Mansfield, MA August 26, 2016 — According to Peter in Marshfield, MA whose mother is 93, still living independently in nearby Hingham, MA and relatively healthy for her age, using a local south shore MA home care agency has made a huge difference for his family over the years. “Knock on wood, my mom is doing well and still lives alone at home,” said Peter, who lives about 20 minutes away. “Yet, having access to a home care agency has been a real difference maker on several occasions in recent years. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”
Although Peter admits that it’s mostly a moot point since it would be very difficult to convince his mother to live in an independent or assisted living facility, the nice thing about home care is that he’s been able to use it whenever he needed it.
“In a facility you obviously can’t very well send mom there for a week or two and then have her return home when she’s ready to leave,” he said. “But you can ‘pay by the drink,’ so to speak, when it comes to home care.”
Most Massachusetts home care agencies offer respite services, which give families the chance to use a home health aide when they need to and to have the aide work in the home of a family member for as many hours as necessary. In Peter’s case, his experience with home care began nearly 10 years ago after his mother returned home from two weeks in rehab after undergoing surgery.
“I’m in my own business and I couldn’t afford to take off the two weeks after she came home, so I knew I would need someone to help her out and make sure she was safe,” said Peter. “She couldn’t be alone. Plus, I didn’t feel I was the one to change bandages and, frankly, I would not have felt comfortable showering her or taking her to the bathroom.”
The home health aide did this. She also helped her get dressed in the morning and groomed and properly fed, did some light housekeeping around the house, and made sure she took her medication. Once she was able to get out of bed, the elderly woman was driven by the aide to her doctor’s appointment. Spending eight hours each day during the first two weeks, after which Peter and his wife would take over until his mother fell asleep at night, the home health aide eventually reduced her time to three hours a day, then every other day, until his mom was back on her feet.
Several years later, when his mother tripped and fell taking out the garbage, suffering a concussion, Peter called the agency again and had a home health aide look after her until he was sure she was safe.
More recently, Peter has an aide stay with his mother now whenever he and his family go away on vacation. “She’s doing pretty well, but having an aide there for a few hours a day while we’re out of town, gives me peace of mind,” said Peter. “She’s used this aide several times before so she’s very comfortable with her and I know she’s safe.”
Peter also feels confident that in the future, should his mother require additional home care, he will be able to call on the home care agency again.
“Let’s face it, one’s needs change in this population,” said Peter. “That’s the beauty of using a home care agency. “Home care gives me the flexibility to use it whenever and as much as it’s necessary.”