According to Canadian census data from 2016, our country now has over 5.9 million seniors – now outnumbering the 5.8 million children here under the age of 14. More and more, we have what we call the “sandwich generation” – adults who are still raising children of their own but who need to make care decisions for their aging parents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light some serious safety concerns in the way we are caring for the elderly – particularly in long term care homes. According to data, 18% of COVID cases and 82% of deaths in Canada were linked to these homes. Among seniors who were receiving in-home care, the data estimates that less than 0.5% of these seniors contracted the virus, suggesting that when it comes to outbreaks such as this, home care is still the safer option.
Even if COVID-19 passes without a second wave, nursing homes can still suffer outbreaks of other serious viruses such as influenza, Norwalk, and others.
Other Benefits of Home Care
Of course, there are other benefits to home care as well. Seniors receiving care in their homes get more personalized attention. In a nursing home environment – no matter how good the staff is – there are many more seniors needing care, meaning that they each have to “wait their turn.”
Additionally, seniors living at home tend to be more mentally and physically healthy than those living in a long-term care facility. Perhaps part of this is because they just feel more comfortable staying in their own home where someone else isn’t setting the “rules” for what time they eat or take a bath. Family and friends can visit when they want and are not be restricted to certain times.
Being at home also means that seniors can enjoy the types of meals that they like to eat. At nursing homes, where they have to prepare food in larger quantities, residents may only be given a couple of options per meal and these may not be cooked or seasoned to their liking. Living at home, seniors can enjoy tasty and nutritious meals every day.
So, if you are looking for care options for your elderly parents, explore home care. It may be a better and less costly option than you think!