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Home-nursing care for the elderly

As close relatives age, they often need a little help in their daily activities to be able to live a serene and fulfilling life.

The first of many questions that comes to mind is whether loved ones should keep living at home or in a retirement residence, leaving families with the challenging decision of choosing between nursing at home or care in a residential facility.

Although both have their benefits and drawbacks, in-home care is an option that has many benefits both for the elderly and also to the rest of the family.

The idea of having nursing care at home is becoming more common and one of the main reasons families tend to opt for such a solution is because it allows our elderly loved ones to retain their independence and normal routine.

This is something that may not be easily available in an elderly retirement home; above all, residents must adapt and adjust themselves to new routines, new people and other occupants who are inevitably present in the residence itself.

Whereas independent living care has the benefit of having a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals tending to the elderly and family’s needs in a preferred routine as one desires, having control over meal times and personal routine even in the little day-to-day things fosters a sense of continuity of living.

Furthermore, by having the elderly relative living at home contributes significantly to a positive psychological state of mind and a sense of well-being, seeing that the ageing person will feel more wanted at home.

Being provided with professional qualified care and assistance offered in the luxury of the loved one’s home also eludes emotional and psychological stresses which transitions from one’s household bring about.

It also preserves the emotional bond of many possessions that are tied to priceless memories, something which may be lacking in retirement homes due to limited personal storage space being offered. In their own home, the elderly can keep on caring for their pets, something not all retirement homes allow.

Caring for pets is proven to reduce stress, which can ultimately lead to a longer, healthier life. Staying at home also means staying connected with the family friends and the community.

There are no visiting hours at home, and families can enjoy time with their loved ones more frequently and as they please, with no restrictions whatsoever. They are also able to actively participate in the care-giving process with as much care as they would like.

Living at home also means having the elderly staying in a healthier environment by avoiding nosocomial infections and germs that unavoidably are found in places where many people live together. In some cases, choosing domiciliary care may also prove to be more financially viable compared with other forms of care, since families have the option of choosing the frequency and intensity of the service and pay according to the levels of care and assistance needed.

Another benefit of choosing in-home care is that assistance is offered on a more personal level. In a personal home setting, a health aide or carer has more time to spend with the senior person, offering the needed emotional support and care to match the particular desires and requirements.

When elderly loved ones are being cared for at home, they don’t have to wait their turn to be bathed, fed or supervised during a daily activity, since a carer or a nurse will be readily available. It is also more likely that one is able to plan the care and assistance needs in advance.

Home care is one of the most satisfying forms of care for the elderly since it offers peace of mind to families, knowing that their loved ones are safe and being cared for by professionals while given the deserved attention.

It also offers a more personalised care solution for the mere reason that it is tailor-made to meet the needs of each individual. With just a little qualified care and assistance, our elderly loved ones can enjoy their golden years independently and with dignity – something that can be achieved through in-home care.

Mr Zammit is a care manager.

www.dignityforlife.com

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