The very word “home” conjures up images of warmth, love, and comfort. It’s no wonder then that the vast majority of seniors would choose to remain at home throughout aging if given the option. And thankfully, that option is a viable one for many with the help of professional in-home senior care support: one-on-one support that is available right when a senior needs it, without the need to press a “call nurse” button and wait for attention.
In contrast, especially during times of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care facilities, once considered an inevitable part of aging, have become something older adults and their families want to avoid at all cost. In fact, a recent report revealed that a number of nursing homes in the state of Illinois alone have closed because of financial difficulties, and the ones that are remaining open are faced with staffing challenges.
In fact, Illinois nursing homes have also received the distinction of providing the lowest ratio of caregiving staff to seniors, as well as poor rankings in the use of sedation medications given to seniors without a corresponding psychiatric diagnosis that would warrant the need for them.
Ryan Gruenenfelder, director of advocacy and outreach for AARP, delivers an equally dire warning: “Inadequate staffing at many Illinois nursing homes leaves residents neglected, malnourished, suffering from bed sores or worse.”
Compare these differences in facility care vs. home care:
Long-term care in a facility setting:
- Opens up the possibility for the rampant spread of infection, as well as an increased risk for falls and other types of injury
- Requires residents to wait for assistance, based on a low staff-to-resident ratio
- Has set times for meals and activities, requiring residents to conform to their schedule
- Care is a “one-size-fits-all” approach, rather than customized for each individual
- Brings about a sense of loss: of home, personal belongings, even a sense of identity
Professional care at home:
- Reduces the risk for infection and injury
- Is safe, with thoroughly screened caregivers who support the senior at all times with one-on-one care
- Helps seniors set and achieve individualized, personal goals
- Maintains preferred routines and schedules, so older adults can seamlessly continue living life the way they envisioned
- Allows for faster recovery and healing after a hospitalization, while also helping to avoid preventable visits to the E/R
- Offers customized care, from just a few hours a week to help with bathing, dressing, and preparing meals, up through and including full-time, live-in care
Most importantly, home care empowers seniors to retain their sense of self, living in the comfortable environment they’ve established over the years, filled with memories and mementos collected over a lifetime.
At SYNERGY HomeCare, our mission is to ensure that Chicago area seniors have access to the high quality in-home care services that help them thrive and remain safe and well in the comfort of home. We adhere to two simple core values:
- We treat each senior in our care as we would our own parents, and
- We hire only those caregivers we would want caring for our parents.
We also go to great lengths to ensure the safety of both the seniors we serve and our caregiving team, following the COVID-19 safety guidelines issued by the CDC, OSHA, and state and local health departments, which include:
- Temperature checks
- Personal protective equipment
- Frequent hand-washing
- Social distancing when applicable
- Sanitizing the home
- And other practices based on state/local regulations