How much do you know about in-home care?
While the popularity of in-home care continues to grow, many people aren’t sure exactly what home care entails or how to secure in-home services. Fortunately, these problems are easy to fix! By debunking the most common home care myths and misconceptions, you and your loved ones can ensure that you’re getting the most that home care has to offer.
15 Home Care Myths Most People Believe
Home care: it’s important, life-changing, and very, very misunderstood. These 15 myths are the most common that surround the home care industry. Here’s what you need to know about them:
1) Home care is only for very sick people
While home care can certainly be helpful for terminally ill people, not all home care recipients are very ill. In fact, there are two very distinct types of home care services: medical and non-medical care. Medical care is often utilized by people who are recovering from an illness or injury or for people who need help coping with chronic conditions.
Non-medical care, on the other hand, offers help with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating, bathing, personal care, and transportation. Non-medical home care aides may help their clients shop, prepare meals, clean, or complete housework. In some cases, non-medical home care simply provides companionship, which can be helpful in avoiding depressive symptoms and elevating an individual’s mood.
2) Home care is very expensive
For families that have never utilized home care, the thought can be intimidating. Many people believe that hiring an in-home care aide will be far too expensive, but fortunately they’re wrong! According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care Network, the average family overestimates the cost of hiring a non-medical home care aide by about $6 an hour.
This means that hiring in-home care is actually far more affordable than most people believe. In stark contrast, Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey from 2011 states that the price of a private room in a nursing facility has jumped about 3.4% – to a total of more than $77,745 annually! With those numbers in mind, it’s clear that hiring in-home care may actually be more affordable than a nursing home.
3) Caregivers aren’t trustworthy
Any reputable in-home care service provider will do its absolute best to match seniors to caregivers who display similar interests and personalities. Additionally, most caregivers are required to pass measures like background and competency tests before interacting with clients. This helps ensure that the senior is matched with a quality caregiver that can meet the senior’s needs while also being trustworthy and reliable.
4) Home care is for people who lack independence
Hiring an in-home care aide doesn’t mean sacrificing your independence! In fact, in many cases, the introduction of an in-home care aide can actually help an individual maintain independence. By handling things that may be difficult, like cooking and cleaning, an in-home care aide can help make daily life easier and support the senior’s efforts to live independently for as long as possible.
Additionally, in-home caregivers can help clients maintain independence by preventing common nonfatal injuries like falls and fractures, which the CDC reports are the leading cause of injury death among those 65 and older.
5) 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 around at all times, this couldn’t 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.
6) 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, you can find a caregiver that will provide this for you.
7) I don’t need home care – my family is already helping
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.
8) Home care is only for seniors
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 or people recovering from surgical procedures. Home health care can be individualized to fit your unique needs, so you’ll always have access to a provider that can give you exactly what you need for your unique situation.
9) Home care is dangerous
While we certainly don’t recommend undergoing surgery at home, home care aides are trained professionals. If you require in-home medical care, you’ll be matched with a medical caregiver who can help administer a plan of care that is safe and medically sound.
For individuals who need high levels of in-home care, it’s often possible to secure the assistance of an in-home RN or other highly trained medical personnel. This ensures that your in-home care is just as safe as it would be in a hospital.
10) Seniors who need 24/7 care aren’t qualified for home care
Again, home care is highly individualized. This means that clients who need high levels of home care can find providers to offer it while those who need lower levels of home care will be matched accordingly. Home care agencies often put together 24/7 care teams and can work with you to ensure that you get exactly the services you need.
11) Home care doesn’t accommodate long-term needs
For seniors or other individuals with long-term care needs, home care can be a fantastic option. By matching the individual in need with a qualified individual or team of in-home caregivers, it’s easy for in-home care to accommodate long-term care needs.
12) The client has no say over who the in-home caregiver is
Just like all things, it’s 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.
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’s 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 friends and family provide, while at the same time deferring to the care preferences that you and your family agree upon.
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.
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 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 in their power to help their clients feel happy, healthy, and independent.
The Case for in-Home Care
As long as people need personalized, individualized services, the popularity of in-home care will continue to grow. In order for this to happen, however, it’s important that we dispel the most common myths that surround home care. From its target population to its use for younger individuals, it’s important to know exactly what home care is and isn’t in order to use in-home care services as effectively as possible.