Evaluating the Health of a Loved One

As the family member of a loved one who needs special medical care, it can be hard to watch their health decline.  It can be even harder choosing between home care and a nursing home or hospital setting for the one you love.  While home care is usually an ideal choice for all involved, there are times when it is not enough.  Knowing when it is best to choose home care and when home care is not enough can make a world of difference in the quality of care provided to your loved ones.

Home care is typically great for individuals with a lower range of health needs.  However, home care may not be suitable for people if:

  • They have a wide range of complicated healthcare needs
  • They fall easily upon sitting or standing, which may lead to serious injury
  • They have a problem wandering off and getting lost
  • There are not enough hands to go around among family members to provide support and care
  • The person in need of care begins suffering signs of isolation
  • There are high maintenance needs required by the person in need of care

These are just some of the reasons why a person may not be suitable for an in-home care program.  Individuals with consistently chronic health problems may need the additional support of doctors and nurses to care for them round the clock in a nursing home or hospital setting.  Furthermore, a person who is prone to accidents, particularly slipping and falling should be monitored more closely in a nursing home or hospital setting.

While in-home care does provide a lot of benefits, it can be exhausting for the family members involved, especially if they try to take on some of the aspects of care themselves.  When you find that this task has taken its toll on your personal life, you may want to consider other options aside from in-home care.  The last thing you want is to find personal and work life falling apart because your loved one requires more care than you initially expected.

Be aware of certain behaviors displayed by your loved one.  It is not uncommon for seniors to become confused.  They may begin wandering off and getting lost.  In fact, there are many stories about loved ones wandering out of the homes only to be found walking down a street or even a highway.  They often do not remember how they go there, which poses a potential danger to their health.  In this case, you may want to consider the assistance of a nursing home rather than an in-home care program.

Look for signs that your loved one is suffering from the effects of isolation.  While the ill, elderly and disabled prefer to stay in their homes, they may find this much harder in terms of socialization or a lack thereof.  A nursing home provides your loved ones with the ability to talk to other who are just like them, giving them the ability to make friends so they do not feel the sting of isolation.

Finally, a person with high maintenance needs, particularly those that involved high maintenance healthcare needs are usually better candidates for a nursing home or hospital rather than in-home care.  Make sure you way all of your options before making a final decision.  Talk with local in-home care companies and nursing homes to determine what the best course of action is for your loved ones.

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