Caregiving at Home

1

Thinking About Home Care

2

Communication

3

Caring For Yourself

4

Setting Up Your Home, Safety and Body Mechanics

5

Preventing Infection in the Home

6

Normal and Abnormal Signs of Aging

7

Meeting Special Needs and Conditions

8

Death, Dying and Hospice Care

9

Providing Personal Care

10

Transfers and Ambulation

11

Basic Healthcare Skills

12

Healthy Eating and Hydration

13

Emergency Care

14

Medications

Chapter 1 Thinking About Home Care

Choosing to care for an elderly, ill, or disabled loved one at home is a monumental, life-altering decision. While there are significant benefits to such an arrangement, there are also many difficult adjustments for everyone involved, including the caregiver, the person being cared for, and other members of the household. Chapter 1, "Thinking About Home Care," helps you focus on the most important aspects of this decision. By providing concrete information about the benefits and resources available to home caregivers, this chapter helps reduce the anxiety of home care and make it more manageable.

Chapter 1 tells you where to look to find benefits and resources that will help you, including financial assistance, adult daycare, and personal grooming and housecleaning services. It will tell you how to ask for help from friends, family members and other volunteers and even offer suggestions for specific ways that they can help you, such as preparing a meal, filling the car with gas, or bringing over something special to share with your loved one.

This chapter also explores other alternatives to home care, including assisted living facilities and specialized facilities for those who have dementia. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of some financial and legal issues relevant to home care, including information about Medicare, Medicaid, and advance directives. While the decision of whether or not to provide home care is ultimately an individual one, Chapter 1 of Caregiving at Home will provide you with a starting point for making an informed, confident decision.