Nothing is more important than seeing our loved one cared for properly and compassionately. This becomes even more critical when the loved one can’t care for himself and needs professional care at home. Unfortunately, there are a variety of standards when it comes to home health services. Here, Sue Haglind talks about some aspects of home health care you’ll want to know about if you’re considering hiring one to help your loved one at home.
Most people hire home health agencies to help with their aging parents, begins Sue Haglind. It’s an option for people who just can’t get out of the house very easily to get the medical care they need, she says. Some professional nursing services a home health agency can provide are things like diabetic care, medication and pain management, wound care, or rehabilitative care. Personal care services can help with duties like bathing and feeding, she says. Finally, in-home care can include everyday things like grocery shopping and meal preparation, light housekeeping, grooming and dressing assistance, or simply companionship for those people who should not be left alone.
Home care agencies may or may not be licensed, depending on the state they’re in, says Sue Haglind. However, all home health care agencies must be licensed since the work they provide may include medical care, she adds.
“There are definitely some differences between home health agencies,” says Sue Haglind. While they all are required by law to perform certain tasks that the doctor has ordered, how they perform those tasks can make the difference between a happy client and a dissatisfied one.
If you have supplemental insurance coverage, you’ll want to make sure that all the services will be covered, says Sue Haglind. While Medicare and Medicaid may provide some coverage, they won’t cover 100%, she adds. Be sure to ask if there are any additional fees that could come up later, Sue says. You don’t want any surprises later when you least expect it. Plus, she adds, you’ll want to know exactly what the caregiver is supposed to do at each visit.
Make sure the agency you’re considering is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the case of emergency, Sue Haglind says. If you need to contact someone, you need to know they’re available.
You’ll want to know information on each of the caregivers that are coming into your home, she adds. So, be sure to ask how the agency hires the caretakers. Do they require and verify employment references? Is any extra training given to the employee? These are all things that are good to know.
In general, the representative should answer all your questions with compassion and concern, Sue Haglind says. This is especially true since it’s concerning the care of your loved ones, she adds.