If you’re a retired or disabled senior, your home may be your greatest asset—and your greatest health hazard. When health or mobility decline, taking care of your household becomes trickier. You may find yourself more fatigued than usual on any given day. You may have been hurt in a fall or left an appliance on and nearly caused a fire. The stress of worrying about what might happen is keeping you up at night and draining your energy. What should you do?
Doubts about your personal safety at home could be alleviated by a move to an assisted-living facility. That would mean sacrificing your home and leaving your neighborhood and friends. You can avoid retirement homes and the uncertainty of living alone by hiring a senior helper also called a home health aide. Professional home health agencies keep you safe while giving you your space, in the comfort of your own home. They’ll track and manage your medical needs and help you with any daily tasks that are dragging you down.
What Does a Senior Helper Do?
You don’t have to be disabled to appreciate the help of a caregiver. And, you won’t have to give up anything in exchange. You are in charge. A senior helper does as much as you need, including routine health and home maintenance tasks to your specifications. You can hire a helper by the hour or full time. For example:
Part-Time Senior Helper #1
- Visits three days a week, from 8 a.m. to noon, or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Does the laundry
- Makes lunch
- Vacuums the carpets
- Shops for groceries once a week
- Makes dinner
This level of work lets you share some of your chores and see a friendly face on a regular basis.
Full-Time Senior Helper #2
- Visits five days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Helps senior dress
- Prepares medications
- Helps senior bathe
- Drives to physical therapy appointments
- Makes all meals
- Tidies the house
This caregiver may be supplemented by second and third helpers, who perform the remaining service tasks and provide around-the-clock support.
You can arrange personal services from your home health agency according to your abilities and individual needs. For instance, you may have trouble coordinating medical appointments, landscaping services, haircuts, and other engagements. Your assistant can free you from those worries, yet make sure you don’t miss an important date.
You may not realize how all of these small activities add up to effort on your part. Being freed of them, you will experience an unexpected vigor and more positive outlook. Accepting help when you need it is an important aspect of health maintenance.
Our counselors and RNs at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are a senior care agency providing elder care serves in the Orlando area, 407-788-9393.
Hank Charpentier BSB, MBA, MA, Certified Senior Adviser