22 Jan In-Home Services for Seniors
Illness, dementia, disability, or general frailty can make it can be difficult, if not impossible, for many older adults to leave their homes. And, a family member or friend may not be available to provide transportion to appointments. In addition, if a loved one is already in assisted living, many of these facilities are not always able to offer specialized medical care. However, a variety of in-home services are available so seniors never have to leave the comfort of home.
Dental Hygiene Services
Many seniors neglect their dental health. Upon enrolling in Medicare at age 65, seniors usually lose dental benefits from a private insurer (Medicare does not cover dental procedures). In addition, individuals who are homebound or living in a long-term care facility, experience a higher rate of poor dental health.
Licensed dental hygienists are able to provide dental care to homebound individuals. This includes oral assessments, oral screening for cancer, dental cleaning, decay, and education to caregivers on the proper technique for cleaning and brushing teeth, dentures, and dental implants.You can contact an in-home dental hygienist directly to schedule an appointment. Depending on the state, licensed hygienists can work independently. For a certain time period, patients can use the services of a hygienist at home without seeing a dentist.
Under the referral of a physician, there are a variety of in-home health services available for seniors from licensed medical professionals including registered nurses, physical/occupational/speech therapists, social workers, and registered dietitians. These services are usually under the umbrella of one company who have many different types of medical professionals on staff. Services include:
- Nursing care for medication management, skin/wound care, pain management, diabetic teaching, and monitoring for blood pressure and vital signs;
- Physical therapy to help with mobility, range of motion, balance, and strength;
- Occupational therapy to help seniors improve the tasks of daily living such as bathing, toileting, and eating. Therapists can also recommend modifications to the home to increase safety;
- Speech therapy to assist with communication skills, language, and swallowing;
- Emotional support from social workers who can provide counseling to families as they face obstacles and challenges;
- Tailored nutrition plans from registered dietitians.
Podiatry services providing comprehensive diabetic foot care, including wound care of the lower leg, foot, and angle, and nail care are often available from individual podiatry practices.
Many older adults are not ready to move to assisted living, but still need some help with the household and non-medical assistance for themselves while remaining in the home. National and local home care agencies have a trained staff of aides who can provide help with the following:
- Daily chores
- Light housekeeping
- Transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and activities
- Assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting
- Medication management
- Meal Preparation and help with meal planning
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