A recent study indicated that the wishes of patients at the end of their lives are not always in line with what their caregivers are doing, or even what their caregivers are trying to do. While this is an eye opening study for elderly folks in hospitals and under hospice care, it also speaks volumes about those receiving senior care, but not yet near the end of their lives. This goes for both in-home care and assisted living, as senior citizens receiving these are often in similar physical and mental conditions.
Balancing the needs of an elderly loved one with their wants is not easy. This becomes even more difficult when dementia is involved. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible, though. You need to make sure that all physical needs are met, and once this is accomplished, then the focus needs to be on mental needs, and then finally, wants. Satisfying wants is important because this helps to enhance mental needs. And when mental needs are maintained, it is easier to maintain physical needs. This helps to establish for caregivers why keeping the people that they help out happy and content, even if the actions that accomplish these things are not necessary right away.
Patients that are dying have three big wants: they wish to extend their lives, they wish to be pain free, and they wish to pass away at home. Some of these are possible, some are not. In-home care helps with the last, but it is possible that it can help with the first two, as well. This is because in-home care provides companionship and distraction from the long days by themselves. Just being able to sit and talk with someone for a few hours can help with mental health so much, and improving things here has a trickle down effect.
One of the more interesting things that the study revealed was that when dollar amounts were placed on these three goals, the most important and most valuable thing to seniors was dying at home. This was given the highest value by those receiving care, but the caregivers that were polled placed a greater emphasis on extending life. This just goes to show us that the quality of life is valued almost twice as much as quantity of life. When you are arranging senior care for a loved one, this is something that you will want to take into account. It’s also one more reason why you should be considering in-home care if it is applicable to your loved one’s physical status. It accomplishes the goal of dying at home, and it provides a lot of happiness at the same time. This is not something that should ever be disregarded. The good news is that most seniors will thrive under in-home care, and even those with disabilities will often meet the requirements of those who will benefit. Only extreme medical needs should be treated at a nursing home or a hospital, which opens this door even more widely. For most, in-home care is the first thing that should be considered.