Several sources have touched on how the pandemic could significantly change healthcare. The Conversation notes that the world of at-home care for seniors is likely to be affected to a massive degree. However, most people who utilize senior care note that at-home care is the safest method of delivering high-quality healthcare to individuals. A home care agency seems to be the preferred choice for those who have seniors to look after. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are also options, but they seem to be a lot less popular.
Community Living Options Not Viable
Most clients opt for in-home care through an agency because the alternative doesn’t look good. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes do have many people around the same age, adding to the feeling of community. However, these facilities are usually confined spaces. Safety and Health Magazine notes that these confined spaces are the most likely scenario for COVID-19 to spread. We may not know much about the novel coronavirus, but we do know that it results in a higher fatality rate for older individuals. With its high rate of spread, these facilities could be the worst possible conditions for elderly folks.
Safer Alternative is At-Home Care
At-home care comes with the guarantee that the helper follows the recommended guidelines and prevents themselves from being an infection vector. Because of the job’s sensitive nature, helpers need to obey strict sanitary protocol before and after visiting the home of one of their charges. At-home care can be divided up into personal care or companion care. Personal care deals with meeting the needs of individuals who need help with some of their daily functions such as dressing or dealing with incontinence. Companion care is where the helper offers their services to do things like light housework and meal planning and preparation. All caregivers would be outfitted with personal protective equipment by their employers.
More Personalized Service
The downside of having an older person in a nursing home comes from there being so many residents there. There is less of a focus on personal interaction and personalized care. For the elderly, this could be bad. Aside from the potential dangers of visitors bringing in the virus and leading to a spike in cases, the lack of personalized, one-on-one care may impact their mental state. As many have realized, isolation can be dangerous for a young person’s mental state, but it might be even more detrimental to older persons. Having a trusted companion coming in regularly helps individuals feel more welcome and reduces their feelings of isolation.
Independence Is Essential
Many older adults who opt for at-home care do so because they want to retain their independence as much as possible. One-on-one care offers them a sense of freedom while still catering to their needs. It’s no wonder that these services have been in such high demand during the pandemic. With the proper precautions, an at-home carer is a far more desirable situation than having to spend time in a nursing home.