When 24/7 Home Health Care Might Be Necessary

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posted by Samantha Cox on December 10, 2021

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Deciding on the best way to care for your elderly loved one is a really difficult choice. If you’re considering getting 24/7 home health care for a family member, you’ve probably got a lot of questions about that sort of service. Here, we’ll try to give you some idea of when that sort of care would be appropriate. Essentially, this would be any situation in which the senior in question can’t be left alone, but we’ll dive into more specifics in the following sections. 


We’ve got a section about the aftermath of surgery or a similar health crisis that leaves your loved one in need of 24/7 home health care only temporarily. Then, we’ll discuss the more long-term possibilities. One such situation is our second scenario: Memory care. That’s the kind of assistance those with different forms of dementia require. Our third possibility is respite care — brief breaks for families that mostly take on the duty of 24/7 home health care themselves. And finally, we’ll discuss transitioning from family care to a permanent 24/7 home health care provider. 


Keep in mind that these are just hypothetical situations that we feel would be well suited to 24/7 home health care. If you see anything of yourself and your loved one in them, you should still talk to their doctor and to any St. Louis home care providers you’re considering. Since they’ll have specific details about your loved one’s situation and condition, they’ll be better equipped to give real recommendations. 

What is 24/7 home health care?

The name is pretty self-explanatory, but we still wanted to make sure we were all on the same page before we detail the situations where 24/7 home health care is needed. This is a type of home health care that can actually take a few different forms, but at the end of the day, any kind of service where your loved one has someone in their home to take care of them all the time can be considered 24/7 home health care. 


There are a lot of different kinds of St. Louis home care. These types of services range from light housework all the way to serious medical care. The binding factor is that they all happen in the client’s home. That home can actually include a retirement community or even the hospital — as long as you’re contacting the right agency, St. Louis home care services can come to wherever your senior lives.


You probably have additional questions about how these services work — after all, one caregiver can’t be working 24/7! Definitely reach out to different care providers or agencies about how they schedule their workers for these clients. Some will have three caregivers do 8-hour shifts, but others configure their schedules differently.

Situation 1: After Surgery

As we age, we get more susceptible to injuries. We don’t get back up as fast as we used to. That makes seniors who live alone extra prone to falls. One situation you might need 24/7 home health care for is when your loved one has spent some time in the hospital, perhaps after surgery or a fall, and they need a little extra help before they can be independent again.


St. Louis home care aides can be there to welcome your loved one home. They can provide all the care they need to get back on their feet. From taking care of household chores like vacuuming and doing the laundry to assistance with their physical therapy, a St. Louis home caregiver can be a huge asset after a trip to a hospital. They’ll help your loved one readjust to living at home. 


A St. Louis home care worker can also provide transportation services for any follow-up doctor’s appointments your senior might need to attend. And once they get the okay to start spending time by themselves again, 24/7 home health care is no longer necessary. It’s important to continually assess your loved one’s needs so that you can be sure they’re receiving the appropriate amount of care — not too little and not too much. It might be necessary to get them round-the-clock care in the future, but if they’re able to be more independent, let them. Maybe only a few hours a week are necessary anymore. Have these conversations with your St. Louis home care service, your loved one, and their medical team.

Situation 2: Memory Care

Caring for someone with dementia can be incredibly taxing. Different memory-affecting conditions can cause changes in the ability to communicate as well as many other fundamental aspects of life. Other common symptoms include issues with movement and balance, impulsivity, and hallucinations. Your loved one might become angry more often, and as their condition progresses and they need more help with everyday functions, they might be more difficult to deal with.


That’s where bringing in professionals can really benefit their overall well-being. St. Louis home care aides who are trained in memory care can help these seniors stay in their homes for as long as possible. When the dementia progresses to the point that they need 24/7 home health care, those professionals will be able to provide the absolute highest level of care. And until then, they can help with personal care tasks like dressing and bathing, which can get difficult when movement becomes more limited. They can also help with orienting your loved one toward the current place and time. Companionship activities like reminiscing about the past can also be hugely beneficial for those with these types of conditions.


Also keep in mind that seniors can be more susceptible to scams if they’re not looked after constantly. A St. Louis home care aide can be there all the time to answer the door and telephone, making sure no one is taking advantage of your loved one. 


