Home Healthcare Services: Common Questions Answered

The term “home healthcare” refers to home visits made my professional healthcare professionals such as Personal Support Workers (PSWs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs) and Therapists. Ageing at home is becoming increasingly popular among Seniors who need extra support when they can no longer live alone. Professional homecare offers Seniors assistance with daily activities and companionship. Everyone has their own reason for needing at-home assistance — whether it’s for mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or part-time help with basic household tasks and regular exercise.

We’re Integracare, and we’ve provided the highest quality home care services in Toronto and the surrounding area for nearly 30 years. Our Clients and their families rely on our expertly trained Caregivers and Personal Support Workers to help their loved ones maintain a high quality of life and a happy, healthy home. We understand that people choosing healthcare options have many questions. For example, you might wonder what the benefits of home healthcare are, or what exactly does Live-in care mean? Are there advantages to home healthcare over a long-term nursing facility?

If you’re deciding on your loved one’s healthcare and well-being, consider home healthcare when you’re assessing your options. There are several benefits of at-home living for Seniors. Read on to find the answers to your home healthcare questions, and to discover why it’s the ideal solution for Seniors who want to age in the comfort of their own home.

What Does Home Healthcare Provide?

First and foremost, home healthcare provides your friend or family member with companionship and independence. Seniors may need extra care and support, but they’re still adults who wish to maintain their dignity. Our PSWs and RPNs can assist Seniors with their daily activities without making them feel like they’re no longer independent or in control of their lives.

Our PSWs know how to keep Clients comfortable and safe, and they’ll often aid in light household management tasks. These household tasks can include:

  • Taking out the trash
  • Tidying up the home
  • Removing tripping or falling hazards
  • Washing the dishes
  • Medication and prescription reminders
  • And other household tasks Seniors are no longer capable of carrying out.

Whether your friend or relative requires part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from Caregiving, Integracare PSWs, and RPNs are here to help. We’re committed to fostering independence and peace of mind at home. Home healthcare offers a higher quality of living than other healthcare environments such as assisted living or long-term care facilities because your loved one receives exclusive, one-on-one attention. As a friend or family member, you’ll feel so much more relaxed knowing that your loved one has someone to look after them at all times and that they’re receiving professional, friendly, expert health and medical care all within the intimate, familiar and safe space of the home.

What is Live-in Care, and does Home Healthcare Offer 24-7 Assistance?

While not all home healthcare providers offer Live-in, 24-hour care, Integracare is proud to provide this service to Clients who need it. Whether your loved one has limited mobility or is no longer able to perform daily or nightly tasks without assistance, our expert and compassionate PSWs can provide quality personalized care and form meaningful relationships with them.

We always screen our PSWs thoroughly. We want all of our Clients to match with a PSW that can provide them with the compassion and resources they need to age in place comfortably and feel joy in their daily lives. Our Live-in Caregivers and PSWs will assist with meal preparation, personal care and hygiene, household tasks, and other assigned duties. Every Client’s schedule is different, and we’ll make sure that your loved one gets the best care from the ideal Caregiver, any time they need.

your guide to choosing Senior home healthcare

What are the Benefits of Home Healthcare and What Makes it Different than Other Services?

Unlike assisted living communities or long-term care homes, home healthcare brings services and healthcare directly to your loved one’s doorstep. They can enjoy life while receiving professional support in a familiar environment. There’s nothing quite like waking up in your own bed and watching TV in your private living room. Living at home provides a personalized health plan, customized to suit your loved one’s unique lifestyle.

We believe that Seniors deserve to feel happy and healthy, wherever they call home, and our goal is to improve our Clients’ quality of life by bringing health services directly to them. We offer a broad range of specialized Caregiving programs. Our specialized programs include:

  • Wound Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Dementia Care
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Registered Practical Nursing Care
  • And other related services that will help your loved one live a joyful and happy life.

All of the services we provide are lead by expert Caregivers and PSWs. While such services exist at long-term homes and other assisted facilities, receiving treatments at home is different because your loved one will develop a personal relationship with their Caregivers. They’ll look forward to their visits from a familiar face — a PSW that they’ll come to know and love.

Let’s take a closer look at some of our specialized services and how your family member or friend might benefit from our at-home Caregiving.

Dementia Care

Has your relative or friend recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of Dementia? Coming to terms with a Dementia diagnosis can be incredibly challenging for the affected individual and their friends and families. Dementia is a disease that progresses with time. The sad reality is that as time passes, Dementia symptoms worsen, and as of today, there is no cure for the disease. You’re going to need all the help you can get.

Integracare offers at-home Dementia Care to help those with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia to continue living as comfortably and independently as possible. We believe that educating our staff is the most important responsibility as a healthcare provider. When a Caregiver is prepared to handle situations with educated competency, you’ll have much better peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands.

