Blog Home > Blog > 6 Signs to Watch For: How to Know When You Need More In-Home Support

When you first become a caregiver, you may think that you can handle everything on your own. After all, you want to do everything you can for your loved one. However, there may come a time when you need to ask for help from professional caregivers. This can be difficult to do, but it is important to remember that professional caregivers can provide vital support. In this article, we’ll explore how to know when you need more in-home support.

What is Home Care?

Home care generally refers to any type of health care or support that is provided in someone’s home. This can include everything from helping someone recover from a short-term injury, to providing ongoing support for chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Home care can be provided by a variety of professionals, including nurses, therapists, and home health aides. In many cases, family members and friends also play an important role (or the main role) in providing home care. 

What Does a Home Care Team Look Like?

The level of care required will vary depending on the individual’s needs, but the goal is always to help the person remain as independent and safe as possible. For many people, home care is a preferred alternative to living in a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility. It allows them to age in place with dignity. Home care can also be more affordable than other types of long-term care options, such as assisted living or nursing homes. 

RNs, therapists, and home care aides are all vital members of the home health care team. They work together to develop a plan of care that meets your individual needs and goals. 

  • RNs provide nursing care and coordinate your loved one’s overall care. 
  • Therapists provide therapy services to help your loved one regain or maintain their physical strength and abilities. 
  • Home care aides provide personal care and homemaking services.

Together, they will make sure your loved one receives the high-quality, coordinated care they need to get better and/or stay healthy and independent.

How to Know When You Need More In-Home Support

At some point you may notice your loved one has needs beyond what you can continue to safely handle. Let’s dive into a few ways to tell if that’s becoming the case:

  1. You’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. If you’re constantly worrying about your loved one and feeling like you can’t keep up, it’s time to ask for help.
  2. You’re not getting enough sleep. Caregiving can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically. If you’re finding yourself waking up in the middle of the night or struggling to get out of bed in the morning, it’s a sign that you need some additional support.
  3. You’re not taking care of yourself. When you’re focused on caring for someone else, it’s easy to let your own health and wellbeing fall by the wayside. If you’ve been skipping meals, neglecting your own medical care, or just generally not taking care of yourself, it’s a sign that you need more help.
  4. You’re feeling isolated and lonely. Caring for a loved one can be a very isolating experience. If you’re starting to feel cut off from the outside world, it may be time to ask for some additional support.
  5. You’re starting to experience financial difficulties. Caring for a loved one can be expensive, particularly if you have to take time off work or make other adjustments to your lifestyle. If you’re starting to struggle financially, it’s important to reach out for help before things get too tough.
  6. You or your loved one are experiencing changes in mood or behavior. Personal care tasks (like grooming, bathing, and dressing) can be the most difficult tasks for a caregiver. If your loved one is fighting back or giving you more mood swings than normal, it may be time to consider added help.

What Does a Professional Care Team Cost?

A professional home care team can help with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, medical care, such as medication or shot administration, and they can also provide respite care. This means that they can take over the caregiving duties for a period of time, giving you a much-needed break. In addition, professional caregivers can offer emotional support and guidance, and so much more.

The costs for this average as follows according to A Place for Mom:

  • Over 90% of home care agencies charge an hourly rate for their services
  • The median cost of home care in the U.S. was $24 per hour as of 2020 (though California averages closer to $28 per hour as of 2020).
  • Where your loved one’s care falls on the price spectrum will depend on where you live, their needs (i.e., specialized vs. general care)
  • The avergae cost for a full-time in-home care specialist (based on 40 hours per week for the average hourly rate in California) is around $4,900 month.
  • This is roughly half the rate of a full-time live-in care arrangement, which averages about $9,800 for a shared room, and $12,200 for a private room per month. (Source)

Closing Thoughts

It can be tough to make the choice to get support in your journey to care for your loved one, but if you feel it’s time to share the load, you’re not alone, and you’re probably right. 

If you’re providing care to a loved one, we invite you to check out our free resources. To get more information about the resources we have available to you as a California caregiver, contact us at the California Caregiver Resource Center nearest to you or join CareNav for free today.

Further Reading: Getting Paid to Provide Care for a Loved One

If you are a caregiver, we recommend you check out our article about getting paid to be a caregiver in California next. Becoming a caregiver is both physically and mentally difficult, and expensive. The state of California offers several paths for least partial compensation or subsidized assistance, so click here to learn more about how to get paid to be a caregiver.

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