We’ll talk about this a little more in a later section, but it can be beneficial for seniors in need of memory care to stay in a familiar environment, which is why this is a prime situation for 24/7 home health care.

Situation 3: Respite Care

This one has a lot of overlap with the previous two situations we’ve outlined. Some seniors are lucky enough to have family members step up to the plate to take care of them around the clock. That’s not to say that family care is superior to professional St. Louis home care aides, but it is a big commitment from loved ones. They’ll need some time off every once in a while.


When you need to take a few days to travel for work, meet up with old friends, or otherwise step away from your caregiving duties, respite care can fill in the gap while you take care of yourself. You, an agency, and your loved one can create a 24/7 home health care plan to cover the caregiving needs in your absence. Then, once you get back, you can take back over, right where you left off. The idea is that the professional caregivers work with you as part of the team making sure that your loved one is getting all the support they need whenever they need it. It’s not that you’re giving up.


Also keep in mind that 24/7 home health care isn’t the only kind of respite a St. Louis home care agency can provide. If you just need someone to watch out for your loved one a few hours a week while you run errands, that can also be arranged. Respite care helps take care of seniors and their caregivers alike by giving them a well-earned break.

Situation 4: Taking Over For Family

When you’ve been caring for a loved one for a long time, that starts to take a toll. Their needs start to increase, and you start to feel over your head. Or maybe your situation in life changes. Family members caring for an aging adult might get a new career opportunity halfway across the country or otherwise be pulled away from their caregiving duties. 


No matter what the reason is, plenty of families reach a point where the needs of their elderly loved one outstripe their caregiving abilities. It’s okay to reach out for professional help. You don’t have to go through this alone. St. Louis home care services can pick up whatever duties you need taken care of, all the way up to and including 24/7 home health care.


Keep in mind that if the four situations we’ve outlined here were a Venn diagram, the circles would be nearly on top of each other. They all have a lot in common, and they’re not mutually exclusive. Making sure your loved one gets all the support they need is a complicated process that involves weighing aspects of all these scenarios. So, you can take these four with a grain of salt and map your own experiences on top of our suggestions here. We’ll talk about some of your other options when it comes to senior care in the next section.

24/7 Home Health Care vs. Nursing Homes

Once a senior can no longer take care of themselves and needs some kind of round-the-clock care, you’re going to have to make some tough decisions. Should they stay in their home? Or would they be better suited to some kind of nursing home or other residential care setting? If they’re determined to stay put, who is going to look out for them? 


These are all really difficult questions to answer. More and more seniors are aging in place these days, and there are definite benefits to keeping an elderly loved one in their own home. For example, seniors with dementia can greatly benefit from remaining in familiar surroundings. 


On the flip side, nursing homes can be a good fit for some seniors. If it’s just no longer feasible to keep up with their house, even with the help of St. Louis home care services, you should consider moving your loved one to a facility that can take care of their needs.


You’re also going to have to factor the cost into this decision. Neither option is going to be cheap, but you might be able to get help paying for some of it through insurance. A private St. Louis home care business isn’t going to be covered by Medicare, and neither is long-term nursing home care. That can put an intense strain on families financially. Long-term care insurance can help ease that burden, but if you don’t have it, you might be paying out of pocket. Because home health care can be more flexible than a nursing home, you might want to start there if money is a concern. 


There are certain kinds of professionals you can bring in to help you make these difficult decisions. They’re called geriatric care managers, and their job is to facilitate this decision-making process.They can mediate family discussions, provide their own expert input, and generally help guide you in the right direction.

24/7 home health care can be a great solution for your family.

These are difficult conversations to have and difficult options to consider. Hopefully, now you have the information you need to start that process. You can look at the different situations we’ve outlined in this piece and see if you see any similarities to your own circumstances. And if you’re still on the fence about the best way to care for an aging loved one, you can start by reaching out to a St. Louis home care agency and discussing your options with them.

If you’re looking for St. Louis home care, you can always start with us here at Seniors Home Care. Even if you don’t need 24/7 home health care for your loved one right now, you might benefit from some of our other services. We can also help answer any questions you have about senior care. You can check out our different services here, and don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions. We’d love to chat about how we can serve your family.

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