Our Dementia Care PSWs are highly trained and receive on-going comprehensive education and training programs from the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto. We can confidently say that 100 per cent of our Caregivers are equipped with the resources and knowledge needed to support Clients at every stage of Dementia.

If your relative or friend experiences Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, talk to them about our at home dementia care services. They might appreciate that such a service will enable them to stay close to their friends and family and continue to age while in the comfort of home. Our Dementia Care program also coincides with our Live-in Care program because as Dementia progresses, people with the disease will require round-the-clock attention.

Massage Therapy

Nothing feels better than the gentle therapeutic touch of a massage, particularly as a Senior with aches and pains from arthritis and other joint conditions that often occur with age. Massage Therapy is also beneficial for people with Dementia and those with other types of severe conditions who receive Palliative Care. Massage Therapy is a fundamental element of Palliative Care because it provides a compassionate, loving embrace in times of uncertainty and pain. It’s an effective therapy for nearly any condition that includes a stress component. Diseases and illnesses, including pain and muscle tension in the shoulder, back, and neck, stress injuries, migraines, depression, and anxiety, can all be helped by regular Massage Therapy treatments.

Many Seniors lead sedentary lifestyles due to time spent in wheelchairs or lying down, which can cause poor circulation. Massage Therapy can help increase blood flow to the muscles, eliminating toxins, and enhancing healing times for injuries. Reduced mobility can also lead to poor circulation and nerve function, resulting in degeneration — the shortening of muscles and rigidness in joints people often experience. Regular massage helps shortened muscles with gentle stretching.

We believe that our Clients deserve all the advantages that home healthcare offers, including the incredible benefits of Massage Therapy. Our Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) conveniently bring such a service right to your loved one’s homes, improving their quality of life. Our RMTs are carefully trained to work with Senior Clients — utilizing techniques that suit your loved one’s particular health and personal requirements. They’ll offer gentle massage strokes while also providing compassionate and friendly therapeutic support.

Wound Care

Has your loved one recently been discharged from the hospital with a surgical wound? You’re going to need a professional Registered Nurse to change, dress, and clean the affected area. Sometimes, surgical wounds take months to heal fully, and they’ll need tending to at least once a day. Integracare is happy to provide our Clients with one of our RPNs to deliver private Nursing at-home. Post-surgery recovery can be a challenging and sensitive time for you and your loved one. Speak with Integracare in advance of the surgery and connect with one of our Registered Nurses with the precise training and expertise to offer the best dressing or wound care at home for your friend or family member.

When Is It Best to Start Home Healthcare?

There’s no simple answer to know when a Senior should start home healthcare. Everyone has different needs and expectations, but you should also know that it’s never too early and never too late. People living alone are sometimes lonely and experience depression or anxiety. Such Seniors often don’t like to bother others with their concerns, leaving isolation and risk to creep in. They don’t want to burden anyone. As a family member or friend, it can be a daunting task to know how to approach a loved one that you’re concerned about. It’s essential to be open about healthcare options and gently suggest that they may need extra support in the home. Check out your guide to choosing Senior home healthcare to find out more about specific details and further information about navigating home healthcare options for your loved one.

Seniors often manage well living at home, and it only takes one minor setback to turn a circumstance around — the flu, a fall, a sudden illness, or an adverse reaction to a medication. A situation can develop fast, affecting the lives of many, causing worry and creating havoc while trying to find the right help. Home care is an excellent compromise — there’s more flexibility than moving, and a schedule can be made to suit individual needs. Safely ageing in place with a trained and experienced professional team of healthcare workers allows your loved one to strengthen relationships and connect with their friends and family members from a familiar and beloved space.

What Are the Challenges for a New Caregiver

There’s no denying that the position of Caregiver (or PSW) has its challenging moments. New Caregivers have to adjust to a significant amount of stress when they’re on the job. While all of our Caregivers love what they do and are all certified or registered and highly trained, it’s not easy to spend long hours on the job. Spending hours away from their families and friends, working with Seniors who have illnesses; it takes a unique personality type to be successful at this type of work.

We take our hiring process exceptionally seriously at Integracare. We look for extensive, relevant experience and qualifications, and we also look for sincerity, compassion, and outstanding problem-solving skills. We understand that the job can be overwhelming at times, so we ensure our staff is ready for the challenge. We look for people who can remain calm and professional while also exhibiting compassion and empathy to Clients when they’re in crisis mode. You can always count on Integracare for the highest quality healthcare service and professional healthcare staff.

What’s unique about home healthcare is that it’s simple, convenient, and everything works around you and your loved one’s schedules. Ageing at home enables Clients to improve their quality of life. They don’t have to go through the stress of moving out of their beloved home into an overcrowded long-term home facility. Your loved one won’t become another face in the crowd; he or she will receive personalized care from a trusted team of PSWs and Nurses who often become beloved, extended members of the family.