An 84 year old man who had suffered a stroke was adamant upon being discharged from the hospital that he did not want anyone coming into his home and could take care of himself just fine. Unbeknownst to his daughter, the social worker cancelled his order for home help services and discharged him to his apartment without plans for follow up care. When his daughter found out, she was naturally quite upset after she had spent a lot of time trying to convince her father of the importance of a few weeks of help at home and had asked the social worker to let her know if there were any problems.
According to a recent article from the Kaiser Health News, such scenarios are quite common. Many seniors confuse home health care provided by medical professionals and covered by Medicare and home care provided by aides who help with bathing, cooking, cleaning, etc. Also, many seniors understandably value their independence and see their homes as sanctums.
The article suggests that better communication may help seniors accept home health care when they understand what services will be provided. Also, it can be helpful when it is emphasized that the services are to help the senior get better.