If you have a loved one who is aging and may soon have trouble keeping up with their own care, it may be time to start thinking about senior home care. As you begin looking into home health care, you’ll likely have many questions about the process and how to find the right care provider for your loved one. In this article, we’ll answer all the frequently asked questions about in home care services.
What Is Home Health Care?
Home health care, or more familiarly, home health, is a type of service where skilled care is delivered in a patient’s home. The care is performed by licensed medical professionals like nurses, therapists, and aides. These professionals can help patients treat or manage illness, injury, or medical conditions.
In home care services can be provided in the patient’s residence if they are living in a private home, and it can also be provided in assisted living or long-term nursing facilities, or a memory or residential care facility. The services provided might be medically focused, like skilled nursing, physical or occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Additionally, there can be non-medical services with things like social activities or other assistance with daily living.
Is Home Health Care the Same as Home Care?
While they sound the same, home health care and home care are not the same thing. In fact, there are some significant differences. Home health is administered by licensed medical professionals for many types of ailments and diseases. Home care doesn’t require specialized medical licensure because the services are non-medical in nature.
What Does Homebound Mean?
In order for Medicare to cover the cost of home health care, the patient must be deemed as homebound. This means the patient’s condition keeps them from being able to safely leave their home without help from others or using a device like a wheelchair, walker, cane, or crutches. If the patient can leave their home for certain medical treatments, they can still be considered homebound. The patient can also qualify if they are able to leave home for brief non-medical trips like church or family events.
What Are the Benefits of Home Health Care?
The biggest benefit of senior home care is that it can be delivered right in the patient’s home, eliminating the need to arrange assistance to get to another facility. This can also help reduce the cost of expensive hospital bills. With in home care services, the family can be involved in the treatment plan and help set and meet goals for the patient.
In home care services can help your loved one recuperate from an injury or illness faster while maintaining a level of independence. It can also improve their level of independence so they can remain in their homes as long as possible. If they are suffering from a long-term condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it may help slow cognitive decline.
Pros of Home Health Care
Here are some pros to in home care services:
Since the care is provided in your loved one’s home, you will not need to worry about scheduling appointments and arranging transportation and assistance to get back and forth to hospitals or medical offices.
Home health care services are performed by skilled professionals, and you can trust that your loved one is in good hands.
Physicians Are Involved
While the care is performed by professionals in-home, they will be working hand-in-hand with your loved one’s doctors and medical team for a full continuum of care.
Senior home care is much more affordable that lengthy stays in skilled nursing facilities or long-term care homes.
Cons of Home Health Care
While there are plenty of good things about home health care, there are also some things to consider before deciding if it is right for your situation.
Housekeeping Not Included
Because home health care providers are professional medical providers, they will not be assisting with household tasks like cooking and cleaning.
Must Be Homebound
As previously mentioned, your loved one will need to be deemed as homebound in order to have home health care covered by Medicare.
No 24-Hour Care
Home health care will not provide round-the-clock coverage. If your loved one requires constant supervision and care, you may need other support.
If your loved one is not getting home health care covered by Medicare or private insurance, the expenses can really start to add up.
Depending on your location, the number of home health care service providers may be limited.
How Does Home Health Care Work?
If it might be time for your loved one to have home health care, the first thing you need to do is get a physician’s orders, then work with a home health care company to create a treatment plan. After that, you’ll have an initial consultation where the provider will assess the patient’s needs. You will be encouraged to participate in the process to ensure consistent and comprehensive care.
Once services begin, the providers will implement the treatment plan, making sure all orders are followed, and they will give the doctors regular progress reports. The frequency and type of visits will vary from patient to patient based on needs. Some patients require daily visits while others may only need to be seen once or twice a week. All plans are tailored to individual needs.
What Services Does Home Health Care Include?
Home health care for your loved one will consist of medically necessary, skilled services prescribed by a physician to treat an illness, injury, or medical condition. These services could be infusion therapy, medication management, nursing care, nutrition services, pain management; psychiatric services, social work, or therapy (physical, occupational, speech). The service providers will monitor conditions like vital signs, pain, food intake, and safety in the home.
Find the Right Home Health Care Provider
Care & Help Home Care, LLC knows choosing a home care provider is a difficult decision. We’re committed to providing transparent and professional home care services for your loved ones. If you’re in need of home health care in Philadelphia, contact us today.