Wednesday AM January 7th, 2009

More seniors are turning to in-home care as a cheaper alternative to other forms of elderly care. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of elderly

The nationwide firm Senior Helpers, which has a Houston office, looks at their service as one answer to the senior care crisis the bad economy is creating.  The company's Amy Peterson-Smith says the popularity of in-home care comes from being cheaper than nursing homes, assisted living facilities and continuing care communities.

"Since 2002, in general, home care has increased by over 20 per cent, and it continues to increase.  You know, seeing new clients come aboard at the rate that they're coming aboard, you know, and with their stories that they're telling us, the economy is definitely having that effect."      

Peterson-Smith says caregivers are matched with clients based on client needs, providing non-medical services for a few hours a day or around-the-clock. 

"You know, we give the senior the ability to still live independently at home and you know, do it with, you know, them being able to maintain their dignity.  Light housekeeping, laundry, ironing, organizing closets, you know, assisting them with dressing or bathing, general companionship and conversation.  We do have the ability for any patients that may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimers."

Peterson-Smith says six out of ten U.S. families have a relative or friend needing long-term care.

"We often hear from family members that, you know, once we actually start the service that they feel as if they truly have, you know, peace of mind.  You know, 'are they eating, are they taking their medication?'"

Senior Helpers has 260 franchises in 37 states. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...