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Assisted Living, Lifestyle

What is Personal Care?

When fingers become less nimble and muscles don’t cooperate the way they used to, it can be difficult to navigate the activities of daily living. As tasks like dressing and taking care of your personal hygiene become a burden, you may be surprised to discover how far personal care can go toward improving your quality of life.

What is personal care?

Personal care services allow older adults to maintain their dignity and independence while getting a helping hand with activities such as bathing, preparing meals and tidying the house. While an individual may still be well suited for independent living, help from a trained caregiver can provide peace of mind and reduce reliance on family members, live-in care or other sources of support.

At Village on the Green, independent living residents can access Lifespace Personal Care Services, which offers trained, vetted caregivers who provide assistance with activities of daily living, companionship, cooking, light housekeeping, transportation and more.

What is personal care for one person may not be for another. That’s why individual care plans are customized to meet each resident’s personal preferences and abilities for everything from assistance with regular showers and grooming to managing grocery shopping or monitoring medication.

Unlike costly private duty caregivers that require significant daily minimums, the Lifespace program allows for as little as an hour a day. Residents are always encouraged to take as active a role as they wish in their own care, and as needs evolve, services can change to help a resident remain independent for as long as possible under assisted care is required.

While it’s important to understand what personal care is, it’s equally important to understand what the service is not. While some caregivers are qualified to assist with managing medications and minor medical needs, generally they’re not able to deliver skilled nursing or medical care like physical therapy or monitoring vital signs.

healthcare worker assisting an elderly woman in a skilled nursing home

Who provides the services?

With a better understanding of what personal care is, you may be eager to arrange for your loved one to begin using these services. In a private setting, a fair bit of research goes into finding individuals or companies qualified and certified to provide the services you need. There are also scheduling and availability considerations, along with the financial aspect of covering the care.

Residents utilizing the Lifespace Personal Care Services program have access to caregivers who are employed directly by the organization. That means Lifespace, not you or your family members, is responsible for screening, training, supervision, and the regulatory and tax liabilities related to the program. Fees for the service remain within the community, helping enhance and sustain the program.

healthcare worker showing an elderly woman which prescriptions to take

Who qualifies for personal care?

Practically anyone can qualify for personal care services, but the bigger question is often when those services are needed. For some people, a traumatic event like a fall or illness signals the need for extra help or illuminates what personal care is and how it can affect quality of life. In other cases, it’s a gradual process that evolves over time.

For many older adults, knowing when extra hands can be helpful isn’t always clear. Privacy and independence are sacred, and it can be very humbling to accept help to accomplish everything you once took for granted.

Often, family members are best suited to watch for signs that a little extra help could be beneficial. You might notice:

  • A change in appearance as a result of problems dressing or grooming
  • Changes in weight due to problems shopping for or preparing nutritious meals
  • Minor wounds or injuries indicating slips, falls or other accidents
  • An unkempt house or other signs of limited housekeeping, like piles of laundry
  • Unpaid bills, late notices and lapses in prescription renewals
  • Irritability or other behaviors that suggest something isn’t quite right

If a little extra assistance could improve your enjoyment of life or give greater peace of mind to a loved one, personal care might be right for you. Learn more about the personal care services available to residents at Village on the Green by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

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