15 Tips on Providing In-Home Health Care

Providing in-home health care to someone, especially a loved one can be a stressful and challenging experience.  Preparing ahead and considering these fifteen tips can help to make the transition into in home care less stressful and easier on you and the individual requiring care.

  1. Impact on Person Needing Care – the individual needing care will need some time to adjust to the new arrangement.  They may have recently lost a loved one or they may have had an injury or major medical event that has prompted the change.  Any of these changes can cause stress, anxiety or even depression so it’s best to give that person some time to adjust.
  2. Impact on You – As you will be the one giving care, a significant amount of your time will be required.  You will need to consider if this is something you are willing to do and how it will affect your job and family life.
  3. Impact on Your Family – It will be important for you to discuss your decision to provide in home care with your family.  The decision will directly impact them and your way of life.  Carefully consider everyone’s opinions and concerns prior to making a full commitment.
  4. Staying on Top of Appointments – Once you start providing in home care, you will need to stay on top of appointments that will need to be kept such as going to the doctor, physical therapy, etc.
  5. Questions to Ask the Doctor – The more care you provide, the more involved you will be with monitoring the daily activities of the individual.  You will want to ask specific questions of the doctor if you notice any concerning behavior or changes to the health or mental state of the patient.
  6. Medicines – Along with providing in home care, you will need to keep track of any medications, when they need to be administered and any dangerous side effects or interactions with other drugs or specific foods.
  7. Meals – Providing regular and nutritious meals will be a major part of your responsibilities and it will have a major impact on the health of the person requiring care.
  8. Exercise/Physical Therapy – Depending on the mobility of the patient, you may need to ensure that they participate in some type of physical activity to keep them mobile.  This may also involve bringing them to the gym or to physical therapy appointments.
  9. Keeping Minds Active – If the patient is limited in activity or confined in any way, it may be helpful to make sure they keep their mind active in addition to their body.  This can be done by providing them with reading materials, thought-provoking games or puzzles.
  10. Eliminating Dangers in the Home – Keeping pathways clear and removing clutter in the home can help to prevent any accidents or injuries to the patient.
  11. Making Adjustments to the Home – Consider if your home may require adjustments such as ramps, railings, stair lifts or larger access points into and out of the home.  You may also need to make changes to furniture and fixtures such as chairs, beds, or bathtubs.
  12. Additional Cost for Caring – The cost of providing in home care can be significant.  You will want to consider if you need to reduce hours at work or stop working altogether in addition to the cost of additional food, transportation and potential renovations to your home.
  13. Liability Insurance – While most people provide in home care to a loved one, you may want to consider adjusting any liability insurance on your home.  Any additions you make to your home may require additional coverage.
  14. Taking Care of Yourself – One thing that most caregivers neglect while they are providing care is themselves.  Make sure you are eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting a break from time to time as care giving can be a demanding task even if you are helping a family member or loved one.
  15. Know When to Admit You Need Help – At some point, providing in home care may become so overwhelming or even impossible that you may need to consider getting additional help or stopping in home care altogether.  Having an idea of what your options are under these circumstances will help to ease the transition especially if something changes with the patient unexpectedly.

By taking these tips into account, you can avoid any potential problems or conflicts as you transition into providing in home care.

 About The Author

Catherine Reeson is certified medical assistant, and has worked in various caregiver roles for several years. She aims to write about topics that will help beginner caregivers avoid some of the hurdles she’s faced in her tenure.

  • Ted Smith

    Thank you so much for the tips on how I can provide in-home health care for my mom. My mom’s health isn’t doing very well. She is getting very weak now and can’t move around very fast. My favorite tip in this article has to be to provide opportunities for my mom to keep her mind active. By keeping my mom’s mind active, she will be able to last much longer.
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  • Alice

    There
    are some very helpful tips in this blog post. I am a Director of Care with <a href="http://www.beindependenthomecare.ie/“>Be
    Independent HomeCare and see elderly people in their homes every
    day. I absolutely agree about your point that providing regular and nutritious
    meals is a major part of our responsibilities and it has a major
    impact on the health of the person requiring care. Nutrition always plays a
    major role in our client care plans. When we commence care with elderly clients
    we so often find that they may be constipated as they are not taking enough
    fibre in their diets and more often than not the client is not drinking enough
    fluids. This can also lead to constipation and other effect such as dizziness
    and confusion which then can increase the risk of our number one enemy – falls
    in the home!

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  • Tracy Willson

    Thankyou for the tips….Although not many realize it, most are completely oblivious about the cost of care. Only a few are familiar with the rates of caregivers. Meanwhile some may have an idea of how much it would cost to be admitted in a nursing home. Long term care has evolved through the years and it continues to see more changes.
    in-home health care

  • Tyrone Hill

    I’ve always had a great respect for those that provide home health care. They truly devote their lives to helping others. I love what you said about caregivers taking care of themselves for that reason. Like you said, they need to remember to make sure their own needs are met as well. Thank goodness there are so many great care givers out there! http://whyleavehomesc.com/why-leave-home/about-us-2/

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  • http://www.tinypulse.com laura troyani

    It’s so unbelievably challenging to provide in-home care to a loved one. It’s not just taxing financially but also emotionally. It’s one reason folks should think about something like long-term care. It’s one way to give these at-home caregivers a break once in a while.
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  • Steve Glass

    These 15 tips could not be more spot on, most importantly to note is that this is about the person who needs care, they will undoubtedly need a transition period. It’s good to see a blog touch on this rather than pretend like it’s not a factor when considering in home care.

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