Facts About Home Base Care

The facts of homebased care and keeping loved ones comfortable for longer

Caring for the frail and elderly is an arduous task and a responsibility that family members assume without hesitation; coming from a place of love and compassion. But it also means they will inevitably give up a portion of their own plans and lifestyle to do this.

A retirement facility can offer the specialised care that is needed to keep the frail comfortable and cared for medically. But the emotional impact of displacement and separation from their home and family members can be very stressful and traumatic.

What is home based care and why is at-home caretaking becoming the preferred option for the frail, elderly, sick and persons living with disability?

Clients in the home based care system often cope much better than in a retirement facility as they stay independent for longer. Home based care removes the need for parting with loved ones, pets, and the comfort of a patient’s own, familiar home environment – where they can stay in spite of frailty and incapacity.

What is a care worker?

A care worker is not a medically trained professional, but rather a person who comes into the home of someone who cannot care for themselves and provide activities of daily living (ADLs) – a term used in healthcare to refer to people’s daily self-care activities. Common ADLs include feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, cleaning oneself after defecating and leisure.

The duties of care workers do not include domestic work, but rather attendance to the client’s immediate environment – to keep them comfortable and cared for.

Care workers can serve as a source of entertainment and companionship; attention is given to build lasting relationships with the client. They show compassion and understanding for the client’s debilitating environment and help to re-establish a sense of self-worth.

Playing games with the elderly and persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia is a great way to stimulate memory and cognitive functioning. It is also a distraction from an otherwise monotonous or stressful environment.

 

What are the criteria to qualify as a client in the home based care system?

Home based care clients range from very sick, frail persons that are minimally aware of their surrounds, to someone who might still be able to take care of themselves, but who is lonely or grieving the loss of a partner and yearns for companionship.

What is respite care and who can benefit from it?

Respite care is a form of short-term or emergency relief offered to the permanent caretaker of a patient, who is often an unpaid family member. It offers them a temporary rest from their duties, be that to restore a sense of balance, or to attend to unforeseen situations that require their commitment.

How is home based care presented into your loved one’s home environment?

There are different types of contracts available that are tailored to the caring-needs of the client. Care workers are available part-time, day or night, or to live with the client in their home on a more permanent basis.

A registered professional nurse will first assess and evaluate a new client based on their lifestyle and health factors, upon which a recommendation is prepared with suggestions in terms of the number of hours and frequency of shifts that is required to optimally care for the client.

Upon acceptance of the contract, the registered professional nurse will discuss the Nursing Care Plan with the care worker for implementation and do scheduled follow-up visits to ensure that the Nursing care plan is implemented correctly, and to make adjustments if needed.

Is home based care covered by your medical aid scheme?

Some medical aid schemes have a home based care benefit. Prospective clients can enquire directly from their medical aid scheme to determine their eligibility for this benefit. A letter of motivation can be provided to clients upon request.