In-home support from a professional home care agency can make a huge difference in the way you live out your golden years. Even if you’re not considered a senior yet, home care can also help you recover from certain conditions and you’ll get 24/7 support around the house whenever you need it. Home care services in Sydney can cover a wide range of different needs and purposes, but it’s important to plan it correctly so that you get the best possible home carer that can meet your needs.
So in this article, we’re going to take a look at a couple of important points to help you choose the right home carer for your needs.
Understanding the Advantages Over Other Care Alternatives
Before you take the plunge and hire a home care agency to take care of your needs, it’s important to first understand why it’s such a good idea over the alternatives. In most cases, you’re either going to choose home care, living in a care home, sheltered housing or even just relying on your family members. Each of these comes with pros and cons, but we’re going to quickly compare them to home care services so you know exactly why you should plan ahead for home support.
Home Care vs Living in a Care Home
Home care and care home may sound very similar, but they’re entirely different things. Care homes are often very busy due to how little staff there are compared to residents. This means there’s very little personal interaction and costs are usually very high compared to home care. This means it can be both expensive and a lower quality of life compared to other options.
Home Care vs Sheltered Housing
Sheltered housing offers plenty of independence much like living on your own but there are additional service charges and location considerations. You’ll need to leave behind your current home as well since you’re downsizing and the process of selling or handing down your property could be a lot of added stress.
Home Care vs Relying on Family Support
Family support is a good option since you’re with people you’re familiar with and they likely understand your needs better than anyone else, but it’s not a professional service so all of your needs might not be taken care of. Some people also don’t enjoy the idea that they’re relying on your own family members since it does take up time in their day to look after you.
The Important of Understanding Other Alternatives
As you can see, there are many drawbacks with other care alternatives. While home care might not be the best overall option for everyone, it’s certainly a holistic approach to home care that can offer plenty of comforts, convenience and also financial savings. Once you understand the advantages of home care, you’ll realize that there is very little planning in comparison and it’s more focused on helping you get the care and attention you need while you get to remain in the home that you’ve lived in all this time.
With that said, it’s important to understand that home care doesn’t provide certain services that these three alternatives offer. For instance, family support offers familiarity since it’s your family members taking care of you, sheltered housing offers you a lot more independence since you have your own place and care homes can offer you a community of other residents which can help you remain social. As a result, you do often need to plan around these advantages offered by other support options and integrate them as part of your home care service.
A good example of this is finding the right carer that has similar interests as you or a personality that you could grow used to. Similarly, a home care agency that has connections to local communities and clubs could help you remain social by introducing you to new friends. You’ll find that care services are capable of tailoring their services to fit your exact needs, but you do need to be vocal at different Australian home care services to find the right one for you.
Ask Yourself Why You Need a Carer’s Services
People often think that they need a carer because they’re around that age or because it’s been recommended by a friend or family member, but you do need to ask yourself why you need a carer. The key is in the job title; carer. By hiring home care services, you’re essentially hiring someone to take care of you, so ask if you really do need to be taken care of and if there are some everyday things that you just cannot do without struggling. Even then, is it really financially sensible to hire a carer just to take care of a single task? Most likely not. As such, it’s often only a good choice to hire a carer if they’re capable of filling in multiple roles in your home and helping you with several things.
Here are just a couple of reasons why people hire a carer in the first place. You may find that some of these even apply to you;
- Shopping help and general outdoor tasks – If mobility is an issue for you then hiring a carer is a great way to ensure that you’re still able to do things like purchase groceries, tidy up your garden and also see friends and family members. With a dedicated person available to help make up for your lack of mobility, you’ll open up many new options in your lifestyle.
- General home care such as gardening and cleaning – General home tasks are important because it helps you maintain your property, but things like bending down to clean the floors or reaching up to wipe ceiling fans and shelves can be difficult. A home carer can help take care of basic home tasks such as gardening and cleaning to ensure that your property is well-maintained.
- Social assistance to stay connected with friends and family – Some home carers actually specialize in technology and social-related fields. For instance, you could get assistance with connecting to Facebook and social media so you can stay in touch with friends and family members, or receive help signing up for a local club for seniors so that you can remain social.
- A part-time carer to give family members a break – If you usually rely on other family members for your care then you may be interested in hiring a carer to give them a break from their service. A part-timer carer can fill in for family members when they’re busy or need some time off.
- Personal care such as help with washing and dressing – There’s also personal care. This includes anything related to your personal needs such as help with cleaning, getting out of bed or even moving to the toilet. This can also extend to helping you prepare meals or even reminding you to take your medication.
- A home carer with medical knowledge to help with unique conditions – There are times when you may need to hire a carer because of your medical conditions inhibiting you from living your regular lifestyle. As a result, you may want to look into hiring a carer that specialises in certain conditions to ensure that they’ve got experience.
