My own personal journey with family caregiving began in my late teens. Over the next 20 years at any given time, my family was caring for at least two family members who were either in declining health or facing terminal illnesses.
While we had quite a bit of family to help provide support, we hired supplemental care as well. My family was extremely fortunate with every caregiver we hired; they took wonderful care of our loved ones and treated them with dignity and compassion.
As a result, my family was less stressed and better able to provide loving care as well. This all began 30 years ago when home health care was just a blip on a radar screen.
These days, home health care is one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, which is no surprise given the rate at which our population is aging. People are living longer today than ever before, and time and again, studies show that aging in place can do wonders for one’s overall health and well-being.
Whereas assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities used to be the assumed “next step” in elder care, home healthcare agencies, such as Home Helpers, are increasingly broadening their continuum of care to include medical services, such as medication and care management and vital signs monitoring, thereby enabling seniors to age with dignity in the comfort of home, surrounded by family and friends, longer than was previously possible.
Additionally, home care is often more affordable than institutional care due to the flexibility and customization of services to fit your lifestyle. According to the 2012 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national average cost of licensed homemaker and home health aide services remained the same over the course of 2011, while the national average cost of assisted living care increased 1.19% and the cost of skilled nursing care increased 3.63% for a semi-private room to 4.23% for a private room.
Regardless of your particular situation, choosing the right care option for your loved one is a major life decision that merits sufficient consideration. From exploring your care options to determining the best fit, the following resources can help guide on your way: