In-home care is beneficial and popular

In-home care is beneficial and popular



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When you ask an aging family member where they would prefer to receive care, the overwhelming response is at home. According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 12 million Americans over age 65 live alone.

Every day there are tens of thousands of elderly individuals — including physically disabled people and veterans — receiving assistance with daily living at home in Northeast Pennsylvania. Activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing and meal preparation often require the help of a direct care worker (DCW), personal care attendant or aide.

The role of the DCW is vital because it allows the patient to remain home. These are the front-line workers who see daily changes and keep the family informed. Often, these services prevent unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

The primary benefit of home care is comfort. You, or your family member, can remain in the place you are most familiar with. Being in your home surroundings helps your well-being.

A second benefit is personalized care. The plan of care is based on your specific needs. You pick the days, times and services that most fit your needs. This very personal care is one-on-one, and your DCW is there to provide services most appropriate and beneficial to you.

Another advantage of home care is the ability to maintain independence. You will retain control over many aspects of daily life while you continue living in your own home. You choose when you want to eat, sleep and participate in social activities.

Home care also gives your family and friends peace of mind. Because the DCW will be in the home assisting with activities such as bathing or using the stove, this can help to reduce the risk of a patient falling or being injured. Family and friends know you have the assistance needed to perform these tasks.

What many people love most about home care is the sense of companionship. The DCW provides a familiar face, friendly conversation and a human connection, which can have a big impact on overall health and mental well-being.

Navigating the system can be confusing for the patient or family member, but there is help available. For those over 60, your county’s Area Agency on Aging can be a resource for services. (The Lackawanna County agency is at 123 Wyoming Ave., Scranton; call 570-963-6707.)

People under 60 who are physically disabled may be eligible for Community Health Choices, funded by the state Department of Human Services. And the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides services to those who meet guidelines. Others can use benefits offered through their long-term care insurance.

TRACY HUNT is assistant vice president, in-home care, at Allied Services.

Learn more about In-Home Services here.