Because of medical advances, people are able to live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life
However, the need for home care has increased as people mature. Seniors want to remain independent, surrounded by the comfort and familiarity of their home. Home Care could be the answer.
What Is Home Care?
Home care is a service provided by a professional two to three times a week. The professional assists with daily activities such as household chores, shopping, transportation, and medication reminders. The home care professional works with a nurse and physician for optimum assistance and personalized care. Coverage is based on Medicare or insurance.
What is the Goal of Home Care?
The number one goal of a home care professional is to help the person remain independent. He or she works to maintain comfortability while adhering to a medical treatment prescribed by a physician.
Gaining the trust of a person in-home care can be a challenge, one of the health care problems. However, most agencies strive to ensure complete trust and peace of mind for the person and their family.
When is Home Care Needed?
Typically, a person is a candidate when they…
- Have recently been in and out of the hospital because of a new medical condition or change in medication.
- Experience difficulty walking due to an injury or fall.
- Need a helping hand until fully recovered.
- Are homebound and under the care of a physician with an established care plan in action.
- Need intermittent, physical or occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, or skilled nursing care.
A Family Decision
It is always important to take your time with this decision. Often, homebound people may not want a stranger coming into their home. This concern can cause stress, further complicating health care problems.
Talk with your physician, and be sure to involve the person in the decision-making process. Independence is important, and so is having a voice. Your family member will appreciate having some input when looking at the options available to him or her.
If your doctor or health care provider recommends home health care, they may have a list of agencies in your area. According to medicare.gov, “If they suggest an agency or give you a list, they must tell you whether their organization has a financial interest in that agency.”
Medicare continues by adding that “Your choices may be limited by agency availability, or by your insurance coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare health plans, or other health insurance plans may require that you get home health services from agencies they contract with. Call your plan for more information.”
Not all home care agencies are the same, so it’s in the best interest of your elderly family member to do your homework. Questions include certification, cultural and language preferences, support services, emergency procedures, background checks, references, and insurance coverage.
In-Home Care Has Health Care Problems – What are they?
When deciding if home care is right for your family member, it is important to understand what past problems have been reported.
- The amount of time that a home care professional isn’t always long enough to complete essential tasks. The staff person may have to rush through their tasks, often giving the person a choice between activities like having a bath or getting a cooked meal.
- The person typically does not have any control over the home care visit. They may have dinner at 3:00 pm and not be able to eat again until the next morning.
- A lack of adequate care and neglect have led to increased health care problems.
- Staff awareness and bedside manner may not be up to par, leaving the person without a sense of privacy and dignity.
- Staff turnover in-home care can be high.
- If there are ever complaints of poor treatment or abuse, many people do not feel comfortable to bring it up for fear of repercussion.
Educate yourself on home care. Your loved one will be in better hands for your efforts.