What is Home Care?
Home care includes services that allow an individual to remain safe, healthy and autonomous in their place of residence. Clients may be of all ages, but particularly older adults and may include individuals who are chronically ill or recovering from a surgery or have a disability. The support and care services are based on an in home assessment of the client’s needs, choices and preferences. This assessment is done by a Registered Nurse who will ensure that all health requirements are assessed in cooperation with any medical orders. Home care can also be provided to individuals living in a long term care facility; retirement home or hospital, to enhance the quality and amount of personalized care.
Home care services can include:
- personal care assistance
- laundry and linen changes
- medication reminders
- escort to appointments or events
- comfort measures
- meal planning and preparation
- household management
- activation and companionship
- baking, crafts, games, hobbies
- pet and music therapy
- end of life care
Often a little assistance goes a long way to maintain a person’s independence, comfort and sense of dignity. The home environment provides familiarity, comfort and security. However, when one’s physical. mental or cognitive health changes or declines, various risk factors may present challenges for safe and healthy living.
Risk factors for individuals in their home may include:
- poor vision
- cognitive impairment
- physical health problems or illness
- losses: relationships, independence, mobility, self worth
- side effects from medications
- urinary tract infections
- loneliness and social isolation
- alcohol use
- improper medication use
Socially isolated seniors are at risk of negative health behaviours which can include poor nutrition, increased risk of falls, drinking, smoking and increased chance of hospitalization. The cognitive, emotional and mental well being of an individual can also be negatively affected. Falls remain the leading cause of injury related hospitalizations among Canadian seniors. It is estimated that 1 in 3 seniors aged 65 years and older are likely to fall at least once according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The goal of home care is to maintain an individuals sense of well being, safety and health. At Gold Cross Home Care, http://www.goldcrosshomecare.com we include our clients and their families in the assessment and plan of care, so that needs are identified and issues are discussed. It is vital that the interventions and goals are specific, measurable and sustainable. Feedback from the client and family members is also crucial so that the plan of care can be adjusted to meet the needs of the client. Effective communication is the key, so that everyone is working to meet the needs of the client to keep them, safe, healthy and dignified.