6 home care services you didn’t know you could get

Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

There’s more to home care than housework.

Sure, it’s a big part of helping seniors maintain independence in their homes – but that’s not all there is to it.

In addition to all the usual services that come to mind, there are a number of services you might not have realised can be covered by a Home Care Package.

Here are 6 examples of home care services you might not have known about.

Pet Support

Aussies love animals. In fact, 38% of Australian households have a dog, while 29% have a cat.

But as we get older, it gets harder to give our four-legged friends what they need.

Some home care providers offer pet support, like taking your doggo for a walk and some Frisbee fun, giving them a wash, or taking the kitty to see the vet.

Not only is this a massive health benefit for pets, it means they can stay with their owners for longer.

And considering pets are so good for our wellbeing, this service is a no-brainer.

Manicures & Massage

We all like to look our best. For many women, that includes having pretty painted nails!

As part of a personal care service, you could ask your support worker for a simple manicure to keep your fingers looking fancy. This service is particularly popular with seniors who have arthritis or other medical conditions that affect fine motor skills.

And who doesn’t love a good massage? Some home care providers can offer massage therapy for a full body experience, reflexology to help release stress through the feet or more specialised lymphedema massage to help reduce swelling in the legs.

Exercise Plans

Even though we all know exercise is good for us, it’s easy to take the importance of an active lifestyle for granted, no matter our age.

Moderate exercise increases life expectancy, but as we become frail with age and the risk of falls increases, a sedentary lifestyle often feels like the safest option. However studies show that physically active seniors are less at risk of falls than seniors who aren’t active, reinforcing just how important it is to keep moving.

Even if you’re still as fit as a fiddle, there’s plenty to gain from an exercise plan tailored to you. A physiotherapist can assess your strength, mobility and balance, and design a plan that helps to improve your overall conditioning so you can reduce your risk of falls and keep on doing your thing.

Creative Sessions

Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing.

Expressing ourselves creatively is a fun and fulfilling way to boost our mental wellbeing, and music and art are two ways you can do just that.

In fact, people who spend at least 2 hours per week engaged with performing arts, visual arts or literature reported better mental wellbeing than their less artsy counterparts.

Some home care providers can help you get involved with music or art sessions, whether that’s as simple as listening to music together or painting in your home, or attending a socially stimulating group music or art therapy workshop.

>> READ: 6 reasons why music improves wellbeing

Assistive Technology

Technology has come a long way. Today, there are plenty of gadgets and devices out there that can make life a whole lot easier, especially for seniors.

Tablets like the Apple iPad have become increasingly popular with the older demographic over the last decade. Not only are they sleeker and faster than a laptop, they can be loaded with all sorts of handy apps.

Need a reminder to take your medication? There’s an app for that. Can’t read the tiny text in that restaurant menu? There’s an app for that. Can’t find your phone… or your parking spot? Yep - there’s an app for that.

In fact, just learning to use an iPad can help you improve your cognitive ability, as well as increase your independence – a big reason why purchasing a tablet and learning how to master it can often be covered under a Home Care Package.

Fun Outings

Transport is one of the most common home care services – but it’s not just used for shopping runs or medical appointments.

We’ve already mentioned how important mental wellbeing is, and of course, having a good time is part of that!

But as we get older, it’s not as easy to go and do the things we love. Don’t just assume your home care provider only wants to keep the house spick and span – talk to them about your favourite hobbies, and see how they can help put a smile on your dial.

If you’d like to grab some popcorn and see a rom-com – ask. If you’d like to visit your favourite old pub – ask. And if you just want to see the ocean again, all you need to do is ask.

… and everything else

Of course, most home care providers will make sure the inside and outside of your home is neat and tidy. Most will also offer meal preparation, personal care, shopping trips, home modifications, physio and occupational therapy, medication management and nursing.

If you’re looking for a home care provider, don’t just look at their list of services. Instead, ask them how they can help you be more independent in your home based on what makes you happy.

Instead of just coming and doing the gardening, maybe they could raise your garden beds so you can water your flowers yourself. Or, instead of giving you a lift to the library, maybe they could sort out some taxi vouchers using funds from your package, so you can head out in your own time.

Brightwater At Home offers all the services you’d expect, plus some you might not. Talk to our team today – we’ll find out what your goals are, and together, we’ll put a plan in action so you can be your best at home.