Home Care for Seniors

6 Benefits of Home Care for Seniors

If you have a loved one who needs more attention and care than you can give, you may reluctantly consider a long-term care facility. Staying at home with the help of home health aides or nurses can also provide a viable alternative, however. Seniors who stay in their own homes do better socially, physically, and mentally than those in long-term care facilities.

  1. Living longer: Seniors who stay at home live longer than those in long-term care facilities. While part of the reason may be that seniors who remain at home are healthier than those who go into long-term care facilities, the fact remains that seniors at home live longer than those in nursing homes.
  2. Avoiding illness: Long-term facilities are far more likely than a person’s home to be a source of microorganisms that can cause illness. Numerous personnel and visitors, not to mention other residents, are all sources of potential illness in long-term care facilities. Seniors cared for at home have much less exposure to the germs visitors and staff bring into a long-term care facility.
  3. Better nutrition: While long-term care facilities supply nutritious meals prepared under the guidance of a registered dietitian, seniors may not care for the food. Those who remain at home can prepare meals they enjoy or have home health aides or nursing staff cook foods they enjoy — in a long-term care facility, a senior may not get the help she needs to cut food or eat it. She may not have enough time to eat before the mealtime is over. With one-on-one assistance, seniors can eat at their own pace and get help handling difficult foods.
  4. Staying connected: Seniors at home can remain with their partner; they can also stay in contact with old friends and neighbors. Their family may find it easier and less intimidating and depressing to pop into a senior’s home for a few minutes rather than making a trip to a long-term care facility. Visiting hours are not restricted at home or regulated by a schedule.
  5. Maintaining independence: Remaining independent is very important for the mental wellbeing of many seniors. Knowing that help is nearby, a senior may be more mobile and willing to do things for herself rather than becoming passive, which often happens in long-term care facilities. Seniors at home with a home-health aide or nurse can play games, work on the computer or watch TV shows or movies of their choice.
  6. Spending less: Hiring a home-health aide is less expensive than full-time residence in a long-term care facility. The cost of home care is only around 25 percent that of a nursing home and only around 10 percent of hospital care.