Home Health Care Services
Home health care services are provided in the comfort of one’s own home by a team of professionals including nurses, therapists and home health aides under physician supervision. Many seniors choose to receive Home Health Care Services as an alternative to a hospital, rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility. Home health care can also be beneficial for those who are homebound and need help managing their daily activities.
Medical home health care, or skilled care, is usually supervised by a doctor and includes wound dressings, injections, physical and occupational therapy and speech therapy. The goal of home health care is to help a patient recover and get back to as much independence as possible. This type of home health care is generally covered by Medicare.
Non-medical home health care, or custodial care, includes assistance with bathing, meal preparation, housekeeping and transportation to and from doctors’ appointments. It can range from a few hours per week to around-the-clock live-in care. Most of this type of home health care is not covered by insurance, although long-term care insurance often covers some of the cost.
Seniors who need home health care should work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan of care that will outline their specific needs. The plan will include a timeline of when and how often a home health aide will visit, as well as any necessary treatments or medications.
When choosing a home health agency, families should make sure to ask about the training and experience of their employees. It’s important that the agency be licensed and regulated by the state, and that patients are receiving the highest quality of care. The agency should also be able to provide you with references from other satisfied families.
Before hiring a home health aide, family members should also consider whether they’re able to provide the emotional and social support the senior may need, as well as help with money management tasks, such as paying bills and navigating the health insurance system. If they can’t, a financial counselor or geriatric care manager may be able to help.
Finally, before a senior begins home health care, it’s essential to ensure they have the proper safety equipment in place. This can be as simple as installing grab bars in the bathroom or ramps to help with mobility. It’s also a good idea to check that the home is equipped for electrical emergencies and has emergency exits. It’s also important that the senior’s home is well-stocked with supplies, such as food, beverages and medication, and that they’re storing their foods safely and properly. It’s also a good idea for the senior to keep up with their regular doctor visits. If they are unable to drive, a ride can be arranged through local taxi or medical transport companies. In addition, a volunteer organization or church may be able to provide transportation. In some cases, these organizations can even schedule appointments for free.