Aging in Place: In-Home Care Services for Seniors

As your loved one ages, they may start to have difficulty taking care of themselves and their home the way they could when they were younger.

If you notice that your loved one is having trouble keeping up with housework, personal care, meal preparation, errands, and other tasks, it might be time to bring up the option of in-home care. In-home care services allow your loved one to age in place in the comfort of their own home.

They will get assistance with the tasks of daily living, as well as companionship and other benefits. Here’s a look at aging in place in-home care services for seniors in Southern Arizona.

What Is In-Home Care? 

In-home care consists of caregiving services provided by a family member or professional caregiver in the comfort of the person’s own home.

If your loved one can no longer safely live independently but isn’t quite ready for assisted living, or doesn’t want to move into an assisted living facility, you should consider in-home care. In-home care allows your loved one to maintain some independence and dignity and age in place in their own home.

What Is Aging in Place?

Aging in place means staying in one residence, whether it is a home or an assisted living facility, as you age. Rather than move into a different home or a different level of care facility, the person can stay put and receive the appropriate level of care for their needs, health, comfort, and safety. 

How Can You Tell if Your Loved One Needs In-Home Care Services? 

It’s very difficult to make the decision to hire an in-home caregiver for your loved one. However, there are usually some obvious signs that your loved one needs a different level of care than you can provide, or that they are no longer safe and comfortable living in their home alone. Here are some of the early signs you should consider in-home care services or elder care services for your loved one:

  • Their home is no longer tidy, clean, or cared for.
  • Their appearance has become disheveled and untidy.
  • They are forgetting to eat meals at regular meal times, or are having trouble preparing their own meals. 
  • They have had a fall or injured themselves trying to take care of home maintenance or personal care.
  • They are not remembering to take their medication at the right time, or are doubling dosage by accident.
  • They seem withdrawn, depressed, disinterested, and isolated.
  • They are ill or recovering from surgery and need some extra help as they rehabilitate.
  • They were recently diagnosed with a serious illness or health condition.
  • Their pets are neglected.
  • They can no longer drive safely. 
  • There is spoiled food in the refrigerator.
  • Appliances are broken and they haven’t been able to get them fixed, like the heating and cooling, refrigerator, hot water heater, or washing machine.
  • They have trouble getting in and out of bed or to and from the bathroom on their own.
  • They have started wandering or exhibiting early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Bringing Up the Conversation About In-Home Care

It’s best to bring up the conversation about in-home care as early as possible so that your loved one has the opportunity to participate in the conversation and make decisions.

The best time to start thinking about hiring an in-home caregiver is before your loved one actually needs one. This will give you time to have more than one conversation about it, and find the perfect caregiver for your loved one’s needs.

Tell your loved one that you have noticed they seem to be having some trouble coping on their own, and suggest that they could benefit from some help around the house. Discuss their needs, concerns, fears, abilities, and goals and make a list of services a caregiver can provide to make it easier for them to remain safe and comfortable in their home.

Finding Resources for Aging in Place

You and your loved one can find resources online and in your community for aging in place. You can ask your loved one’s physician for information and advice, and contact your local aging services agency or senior agency or a social worker for assistance. You can also ask friends and family for help and recommendations, and explore state-run and community agencies that help seniors in your area. You can also reach out to your loved one’s spiritual advisor for assistance. 

What Types of In-Home Care Services Are Available? 

There are a few different levels of care to consider when looking for an in-home care agency. Some agencies may offer all of these levels of care, while some just offer one or two:

  • Doctor Care – Doctor care includes specialized in-home medical services performed by or under the supervision of a medical doctor.
  • Nursing Care – Nursing care includes medical services provided by a licensed registered nurse, such as administering IV fluids, administering certain types of medications, wound dressing, taking vital signs, monitoring medical equipment, controlling pain, and providing other levels of care and support. 
  • Physical, Occupational, or Speech Therapy – Physical, occupational, and speech therapy services can help your loved one recover after an injury, illness, medical condition, or surgery. The therapist will help your loved one regain strength and mobility, maintain safety while recovering at home, care for wounds or recover from an illness, and re-learn how to do daily tasks and speak and communicate clearly.
  • Medical and Social Services – A medical social worker can provide a wide range of services to your loved one in the comfort of their own home. They can help them take advantage of community resources, government benefits, counseling, spiritual advice, and more. 
  • Personal Care ServicesAn in-home caregiver can also provide assistance with personal care, basic needs, and homemaker services. They can assist your loved one with getting in and out of bed, going to and from the bathroom, bathing and grooming, dressing, eating, and taking care of housework. They can also provide companionship, keep your loved one safe in their home, make sure they are eating right, and make sure they are taking their medication.

What is Included With In-Home Care? 

Some in-home care agencies allow you to customize the services that you and your loved one need. It’s important to understand whether an agency can provide any medical services, such as medication administration, medication management, taking vital signs, and providing first aid or other medical services.

Many agencies only provide general caregiving services, not nursing services or medical services. If your loved one needs those services, you should consider in-home nursing care. Most in-home care agencies will offer your loved one assistance with:

  • The activities of daily living, or bathing, grooming, personal care, dressing, meal preparation, and mobility
  • Toileting assistance
  • Medication management
  • Light housework
  • Meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Companionship
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments or social engagements

Some also offer specialized services like memory care services or Alzheimer’s care services.

How to Find a Reliable In-Home Caregiving Agency

To find a reputable, reliable in-home caregiving agency, you should start by asking your physician or your loved one’s physician for a recommendation. You can also ask family and friends.

Always be sure to check the agency’s reviews and customer testimonials. You should also verify that their license is valid and that they have no complaints or violations on file. Schedule an initial consultation so that you can get a sense of their services and skill level, their compassion and customer service, and their communication style. 

Learn More About In-Home Care Services for Your Loved One

If your loved one is interested in aging in place and you want to investigate in-home care services in Southern Arizona, our team at Placita In Home Care can help. Our experienced, compassionate caregivers undergo extensive background checks, are highly trained, and have been fully vetted.

We specialize in helping seniors stay safe, comfortable, and happy in their own homes by providing assistance with the tasks of daily living. We also offer assisted living placement services and home safety evaluations. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about our in-home care services or to schedule an appointment for a consultation.