Companion care of our aged and handicapped loved ones has been difficult and challenging as you are forced to make important decisions on how to provide home medical care. In this case, you may be stressed out and exhausted by the difficulty in managing time for commitments and other life activities. However, you cannot become a hero as taking care for the elderly and disabled is challenging. Home nursing and community nursing services can help you manage precious time and resources thereby improving the health and medical condition of the patient. You actually have two choices, face the burden to provide companion care or hire a home nursing agency to help.
The Real Facts
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2003 report, there are 3.96 million (20% of the population) people have disabilities including 86% with specific limitations or restrictions. Accordingly, there are 3.35 million (16.9% of the population) people 60 years old and above including 51% with disability. These are glaring facts that show the significant number of elderly and disabled in Australia.
Statistics also show that majority of the elderly and disabled are living on their own with 2.83 million (14.3% of the population) people with disabilities including 1.38 million (7% of the population) elderly people with disabilities that need assistance with personal and other everyday activities. These statistics only goes to show that there is a growing need for companion care, home healthcare and community nursing services.
The Australian and state governments have established funded community care programs, Home and Community Care and Community Options Program, for people needing home healthcare services.
The Benefits of Companion Care
There is a big demand for personal care attendant services with a specific focus on companion care. Personal care workers are trained caregivers can act as the primary support for families with disabled or elderly loved ones. Aside from that, personal care attendants are much cheaper alternatives of registered nurses. They provide hands-on assistance with bathing, grooming, and dressing.
Companion care involves activities of daily living by assisting the patient to take a bath, dress, eat and walk, do light housework, meal preparation, take medications, shop for groceries or clothes, use the telephone and manage money.
More importantly, home nursing is much cheaper than institutionalised assisted living. The patients can still live in their own household but get similar services offered in nursing homes. Other than that, there is a much better interactive relationship between the caregiver and the patient. On the other hand, home care nurses are specially trained for certain home nursing services such as ambulatory care, paediatric care and geriatric care. They have the knowledge and experience in providing medications, monitoring nutritional intake and handling emergency medical situations.
For some patients suffering from specific disabilities, other healthcare providers provide specialists that include respiratory and occupational therapists, social workers and mental health workers.
The Necessity of Companion Care
There is a significant population of elderly and disabled in Australia and a greater need for quality home healthcare and companion care more than ever. Without reliable home nursing and home medical care services, the health of so many elderly and disabled would be jeopardised.