In 2011, the Home Visit Program of Seattle made 138 visits to the elderly during the holiday season. This free service, operated by senior care professionals at Emeritus at Decatur, a division of Emeritus Senior Living, is planning on expanding in the coming years. Rachel Kohl, Emeritus at Decatur’s regional operations director, facilitates the program in order to prevent senior depression and suicide – common during the holidays.
“Memories of happier holidays earlier in life can trigger depression,” Kohl explains, adding, “The loss of a spouse or close friends, physical distance from family, diminished physical capacity and health may be felt more keenly at this time.” Since seniors are unlikely to seek professional help for their depression, many suffer in silence. Some turn to alcohol, or stop taking care of basic daily needs, such as bathing or eating according to Kohl in a recent article posted from the Seattle Times.
The Limitations of Occasional Home Visits
Although the friendly staff of Emeritus Senior Living works diligently to visit the seniors of their community, occasional drop-in visits may not always be enough. When appropriate, nurses conduct evaluations of seniors who may need additional care.
“We may bring a hot meal, snack or dessert, and we also offer a listening ear and companionship,” Kohl says, “Afterward, if needed, we coordinate between families and community resources or we make recommendations.” Such recommendations may include in-home care, with the added security of a quality home care system and home care software.
Arranging for Additional Assistance
The vast majority of seniors prefer remaining in their homes as they age. Unfortunately, not all elderly ones are capable of caring for themselves – especially if there is a disability or illness involved. With the help of a reliable home care system and home care software, such as that provided by ClearCare, all seniors can enjoy safe and quality care in their homes.
Programs like Home Visit by Emeritus are designed to help seniors cope with loneliness that can accompany the winter holidays. But what about the rest of the year? An honest evaluation may reveal that more regular assistance is required.
Countless home care agencies have answered the call for additional elder care options, building solid reputations for quality care. Rather than the occasional drop-in visit, regularly scheduled home care can benefit seniors and their families in a variety of ways. Agencies that use ClearCare’s home care software and home care system match appropriate caregivers with each client, ensuring the proper care is always provided. Experienced and trained caregivers can assist with:
- Medication management
- Meal preparation
- Dressing and grooming
- Social engagements/appointments
- Enjoyable daily activities
Not only does ClearCare’s home care system and home care software benefit seniors, it’s equally advantageous for family members. When you can’t be with your loved one as much as you’d like, feelings of guilt and anxiety are common. Imagine the peace of mind you’d enjoy if you could check in on your elderly father or mother anytime, anywhere. With ClearCare’s web-based home care software and home care system, such real-time visibility is possible.
Although the Home Visit Program is doing a wonderful thing, the reality is that many more seniors are suffering this holiday season. Volunteers may not be able to reach them all, however home care agencies equipped with state of the art home care systems from ClearCare han help.