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The top 7 benefits of home care services

Staying at Home Independence Positive Ageing
11 November 2020

Home care, assisted living, ageing in place. These are all terms used when explaining how someone can keep living in their own home as they get older and maintain their independence by getting help from a qualified and skilled provider like IRT.

Getting help in the home from a qualified and skilled provider like IRT is easy once you’ve made the decision to do it. But making that decision can be tricky without knowing all the benefits that a home care service can offer.

Raelene Lewis is IRT’s Home Care Clinical and Quality Advisor and has been working with the Home Care team for 28 years. She says that there are seven main benefits of getting some care around the home, and that reaching out for such a service doesn’t have to mean losing your independence.

“I’ve been involved in the delivery of home care services to people for 28 years and while some things have changed, there is one constant,” Raelene says.

“That one constant is that people want to age in their own home if they can, and maintaining their independence as they do is a priority.”

Raelene says that once a person makes the decision to explore what’s available, a world of independence can open up.

“There are 7 main benefits of home care that can help someone maintain their independence and dignity and live in their own home.

“All a person has to do is choose.”

Check out Raelene’s top seven benefits of home care below:

1. Help around the home

Living independently in your own home doesn’t mean you have to do all the chores. A little help here and there around the house can help you enjoy your independence and spend more time doing the things you’d rather do.

Whether you need help inside the house with cooking, cleaning, or doing the laundry; or outside the house to maintain the lawn and garden, most home care providers will tailor a service program to meet your needs and take care of things for you.

Home care providers will talk to you about your needs and develop a routine or ad hoc program of assistance depending on whether you want regular help, or just a break every now and then.   

Whether you just need a break every now and then, or on a regular basis – this is a benefit of home care. 

2. Expert care at home

If you’re fresh out of hospital after an operation and convalescing at home, home care nursing professionals may be able to help. Depending on the home care provider you choose, they may have the skills and experience to help with dressings, medications and wound care all in the comfort of your own home.

Whether your hospital stay was expected or unplanned, regular visits can be arranged to ensure your recovery and help get you moving again.

Home care professionals can help your recovery by assisting with wounds and dressings and ensure any medications you need are organised and delivered.

If you or your loved one need palliative care, a quality home care team can support you with a specialised program. If you’re considering this benefit be sure to ask about the home care provider’s experience, qualifications and support partnerships with local health services. Raelene recommends you find a provider with experience in holistic end of life care that can assist you or your loved one with accessing the support needed, offering gentle care and understanding of your wellbeing, all in the comfort and familiarity of your own home.

3. Choice and control

Everyone’s needs are different and when it comes to maintaining independence at home your own individual plan is essential. A good home care provider will develop the care plan that’s right for you; a plan that gives you choice and control to maintain your independence.

You may already know exactly what you need but may be unaware of the full range of services available. Your home care service will help you with that. They have the skills, knowledge, competencies and experience to develop the best care plan for you incorporating services to meet your needs and additional service to enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

They can help you access allied health services like physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology or simply helping with your home safety repairs and modifications (like making sure your smoke detector works). 

The list of home care services offered by a good home care provider is wide and varied. Your needs combined with their knowledge will ensure a comprehensive plan of care and services giving you choice and control so that you can maintain your independence.

4. Help getting around

Home care services don’t have to be in the home. They can be used to help you get around. Getting to medical or allied health appointments can sometimes be stressful and difficult. Not all doctors and service providers are on the public transport route!

An experienced home care provider can help you get to your appointment and when it’s all over take you home again. If you need to pop in to the pharmacy on the way, then that’s no problem either.

Getting out is all a part of maintaining your independence so if it’s staying connected with your community and friends that you need home care services can help with that too.

Whether it’s your regular chess game, catching up with friends at the local café, or doing the shopping for your groceries help with getting out and about is another benefit of accessing home care services.

5. Feeling safe and secure in your home

If you’re used to doing your own home maintenance on locks, windows and doors but are finding it more difficult, your home care service provider can help you feel safe and secure in your own home. Raelene says this is another benefit of home care that can help you feel less stressed and more relaxed.

A qualified home care service professional can identify potential risks and safety hazards around your home and make sure they are repaired or removed long before they become a problem.

Perhaps it’s that out of reach smoke detector that has started to flash or beep, or maybe your front door key keeps getting jammed in the lock. Perhaps your alarm system has developed a mind of its own and it no longer wants to work for you.

Your home care service provider can help you schedule regular safety checks to ensure your smoke detector is silent when it should be and makes a noise when it’s needed, as well as make sure that tricky alarm system remains under your control.

6. Help with your personal care

With help from a home care service provider you can still feel and look your best. 

Perhaps you just need a helping hand with some of the everyday tasks like getting in and out of the shower so you don’t fall or slip. Maybe your once steady hand is a little wobbly these days and you’d appreciate some help with shaving? Perhaps that old golf injury is making it difficult to wash and style your hair. Home care professionals can help.

Deciding to let someone into your home to help with personal care might seem daunting but home care professionals are skilled and experienced in helping people live independently with dignity. Whether the need is large or small, they will customise a service plan to ensure your personal care needs are met in the comfort of your own home.

7. Staying socially connected

Help from a home care service to get out and about doesn’t have to be for medical appointments. Help with staying connected with family, friends and your hobbies and interests is another benefit. In fact it’s an important part of looking after your overall health and wellbeing. Getting out and about not only enhances friendships and relationships with family, it also helps ward off loneliness and isolation.

Raelene says a good home care team knows how important it is to be able to keep up with the latest news from friends over a cappuccino or cup of tea; or a cool drink and chat about the latest sports news at the local Bowls Club; or to spend some time at the local men’s shed or local women’s group. If you no longer drive, or public transport is a challenge, home care services can help you get from A to B.

If getting out to socialise is not your thing but staying in touch is, a good home care provider may be able to help with that too. They can help set you up with social technology like Facebook and Skype so you can stay connected from the comfort of your lounge chair. After a few lessons you can be Facetiming with the grandkids like a pro.

If you would like to get out but are not sure where, then a home care service can help set you up with a calendar of day trips and outings * – whether it’s a simple trip to the beach for an ice cream or a full day trip into the countryside.

*COVID-19 – access to day trips and outings varies depending on location and government restrictions.

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