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Home care can be the perfect solution, but families worry about entrusting someone with the care of their loved one. When it comes to the health of your loved one, there is no room for uncertainty.  In the interest of setting the record straight, we have identified some myths surrounding home care:

Myth #1: Home care is only for those who are very ill. The common school of thought is that in-home care is only available to seniors who are very sick.

While it is true that seniors at home who are very ill or recovering from a serious operation may seek the services of a home care aide, there are also non-medical, in-home care services for those who just need some personal care and help. Home care actually covers two different types of care: Home health care provided by licensed medical professionals, for which you need a prescription, can cover a wide range of medical and therapeutic services. Home health care may be needed for post-operative rehabilitation, skilled assessments and teaching, occupational and speech therapy, wound care, mobility training, pain management, or IV therapy/injections. Then there’s non-medical home care, such as personal care, homemaker, or companionship services provided by professional caregivers. Non-medical home care often revolves around the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, and bathing. Or the instrumental ADLs such as driving, shopping, and doing housework. Sometimes an older adult may benefit from both types of home care services

Myth #2: Home care is too expensive.

Some families seem intimidated by the costs of home care. In reality, home care is one of the most affordable options, partly because of the flexibility of an hourly service.

Myth #3: Home care will take away my independence.

The opposite is true. The purpose of home care is to preserve your independence and keep you safe at home as much as possible. However, the elderly who stay home alone as they age run the risk of falls and other problems. Among those age 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They also are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma, the CDC reports. Our professional caregivers can serve as a second set of eyes and ears to help keep seniors safer at home. Our team will give you tips and tools and check in to see how you are doing. We don’t do this to impede your freedom, but rather so you can continue safely managing daily tasks on your own, even after your home care services end.

Myth #4: I can’t trust a stranger in my home.

A quality home care provider does thorough staff screenings and ongoing trainings. At Individual Health Care Agency, our caregivers are also made sure they are bonded and insured for added safety net. Our agency conducts background and reference checks of our caregivers, and offer flexibility in setting up a schedule. This helps ensure the team going into your home is one you can trust. We do our best to match caregivers with seniors of similar interests. For instance, many Individual Health Care Agency caregivers are seniors themselves who share the same hobbies and histories as their clients. While you may not know your team at first, within a few visits many patients say their home care team starts to feel like a second family.

Myth #5: I already get home health care, so I don’t need home care.

Home care services are different from home health care. While home health includes skilled care from professionals such as registered nurses and speech, occupational and physical therapists, home care services focus on housekeeping, companionship, and personal care such as assistance with activities on daily living (ADLs) like eating, dressing, bathing, and grooming. Often, families find that a combination of home health and home care is beneficial for their loved one. Health professionals are able to provide medical services while care aides assist with everyday activities. This holistic approach ensures that seniors’ medical and personal/emotional needs are both met.

Myth #6: Home care is only for seniors.

You might have a picture in your head of the person you imagine to be in need of in-home care. Most likely it’s a frail senior who can’t even get themselves out of bed – and this is totally wrong! First, many seniors who have lost the ability to do some tasks like driving or lifting heavy things can still enjoy most of their lives on their own, but could use a ride to the grocery store or some companionship at home if their family members work full time. Second, someone who requires in-home care may not be old. Just like home care isn’t only for people with limiting illnesses or disabilities, it’s not only for seniors. Home care is often utilized by parents with newborns, people with a chronic condition, or folks recovering from surgical procedures. Home care can be individualized to fit your unique needs.

Myth #7: In-home care is basically adult babysitting.

Think Again! While many seniors worry that hiring an in-home caregiver means having a watchful and disproving attendant at all times, this could not be further from the truth. In many cases, seniors form strong bonds with their in-home caregivers, which creates an environment of fun and closeness every time the caregiver visits.

Myth #8: Home care isn’t a long-term solution.

