Planning for Personal Care

What should I consider when looking for care?

What services do I need?

Typically, a disease, illness, or disability leads people to seek home care. Services are needed when your safety, health, or overall well being may be in jeopardy without them. For example, if you are unable to prepare meals — a situation that could affect your diet and health — then you would need assistance with meal preparation. Some older people find it difficult to accept the reality that help needed. Therefore, deciding which home and personal care services you need might be best done through conversations with someone you trust, such as a loved one, a friend, a doctor, a social worker, or a nurse.

How often and for how long will I need these services?

As your needs change, the length and types of home care may vary. For example, at first you may just need a few hours per week for House cleaning and grocery shopping, but later, recovering from surgery, you may need help with meal preparation and nursing care for a couple of months. Someone who is living with a difficult chronic medical condition like macular degeneration (an often incurable disease that impairs vision) or Alzheimer’s disease may require services long into the future. Your doctor, family members, home care provider, and other concerned people in your life can all help you determine how much care, what kind of care, and the frequency of care that is needed.

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