Today, more older Australians are choosing to age at home rather than moving into a residential facility. According to a 2020 research paper from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, up to 80 percent of seniors have a strong preference to keep living in their own home, if they ever need support or care. For many, this means arranging for a home care worker to assist with everyday tasks that aren’t as easy as they used to be.
Apart from the convenience of having a carer visit you, there are plenty of benefits to receiving home care, both for your health and wellbeing. Here are 11 ways home care could benefit you as you grow older.
1. More independence and better wellbeing
Retaining independence is important as we age, as it boosts confidence, increases self-esteem, and helps provide a sense of purpose in life. Getting a helping hand with challenging tasks can help you stay independent for as long as possible. For example, if you find it difficult to hang clothes, a carer could do the task with you, so you can continue to do your laundry. Or a home care provider could help you get a walking frame, so you can move around more easily.
2. More opportunities to socialise
Connecting with others is vital to our wellbeing, especially as we grow older. Accessing home care means seniors are more likely to stay in close contact with their family, friends and support network. It can also provide opportunities to meet new people through hobby groups, social clubs or group exercise programs. A home carer can also provide a friendly face that visits you on a regular basis.
3. Improve recovery by living at home
Home care services allows you to recover from illness, accident, or an operation in the comfort of your own home, rather than in a hospital ward or residential facility. Clinical evidence shows patients achieve better outcomes if they recover at home, where they can avoid the sleep disruption, isolation and physical deterioration associated with hospital stays. It can also make the rehabilitation process smoother, as you can regain function in your normal environment sooner.
4. Increase likelihood of better health
Having someone check on you and provide support can lead to better outcomes, as you’re more likely to engage in preventative health care that reduces your risk of diseases later on in life. A home care worker can help you eat healthy meals regularly, exercise safely, socialise with others, and reduce risks around the home.
5. Create a safe environment
Part of being independent is making sure you can live safely in your own home. A carer can help you with tasks that are too risky for you to do yourself, such as cleaning high surfaces. A care provider can also help you modify your home so that it’s safer – for example, installing slip mats in your bathroom and rails to help prevent you from falling.
6. Better wellbeing for carers
Hiring a home carer doesn’t just help you – it also helps family members by sharing the caring burden with a professional. This can help reduce stress for loved ones, giving them peace of mind that your needs are cared for while they have time to take a break or look after other responsibilities.
7. Stay in your neighbourhood
Familiarity can be important as we age, which is why it’s difficult to uproot ourselves and move away from our local community, where all our supports are. Home care means you can continue living in your neighbourhood in familiar surroundings. It also gives you opportunities to continue engaging with your local community for better health and wellbeing.
8. You can keep your pet
Pets have plenty of health benefits for seniors, from better mental health and reduced stress levels to less isolation, opportunities to exercise, and companionship if you live alone. If you’re finding it difficult to look after your pet, home care services can include pet care, so your furry companion is well cared for.
9. Live with dignity in your own home
Being able to live with dignity in your own home is important as we grow older, but it can be difficult for those who find personal care tasks, such as getting dressed, taking a shower or getting a haircut, difficult on their own. Accessing home care services can help you continue to take care of yourself while living independently. A carer can also help you keep your home tidy, and help you continue to live in a home that you’re proud of.
10. Avoid the stress of moving into an aged care home
Moving into a residential facility can be a difficult experience, both for individuals and their loved ones. For some, the thought of leaving their home, moving away from loved ones, or even living in another part of town can be a distressing experience. Accessing home care services can help avoid premature entry into residential care, and avoid a situation where people feel they are forced to do something against their wishes.
11. Being able to more decisions for yourself
One of the risks of growing older is losing your ability to make your own decisions, especially if you have a diagnosis like dementia, or a condition that limits your ability. This can be detrimental for a person’s self-esteem and sense of dignity. Accessing a government-funded Home Care Package can help older people maintain a sense of control over their lives. This is because the program takes a consumer-centred approach to aged care, with services directed by the consumer, according to the ways they want to be supported.
Home Caring provides personalised home care services for people who wish to age in their own homes. From personal care to domestic assistance, transport, social activities, nursing care and mobility equipment, we’ll help you enjoy health and comfort while staying close to the people you love. For more information about our services, please get in touch.