Debunking 8 Myths About In Home Care Services
Seeking in home care services for a loved one is no easy choice. You might have some preconceived notions about what elderly care services entail. Maybe you think caregivers could never be a good fit for your loved one, and you’re not too sure about letting them in their home. Or maybe you think that’s too big a step for your family; you can go it alone. And besides all that, maybe you do think it’s a good idea, but you’ve written it off anyway because you think it’s way outside of your budget.
Unfortunately, this industry is draped in a lot of myths like these ones. Today, let’s break the most common ones down. By the end of this piece, you’ll be a pro at spotting fact from fiction when it comes to elderly care services. Let’s dive in.
Myth: In home care services are only for people who need significant help.
According to this myth, elderly care services are a huge leap only needed in the most severe circumstances. Someone who only needed one or two check-ins a week wouldn’t be a good fit for in home care services, and the decision to pursue them is a big deal.
Fact: In home care services can benefit many seniors.
It’s true that selecting in home care services is serious business, but it’s not true that they’re only for a select few. The available elderly care services to choose from are actually very wide-ranging. You can have someone check in on your loved one just to help around the house, you can get a caregiver to help them with bathing, and you even can have a helper remind your loved one to take their medicine. Whatever they need help with, there’s a service for that, all the way up to 24/7 care.
If you’re interested in getting in home care services for a loved one, don’t let the scope of their needs stop you from reaching out. There’s a good solution for you, no matter what those needs are. You just have to find it.
Myth: Caregivers are untrustworthy.
You’ve probably heard stories about caregivers not showing up on time, not doing a good job, or even stealing from the ones they’re supposed to be taking care of. You’re not exactly sure where these stories came from, but they’re scary enough to discourage you from seeking out in home care services. You’re nervous about who you let in your loved one’s home.
Fact: The right caregiver can make all the difference.
A healthy dose of wariness is necessary in this day and age, but you shouldn’t let your paranoia stop you from getting your loved one the elderly care services they need. The vast majority of caregivers are incredibly trustworthy. As long as you’re using a reputable service, the caregivers should be background checked and given all the training necessary to do a great job.
You should definitely ask about this when you’re interviewing care services if it’s something you’re worried about. Once the service explains how they vet their caregivers, you should feel more comfortable letting them in your home. And if they can’t give you a satisfactory answer, there’s no shame in moving on to a different provider.
Definitely keep trustworthiness and safety top of mind, but don’t worry so much that your loved one suffers because of it.
Myth: Not taking care of my loved one myself means I don’t care enough about them. I can provide all the care they need.
If you’ve been taking care of your elderly relative for a while, you might think you’ve got it handled. It’s a heavy burden, but you’ve carried it this long. You can do it a little longer. You’ve internalized all the guilty messages that say you're a bad child if you don’t devote your time to caring for your parents. Sure, elderly care services have become your whole life, but that’s the only way, isn’t it?
Fact: In home care services are a loving choice.
Throw all that guilt away. The truth is, professional caregivers can provide a higher quality of care than you can. The best in home care services employ highly-trained professionals who have a knowledge base you probably don’t possess.
You are doing a great job, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a team around you? Elderly care services can be a fantastic supplement to the care you’re already giving to your loved one. They can help you with your loved one now, and they can also help you plan for their future needs.
Plus, if you don’t live near your loved one, in home care services can be the difference between continuing on with your life or packing up and moving to be near them. If your loved one needs help, of course getting them elderly care services is a loving choice. Don’t let your guilt tell you otherwise.
Myth: In home care services are only a stopgap solution.
This myth is almost the opposite of the one claiming in home care services are only for the most serious of circumstances. According to this one, there’s no way in home care services are going to be enough for you or your loved one in the long term. They’re only for people with short term ailments, and if you foresee needing help for longer than a few weeks, you think you’re not a good candidate.
Fact: The length of your in home care services is flexible to accommodate whatever you need.
That myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, if you only need a stopgap solution, you can find that, too. But if you’re looking for longterm help and think in home services can’t fit the bill, think again. Good caregivers can work with you and your loved ones for as long as you need. They’ll anticipate your future needs and can work with you to plan accordingly.
