Live in home care encompasses the physical psychological, social and spiritual care provided to a person (usually a senior) who is largely or totally confined to their home, wheelchair or bed as a result of age, illness or injury. Thanks to advances in medical care, it is now rare for a person to spend all of his or her time at home. Most people can occasionally be transported by ambulance, wheelchair van, or private vehicle, if only for medical appointments. However, if a person spends the majority of his or her time confined to the home or an institutional setting, and can leave that setting only with difficulty and with the assistance of another, they may still be considered in need of live-in care.
Live in home care is defined as around-the-clock care for a person who cannot be left alone, even for a short period of time. Most live in home care is 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
People of any age can require live in home care. However, there are three general conditions that most often result in the need for live in home care.
Some people require live in home care temporarily and make full or partial recovery. For example. it is often recommended that people in hospitals have a full-time "sitter" to serve as a companion or even as a go-between with the nursing staff. Other examples include those who have had a stroke and require live in home care whole they go through rehabilitation and relearn the skills necessary to care for themselves. Sandra Daoust, Care Coordinator of Home Care Assistance Montreal, shares the example of older adults who have had knee and hip replacements.
After their surgery and a stay in rehab, these seniors usually have live in home care for a month or two until they can resume their normal activities. Live in home care helps them transition from a facility to the home, and get back on their feet fast.
Chronic conditions remain stable or slowly get worse over time. Examples of chronic conditions include paralysis resulting from a spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, or frailty associated with old age. In these cases, live in home care is often seen as preventative measure for people who are at risk for falling or are in need of general support to live alone in their own home.
Terminal conditions are life threating illnesses or injuries that are expected to end in death. For most people who are terminally ill, life does not stop and live in home care is often needed, even if only for a short time. Examples of terminal conditions include cancer that has spread throughout the body or advanced Alzheimer's disease. Cheryl Barrett, Staffing Coordinator at Home Care Assistance Montreal, reports that live in home care can be extremely beneficial for terminal clients.
Live in home caregivers often provide assistance with medications for pain and to control symptoms of nausea or vomiting. Plus the caregiver becomes knowledgeable about all the daily living activities that make life just so much easier. Live in home caregivers also make sure the the individual with a terminal condition is comfortable at all times.
Live in home care is provided by a wide range of people, ranging from family caregivers, such as spouses or adult children to professionals - usually Certified Nursing Aides or Licensed Practical Nurses from home care agencies. In some cases, the live in home caregiver is a family member who has received little or no formal training and learns about everything "on the job". Many of these family caregivers find themselves providing care without any professional assistance or advice. If you are providing live in home care to a loved one and need assistance, we can help!
When most people think of providing live in home care, they think physical care - feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting and changing bed linens. Keep an eye out for future blog posts which will provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete all of these tasks with a loved one. It is important to realize that the needs of seniors are more than just physical. This is best illustrated by referring to the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow. We'll touch on this in further posts. Keep an eye out and check back with us as we will be providing weekly updates to all things home care in and around Montreal.
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