There’s a tendency to assume long-term senior care only exists in nursing homes, but this is a very fabricated belief. For seniors or other individuals with long-term care needs, home care can be a fantastic option. Home care includes personal, clinical, and emotional support services that can enable seniors to continue living in the comfort of their own home. By matching the individual in need with a qualified individual or team of in-home caregivers, it is achievable for in-home care to accommodate long-term care needs.

Myth #9: My loved one needs around-the-clock care so home care isn’t an option.

Many home care agencies do provide around-the-clock care. After assessing your unique situation, a home care agency will put together an experienced team, working in shifts, to provide care to your loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Myth #10: Home care isn’t helpful for people with low or moderate needs.

If you only need help conducting your shopping, but you can manage your housework and personal care just fine, don’t write off home care just yet. Home care is a widely varied market and there are professionals available to help you, regardless of what your needs may be. Whether you need an hour or 40 hours of help each week or even just a companion to have around at home, you can find a caregiver that will provide this for you.

Myth #11: The client has no say over who the in-home caregiver is.

Just like all things, it is possible that finding an ideal in-home caregiver may take some experimentation, but you as the client always have the final say. If you find that a caregiver and you don’t get along well, that you don’t trust or feel comfortable with the caregiver, or that the caregiver isn’t meeting your needs, you always have the option to replace the caregiver with one who works better. This ensures that you always find a great in-home care match and that you’re satisfied with your in-home services.

Myth #12: I already have a family member caring for me, so I don’t need home care.

Family caregivers play an essential role in keeping you safe at home. Home care providers cannot replace family caregivers, but they can offer an additional layer of support. As you age and your needs become more pronounced, the burden on friends and family can quickly become overwhelming. Hiring an in-home caregiver can allow your family and friends to participate in your care without stretching themselves too thin. The introduction of an in-home care aide ensures quality care, relief for family and friends, and a balanced care plan for everyone involved.

Myth #13: An in-home caregiver will replace the role of my friends and family.

While an in-home caregiver can certainly provide a much-needed break for friends and family, it is untrue that the presence of in-home care will replace the importance of friends and family. An in-home caregiver can supplement the care your family and friends provide, while at the same time submitting to the care preferences that you and your family agree upon.

Myth #14: An in-home caregiver will take over my loved one’s care plan.

In-home caregivers are ideal for providing an extra set of hands and some medical expertise. Aside from that, however, they don’t dominate the in-home care situation. Depending upon the need of the client, an in-home caregiver will work with the client and his or her family to develop a care plan that meets the client’s needs while also working closely with the family and the client to ensure that the family feels involved to their desired level. This helps ensure an active role in the care of a loved one and prevents an in-home caregiver from providing more services than are needed or wanted.

Myth #15: In-home caregivers don’t care about their clients.

While it’s important to hire a reputable in-home caregiver from a reputable home care agency, most caregivers enter the business specifically because they care about clients and want to do everything in their power to serve and help them. When the match between a caregiver and a client is good, caregivers and clients often become friends. Most caregivers care deeply about their clients and will do everything to the best of their abilities to help their clients feel happy, healthy, and independent.

Myth #16: Home care providers cannot provide the same quality of care as institutions

There are many benefits to receiving care from a professional institution such as a nursing home or an assisted living facility. While these communities have their own benefits such as meal services and around-the-clock care, it doesn’t mean that they always offer superior care when compared to home care. Many times, the personalized attention that in-home care providers offer ends up being better and more in-tune with what the senior needs.

Myth #17: Home care prevents individuals from being social.

The social aspect is a definite benefit of elderly homes. Living as a group guarantees that the senior will have a social life. However, thinking that in-home care services do not allow seniors a social life is ill-guided. Caregivers do not change the senior’s standard routine from before all at once. The senior will, therefore, maintain the same social interactions from before. In fact, the senior might even be able to become more social than before. Remember, the caregivers provide companionship. Also, the attendant can transport the senior to social gatherings of their choosing.

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