The Benefits of In-Home Care
Updated: Jun 28
As people age, they may find difficulty in performing daily tasks that were once easy. From physical impairments to cognitive decline, tasks such as cooking and cleaning may become overly demanding, tiring, or even dangerous. For many seniors, in-home care is an excellent solution that allows them to live independently from the comfort of their own homes while receiving the care they need at an affordable price.
In-home care involves care providers visiting patients living in their own homes to provide healthcare services. In-home care is ideal for patients who wish to lead a healthy, independent lifestyle but need a professional, caring caretaker to assist with a variety of health-related issues. In-home care has many benefits that make it an attractive choice over other options for elderly individuals.
In-home care is highly personalized. Every person is unique, so shouldn’t their care be too? Caretakers get to know their patients on a highly personal level since they spend so much one-on-one time together. As a result, caretakers will be able to develop a customized care plan with the patient and their family. From accompanying patients outdoors to engaging in cognitive stimulation activities, caretakers can provide a wide range of services that meet the unique needs of each patient. This personalized care also comes with the benefit of flexibility: caretakers can cater the number of hours and services provided to each patient.
For individuals who wish to maintain an independent, autonomous lifestyle, in-home care is an excellent choice. It is a fundamental human desire to be independent—to do what we want to do, when we want to do it. Furthermore, it is widely established that independence is important for many aspects of mental health! Individuals who feel empowered to live and make choices independently have increased self-confidence and happiness and experience less stress. Elderly patients who have independence can express themselves, pursue their passions, maintain a sense of purpose, and make better decisions. In-home care provides seniors with the support and care to continue engaging with their interests and hobbies. Instead of dictating what they should do, caregivers help empower them to achieve their goals.
In-home care is also easily accessible, especially for individuals who may have impairments that make movement and transportation difficult. Since caretakers come to the patient’s home, there is no need for family members to arrange transportation and spend time in waiting rooms. Caretakers can provide many of the services that patients would otherwise have to travel to receive, including health and wellness checkups, managing medications, purchasing groceries, and preparing meals.
In-home care is very affordable, especially when compared to alternative options. While long-term care homes and retirement homes typically cost over $2,500 per month for private rooms in Ontario according to Closing The Gap Healthcare, in-home care is much cheaper. While the hourly cost of in-home care varies depending on the services provided, the government typically covers part of in-home care service costs. A 2018 Statistics Canada report showed that 91% of households that received in-home care paid no out-of-pocket costs.
The private nature of in-home care reduces contact with infectious diseases. According to a study by Mouton et al., infectious diseases are responsible for one in three deaths in individuals over the age of 65. In-home care avoids unnecessary contact with others who may carry infectious diseases and allows the patient to live in the safe, clean environment of their home.
In-home care is not the only option for aging individuals but may be best depending on the patient’s needs and living situation. Some other common choices include long-term care homes, retirement homes, and care by family members.
Long-term care homes are residential homes that provide care to patients with an often higher level of need within the community. However, long-term care homes are expensive, with private rooms costing up to over $2,600 per month in Ontario. Furthermore, patients will not be living in the comfort of their own homes and will become significantly less independent in their everyday activities.
Retirement homes are also residential homes but provide more independence to residents. However, residents will be paying to live away from home and receive care that is often less personalized. The average cost of a retirement home with minimal assistance in Ontario is over $2,700 per month.
Family care involves family members working to meet the needs of the patient. However, family care often takes too much time and effort, since caring often requires family members to work decreased hours or to stop working altogether. Furthermore, family members can experience burnout as they carry the stress of being responsible for understanding and making decisions about health.
In-home care offers many benefits for seniors who wish to live in their own homes and lead an independent lifestyle. In-home caregivers can provide many healthcare, social, and cognitive services and resources, easing the burden on family members to arrange appointments and transportation. An in-home caregiver will be able to develop a strong personal connection with the patient, fostering an environment of genuine care, empathy, and support.
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‘Long Term Care Facilities: Pro’s and Con’s’. Comfort Home Care, 7 Apr. 2017, https://www.choosecomforthome.com/long-term-care-facilities-pros-cons/.
‘Long-Term Care Homes vs. Retirement Homes vs. Home Care in Ontario’. Closing the Gap Healthcare, 8 Feb. 2019, https://www.closingthegap.ca/long-term-care-homes-vs-retirement-homes-vs-home-care-in-ontario/.
Mouton, Charles P., et al. ‘Common Infections in Older Adults’. American Family Physician, vol. 63, no. 2, Jan. 2001, pp. 257–69.
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