The “aging network” provides many resources for the elderly and their families at little or no cost. The challenge is understanding what those services are, what they are called and how to access them. There are two broad categories of resources available to seniors. One subset of those services is available through agencies and organizations called “community-based services.” The other category of resources is known as “in-home” or “home-based” services. In this post, we will discuss In-Home Services.
- Homemaker/Chore Services – A Homemaker or Home Health Aide is a trained person who can come to a person’s home and assist with care and daily activities Some of the activities that an aide may help with include housekeeping, cooking, shopping and companionship.
- Home Health Care – For an individual who needs more help with personal care, the service might include help with bathing, dressing, eating and/or wound care. In this situation, the home health aides are not nurses, but they may be supervised by a registered nurse.
- Respite Care – Respite care refers to short-term, temporary care provided to someone who needs assistance so that a family caregiver can take a break from the daily routine, challenges and stress of caring for an aging adult. “Respite care allows family caregivers some time away, while knowing that their relative is getting the care and companionship he or she needs.” (See caregiverstress.com for more information)
- Meals on Wheels – Hot, nutritious meals are available to be delivered to the elderly, disabled, and homebound. It is funded by the federal government and relies on volunteers and donations to fulfill its mission. Meals are typically delivered Monday through Friday. Some programs provide a weekend meal as well.
- Friendly Visitors – This program matches seniors with volunteers for weekly one-hour companionship sessions. There is no cost for this program.
Home Services for Veterans
The Veterans’ Administration offers financial support for Veterans who need skilled services, case management and help with activities of daily living at home. This program is designed to assist veterans who are isolated or to help a caregiver with the burden of caregiving. Homemaker and Home Health Aide services can be used in combination with other Home and Community Based Services. Contact the Veterans Administration for more information.