In-home health care for people with mental illness

For patients with severe mental illness, it can be very upsetting to move to a medical facility for care, and stress can often exacerbate the symptoms of mental illness. At the same time, it can be hard for severely mentally ill people to live with family or live independently as there is a need to constantly review medication levels and medically assess mental state regularly. In-home health care can be a good way to bridge this gap. 

Here are some of the ways in-home health care can help carers support their mentally ill loved ones to live in the general community. 

Provide respite for carers

It can be very tiring for carers to be constantly supervising their loved one with a mental illness. Respite care can allow them to leave home to get some rest and relaxation, attend to work duties or do personal errands without worrying that their loved one will be in danger, or a danger to others, while they are away. This can help them avoid carer burnout. 

Assess medication side effects

Mental health medication can be a tricky topic with many necessary mental health medications, such as anti-psychotics, having common side effects of drowsiness and trembling muscles. In some cases, these side effects can start substantially after the medication starts. This can often make patients reluctant to keep taking their (very necessary) medications, so managing these side effects with complementary therapies, diet and other medications if required can be extremely important.

In-home health carers can help check that medication is being taken as well as provide advice on how to manage these side effects. They can also provide support when people liaise with doctors in order to get the side effects fully explained and any issues resolved. 

Help with household tasks

For people with severe mental illness, the tasks required to maintain independent living such as regular bathing or showering, cleaning the house, shopping and preparing food and basic household maintenance can be overwhelming. Health carers can help provide structure and support to get these tasks done so that people can continue to live relatively independently. 

Travel to other therapies

People with severe mental illnesses often have some behavioural therapy as well as medication, such as group therapy or individual psychiatric appointments. In-home health care can help to organise transport to these appointments as well as liaising with other professionals such as social workers to provide in-home appointments and support as needed. 

If you care for someone with a severe mental illness, in-home health care can be an invaluable resource. For additional reading, contact professionals in your area.