From getting your loved one back on their feet for a few days after surgery to longterm, 24/7 care, you can get any kind of elderly care services you need.
Myth: Caregivers are randomly assigned and won’t be a good fit.
Maybe granddad is a little hard to get along with. You think there’s no way he’ll let just anybody waltz into his home and tell him what to do. If you believe this myth, you’ll write off in home care services before even considering them. How could a randomly assigned caregiver possibly meet all of your loved one’s needs?
Fact: You can get the best caregiver for your loved one.
The main issue with this misconception is the assumption that the care service will assign you a caregiver and then call it a day. That’s not how it works. They should actively work with you to match your loved one with the right caregiver for their specific needs. And if it’s not working out, they should be open to trying a different caregiver.
Of course, you don’t want a revolving door of caregivers cycling though your home. But it’s worth trying a few out and getting a feel for what works best for you and your family. You might be surprised by how well a grumpy grandpa can get along with the right caregiver for him.
Myth: They won’t have a social life like they would in a nursing home.
With this myth, let’s say you’ve come to the conclusion that you do need elderly care services, but you’re leaning toward a live-in facility. You want to make sure your loved one has a community around them and doesn’t feel isolated. You worry that at home, they won’t have an active social life. Wouldn’t living with a bunch of other seniors be better?
Fact: They can be as social as they like!
While there are definitely benefits to living in a group setting, this myth greatly overblows them. The fact of the matter is that caregivers provide companionship just as much as they do elderly care services. What’s more, the caregiver can transport your loved one to any kind of gathering they want. So, no, hiring in home care services will not isolate your loved one. Instead, they can open a whole new world for them.
Staying social as we age is important, but there are plenty of ways to accomplish that. In home care services are flexible, and they can be tailored to your exact needs. If staying social is a priority, the right caregiver can make that happen.
Myth: Hiring a caregiver costs way too much.
Elderly care services are expensive. If you believe this myth, you think in home care services are prohibitively costly, and there’s just no way you could make it work, short of selling off all the antiques. You’ve obviously not going to do that, so you’ll just tough it out, hoping you can provide your loved one with all the help they need on your own.
Fact: In home care services cost a lot less than many people think.
Depending on the type and amount of elderly care services your loved one needs, home care can be way more affordable than other options, like assisted living. Not only are in home care services less expensive than some other alternatives, but there are also lots of ways to get help paying for them.
If you start planning early, you can do a lot to mitigate the cost. There are certain kinds of insurance that cover some elderly care services. Of course, to utilize that option, you have to think way ahead, and if you’re currently on the market for elderly care services, that’s not going to help you too much. Even so, you might qualify for a lot of different benefits that cover different services. If you have some time to plan, contact insurance providers and find out what your options are.
Myth: My loved one lives in a nursing home, so they don’t qualify for in home care services.
If your loved one already has access to other elderly care services, you probably think they’re covered. What more could they need? According to this myth, “in home care” only applies to private residences. Anybody who lives in a home that doesn’t meet this narrow definition doesn’t qualify.
Fact: In home care services meet you wherever you call home.
Deciding which elderly care services are right for your loved one is not an either-or choice. It’s a matter of mixing and matching to meet every single need. However, this false dichotomy is pervasive — elsewhere in this piece, we even fell victim to it.
It’s simply not true that you have to choose between a live-in facility or in home care services. You can absolutely have both. Caregivers can visit independent or assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, or rehabilitation facilities. It doesn’t matter where your loved one currently resides. The important thing is that your loved one gets all of the care they need.
Don’t let your fears stop you.
We’ve gone through a lot of myths about in home care services — eight to be precise — and thoroughly debunked each one. However, this list is not exhaustive by any means. You might have a lot of other hesitations about seeking elderly care services, and we couldn’t possibly calm all of your fears with one little blog post. The best way to dispel your own internalized myths is to reach out to a care provider and ask questions. They should be happy to give you all the answers you need.
At the end of the day, what matters is getting your loved one all the help they need. You shouldn’t let your fears and hesitations get in the way of that. When you do your research and ask your questions, you’re sure to find a care solution that meets the needs of everyone involved. It can be intimidating to admit you can’t go it alone, but don’t let your fears stop you.
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