be challenging. Isolation can also lead to cognitive impairment and memory issues.
- Poor self-care. If you are noticing that your loved one is not taking care of him or herself such as, showering regularly, eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, and getting regular check-ups at the doctor, this could be a sign that home care is needed.
While home care services are not always a desired course of action, they are a necessity when the person wants to stay living at home and have the help they need. Once services get started our clients are often very pleasantly surprised to find that they enjoy the company of their assigned caregiver and look forward to their weekly visits. At Family First Home Companions, that is our goal; to connect our clients with qualified, compatible caregivers that help them to put first what matters most, their quality of life.
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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