There are many reasons to hire a home carer. They can provide a lot of different in-home support services, but everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. Make sure to write down or record a list of your personal needs so that you get a better understanding of why you’ll be hiring a carer and what you plan for them to do around your home. Without a day-to-day plan, your carer won’t have much direction on what type of role they should be filling in.
Getting to Know Your Carer
It’s also important to get to know your carer. Since carers will be involved in a lot of your personal day-to-day activities. You’ll eventually end up getting quite close to them. They’ll seem more friendly and approachable if you get to know your carer and this could help create a solid relationship between you both. When it comes down to it, trust is the determining factor in how you can get to know your carer and it will also involve matching their personality to your personal preferences if you’re given a choice.
You ultimately want to be confident in knowing that your carer is someone that you can trust. This is made easier if you’re able to pick a home carer from a well-known and reputable service that is highly rated. They will likely create a shortlist of potential candidates that match your needs and also have experience in caring for someone with your set of particular needs. This will help create an initial bond between you and your carer which you will be expected to nurture with regular interactions and conversations.
But in order for this to happen, it’s essential that you allow your carer to help you and slowly get used to having them around. Any good carer will be happy to help you with your daily tasks and will generally find their own ways to help make your life easier. This may often involve them offering to help with your personal tasks and going the extra mile just to ensure you’re comfortable. This can often result in situations that you may feel are bordering on invading your privacy, but it’s important to remember that your carer is only doing their best to support you and it’s completely fine to decline their help should you still be getting comfortable with the idea of having a carer.
Here are some helpful tips to assist you in getting comfortable with your carer;
- The home care agency will do their best to match you with a suitable carer, but you may be given a chance to read through their profiles to learn more about them.
- Write down a list of tasks that you’ll need your carer to perform and let them know about those tasks at an early date so they understand where you need help the most.
- Try and always have something for the carer to do in order to keep them busy, but don’t forget that you can always spend a little time getting to know them by sitting down and chatting or generally just conversing with them while they’re helping you with a light task.
- Don’t be afraid to be specific with your needs. Whether it’s the way you like your eggs done in the morning or how you like your bed to be made, carers love to learn the little details about how you live and will apply that knowledge to make you more comfortable.
- If you don’t feel comfortable around your carer or would like to have them changed, then don’t hesitate to contact the home care agency to help arrange a replacement.
Carers are trained to support their clients in a number of different ways, so getting to know them and become more comfortable with them involves giving them tasks to complete and communicating with them. Mixing up your routine now and then is perfectly acceptable and you’d be surprised at how much attention to detail they put into each and every task just to make you feel more relaxed.
Having the Big Family Talk
Before you go ahead with any kind of in-home support, it’s important that you have a big family talk with your immediate relatives, especially those that live close to you. Many families believe that taking care of seniors and those in need lies on the family’s shoulders but in reality, only a care provider and a professional service such as Australian home care services can really take care of all the needs of a senior with limiting conditions.
Gather the Family and Have That All-Important Talk
The first thing to do is arrange a meeting in person with immediate relatives that you feel should know about your decision to consider in-home support. Some family members may take slight offence that you’re relying on a third party instead of your own family members, but the reality is that your wellbeing is the most important aspect and they should respect your decision. You may also need to discuss financial considerations and there are also concerns about how they’ll interact with the carer should they need to visit you.
Let Them Know Why You Need Care Services
If your family members are still having trouble understanding why you need care services then make sure you let them know your reasons for picking in-home care support. It could be because your condition demands specialist medical attention or it might be because your mobility has become so limited that you need to rely on someone else for the majority of everyday tasks. You might also have reasons related to the family, such as not wanting to become a burden for others or to ensure that you always have someone looking after you. These kinds of reasons will differ from family to family, so it’s fine to speak your mind and adapt your solution to your family and your personal needs.
Discuss What It Means for Your Family Members
Another topic to discuss is what it means for your family members once you’ve hired the services of a home care agency. For some family members, it means that they won’t need to visit every other day to help you with home tasks. For others, it means that with the help of a carer, you’ll be able to attend family meetings and get-togethers more frequently. If you’ve already contacted your carer and you’ve discussed the possibilities and services that they can offer you, then it might be worth sharing these details so that your immediate family members can understand why you’ve hired a home care service and how it will change your life for the better.
Again, the family talk is going to change depending on your immediate family members and the role they’ve played thus far. However, if your family are already regularly contacting you can helping to look after you, then letting them know about your decision to hire in-home care is a good move.
Some Final Words
Recruiting specialist home care services could be the best change you’ve made to your life for years. Being given that extra confidence to do what you want to in life and having someone support you the entire way is a liberating feeling. You can return to old hobbies, you can be outside more and you’ll be able to connect with someone who truly loves to help you and see you happy.
The relationship between you and your client is a special one that will grow into something akin to a family bond. It’s a unique opportunity that can drastically change your life and make positive changes. As long as you plan ahead with the tips found in this article, you’ll have a much smoother transition into life with home care services in Sydney.