What You Need to Know About End-of-Life Home Care

It’s one of the hardest discussions you’ll ever have with your senior loved one. No one wants to talk about end-of-life care. But it’s a natural part of the human life cycle, and a conversation we’ll all eventually have.

It's important to recognize this because having the discussion sooner rather than later can help ease the minds of our senior loved ones. They're grappling with fear of pain, fear of indignity, fear of abandonment and fear of the unknown. And that's precisely why having the conversation early is essential, as well as exploring options for end-of-life care that will preserve the dignity of your loved one.

Home care is a popular solution for end-of-life care. And the following is everything you need to know about end-of-life home care.

Why Home Care Services Are a Common Solution

Home care services involve a professional caregiver coming to your loved one’s home and tending to his or her daily needs. To be clear, we are not talking about a medical professional. But a professional caregiver who possess essential qualities like compassion, empathy, attention to detail and a willingness to help.

Many caregivers are trained, even certified, in things like dementia or fall prevention. So these professionals are incredibly useful to have when your senior loved one can no longer live independently and requires daily assistance.

A professional caregiver can execute on a critical care plan. A care plan is a living, breathing document that evolves alongside the needs of your aging loved one. It coordinates care across numerous people, places and mediums. It can be a beneficial supplement in end-of-life home care.

And that’s what makes home care so unique and special. Rather than moving your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility, home care enables that person to remain in the comfort of his or her own home.

Along with being convenient, home care is a lot more affordable than other options. Per the Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Information page, the annual cost of home care services is $47,934. The price of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $85,775, and rockets to $97,455 annually if your loved one wants a private room.

So when you consider your senior loved one’s needs and the costs to meet them, home care services for end-of-life care make a lot of sense.

Supplementing Hospice Care

Per Debt.org, about 42 percent of terminally ill Americans receive some hospice care. In 2010, approximately 1.58 million patients received hospice care in over 3,500 Medicare-certified hospice agencies.

So we know how popular hospice care is and where patients receive it. But according to the same Debt.org page, studies show that while 80 percent of Americans prefer to pass in their homes, only 20 percent do. This gap can be attributed to the difficulties and expenses of caring for a terminally ill patient at home.

That’s another reason home care is an excellent option to supplement hospice care efforts. If you’re working with a home care agency, ensure their end-of-life care is centered around your senior loved one’s comfort and well-being. The goal is to minimize discomfort and assist with personal tasks, which could include:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Light housekeeping
  • Shopping
  • Running errands
  • Daily hygiene

That’s a massive value-add from the professional caregiver. You already have options and resources for proper medical care. But making your loved one feel safe, secure and comfortable, within the confines of his or her own home, will make an enormous difference during such a sensitive time.

Professional home care services deliver comfort and reliability, at a more affordable rate, within a familiar setting. That’s why home care is often sought for loved ones needing end-of-life care. As your senior loved one continues to age, his or her dependency will only become greater. Having a trained professional who has worked with plenty of people like your loved one can be invaluable.

For more information on superior end-of-life care, click here.

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