It can be a big adjustment to get used to the idea of having someone supporting you to live in your own home. There’s a sense of pride in managing even when things become difficult. Pride in having a clean home, driving yourself to appointments, preparing your own meals and living life how you want to. However, for all of us there will come a time when household chores become more than just a chore and we need some extra help.
Here’s some tips on how to introduce home help and how to plan it so your loved one gets the most out of the support to remain living safely and independently in their own home.
Start slowly to get used to having home help
It can take some time to get used to the idea of having someone you don’t know in your own home. Introduce your loved one to support workers before they spend time with them alone.
If possible, start home support slowly so your loved one can get to know the care workers and become comfortable with asking them to assist. For a lot of people it’s hard to ask for help but your loved one needs to know that good carers want to take direction and support your loved one in a way they are comfortable with.
Make time with your loved one to note down all the household tasks they are finding difficult or that are bugging them. Your loved one may want someone to do their ironing, sort through cupboards, clean out their fridge or give their home a spring clean. Prioritise the list of chores and stay with your loved one as they talk to the care worker about their needs.
Good Home Care providers will match the personality of the carer with your loved one’s preferences
A good Home Care provider will introduce you to all new carers and match the personality of the carer to your loved one. They will also consider how well your loved one can hear, language preferences and cultural considerations and match these needs with an appropriate carer.
Don’t forget if it’s not working out you need to contact the Home Care provider and let them know. Your loved one is the customer and needs to know that if they’re not getting what they’re paying for they can consider other options.
Plan your week so there’s structure to your services
Time can drag when you have a lot of time but you can’t do the things you used to enjoy doing. Whole days can be spent simply watching television or listening to the radio. There’s often no pressing reason to get out of bed or to mark the start of the weekend. Weeks can blend together, punctuated by doctors appointments, occasional outings or visits from family and friends. Structuring visits from care workers to work around your routines can help provide a shape and purpose to the week.
If your loved one is a late riser, arrange for housekeeping later in the day. If your loved one likes to have a bath in the evening then make sure your provider has a carer who can come in the evening to assist with bathing.
Needs change so make the most of Consumer Directed Care and change your support
Remember everyone’s needs change. The government is committed to Consumer Directed Care where the consumer chooses what services and support they want to use their government subsidies for. The subsidies you receive can be directed to support your needs as you change. That means if you start with some housekeeping and gardening but need someone to wash your clothes and change your sheets you can direct your subsidies to this service as your needs change.
Good care workers want your direction and find it a pleasure to help
Good care workers want to know how you like the bed made, how you hang out your shirts and how you fold your towels. A good care worker wants to help in a way that you’re familiar with. Make sure you explain your needs and preferences so you can get the support you need.
If you’re accessing government subsidies use them!
If you’re accessing government subsidies for Home Care make sure you use them to keep you living independently at home rather than saving them up. Home Care Packages can mean up to 49k every year in support to stay at home. These subsidies roll over each year but unless you’re saving for something specific it’s best to spend them on the support you need. The more support you access at home the better your health and wellbeing and the less likely you will need to move into an Aged Care Home.
Most importantly, start getting Home Care to stay confidently at home
Yes, you do need to start slowly but you also need to start. Even if you or your loved one doesn’t want help right now it’s important to get support before health needs become overwhelming. People often leave it too late to get support and a fall or an illness occurs that may have been prevented which results with the person having to go into permanent care.
If you’re considering Home Care but you’re not sure where to start CareAbout can talk you through the process and find a quality Home Care provider in your area.