Discussing whether home care is right for yourself or a loved one can be difficult and you may have many queries that are influencing your decision. Some of the common questions people ask when considering home care are, will I lose my freedom? How will home care change my lifestyle? Who will be coming into my home?

All of these thoughts are completely normal to experience when making your decision, so it’s important to remember you are in control of how you are cared for. We have listed 10 common myths about home care and their realities, to clear any confusion you may have and help you come to an informed, more satisfied decision.

Myth #1 – I will lose my independence

This is probably the most common myth about home care because people believe home care means you cannot care for yourself – which is simply not true. People choose home care for a variety of reasons and each individual person will have different requirements. Home care is adapted to suit you and your needs, so we will only be there when you want or need us to be. The truth is, home care can in fact increase your independence. While our CAREGivers will keep you safer at home, they can also provide transport for organised outings with your friends, assist you with attending events and activities and accompany you to any hobbies you enjoy.

Myth #2 – I have no say in who comes to my home

That’s a scary thought, right? Luckily it’s just a myth. Your safety, security and comfort is our priority and we appreciate it can be daunting for someone new to come into your home. You absolutely have the right to express who you want as your CAREGiver. Remember, you have full control, flexibly and choice over your home care service. Each of our CAREGivers are selected specifically to match you and your individual needs and we will do everything in our power to set aside any concerns you may have, giving you the reassurance you want and deserve.

Myth #3 – All home care services are the same

Every client will have their own personal ambitions, goals and requirements; therefore your home care service should be customised to you. We get to know you first so your CAREGiver is chosen to suit you, not just your care plan. Furthermore, if you choose a self-employed carer, you may be responsible for background checks, hiring, scheduling, handling performance issues and payment of their income tax and superannuation. You will also need to hold appropriate insurances. If you opt for an agency carer, always check with the agency who holds the insurances and who you should pay for the services received. It’s a good idea to enquire how the agency ensures ongoing quality of services and whether they train their carers. Home Instead guarantees service coverage, compatibility of CAREGiver, develops a plan of care with you and follows a schedule to suit your personal needs.

Myth #4 – Only really sick or old people need home care

Did you know, most people receiving home care are not sick at all? While Home Instead can source and support your clinical care needs at home, the vast majority of home care clients enlist the help of CAREGivers to support their lifestyle and retain their independence at home. From transport to shopping, cooking, cleaning and washing the sheets – we find that a little bit of help goes a long way. You should never doubt your eligibility for home care because you only require assistance with basic day-to-day tasks. We have a range of clients with a large scale of needs, from seeking help with their shopping and preparing food to more serious dementia or palliative care. Our aim is for your CAREGiver to not only be your carer, but a companion. We’re open to supporting you in any way we can!

Myth #5 – CAREGivers interfere with your preferred daily routine

It’s understandable if this is a concern of yours. No one wants to feel like their lifestyle or freedom of choice has been taken from them. An important thing to remember is CAREGivers are there to improve your daily life, not control it. If you enjoy attending church on a Sunday morning, or your family come over for pasta every Tuesday evening, then that’s what you will continue to do. Your CAREGiver should fit seamlessly into your lifestyle, supporting you when, where and how you want them to. And who knows, they may even introduce you to an exciting new routine you love!

Myth #6 – The quality of home care is not as good as in a nursing home

Deciding between a nursing home and home care is a personal choice, and since everyone’s individual needs are different, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What you should know is each Home Instead CAREGiver must undertake a comprehensive, five-phase GRAD training program and we invest in ongoing education with specialist, advanced training programs in care management, dementia and palliative care. Our CAREGivers are also available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year! We find that 90% of Australians want to continue living in their own homes for as long as they possibly can. However, if your or your loved one’s home is residential aged care facility, Home Instead can still support you with a range of services such as companionship and transport to help you get out and about.

Myth #7 – Home care is too expensive for the majority

Home Instead never wants you to compromise on your health and safety, that’s why we offer flexible, affordable, quality care to all our clients. Like everything, the price range of home care varies depending on the required service. So, if you only need a CAREGiver for two hours per day, then you will only pay for two hour per day. Our clients are also offered the flexibility to choose the type of care and support required, when it will be delivered and the ability to change your services as and when you choose. What’s more, a Home Instead CAREGiver is available to support you at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there are no additional charges for services provided in the evenings.

Myth #8 – Home care is not a long-term solution

There’s a tendency to assume long-term senior care only exists in nursing homes, but this is a very fabricated belief. Home care includes personal, clinical and emotional support services that can enable seniors to continue living in the comfort of their own home. This, as well as the relationship our CAREGivers have with their senior clients, is the reason so many people choose to stay at home. If a loved one wishes to spend their last days at home, we can also establish a palliative care support team, develop a palliative care plan that meets your end of life preferences and guide you through any important decisions that may be required.

Myth #9 – People only need carers if they don’t have family around

The role of a family carer can be a 24/7 job requiring 100% of your attention, so it’s important you take good care of yourself so you can continue to care for your loved one. Our CAREGivers can assist you with your caring responsibilities so you’re able to take time to rest, recover and recharge. Home Instead offers a well-planned respite program to provide you with regular, scheduled breaks from your role as carer and avoid you burning out.

Myth #10 – Home care isn’t suitable for people with dementia

Everyone’s situation is different, which is why we create custom home care plans to cater for the individual’s needs – and dementia clients are no different. Research has shown the best place for a person with memory loss is in familiar surroundings, so while it may seem appropriate to opt for a nursing home if your loved one is suffering from dementia, many people do not realise home care for dementia clients is also available. Home Instead developed Australia’s first best practice training program for professional, in-home CAREGivers. Our specialist dementia care focusses on maximising abilities, independence and quality of life, restoring the dignity of the person living with dementia.

Home Instead can support all your home care needs, whether you are self-funded, government subsidised or a combination of both.

For more information and to discuss your individual home care options call Home Instead on 1300 008 018 or visit homeinstead.com.au