Advantages of Health Care at Home

Many times people come to the decision to use home health care out of necessity. However, there are some advantages of home health care. This article is going to discuss some of these advantages.

The first advantage of home health care is time. Many people just don't have the time it takes to care for a sick relative. With most households having both parents working, people can't afford to quit their job or take long term family leave. This is why home health care is there to help. Home health nurses can provide the around the clock supervision that is sometimes necessary for disabled and elderly patients. Also with them there to handle some of the care, you can spend what time you do have just being there for your family member.

Hospitals don't have the staff necessary to care for its sick. This is another advantage of home health. Personalized care is only possible when you employ home health aids. They have a much smaller caseload than hospitals. They also have more long term relationships. Even in the critical care ward of a hospital the turn over is much larger. This is also causing people to be discharged from the hospital with ports and drainage tubes still in their bodies. Home health nurses are able to monitor these medical appendages and perform proper maintenance of them.

In cases of non lethal injuries, patient recovery is a great advantage of home health. Studies show that people recover quicker in their own homes around the people they love, than in a hospital setting. They are able to see their families and interact, getting the support necessary for recovery. Hospitals may have the best medical teams but they're still impersonal and spread thin. Home health care provides the perfect mix of hospital knowledge and family support. Nurses are able to help with physical therapy and recovery on a more specific level. They're well in tuned to the patient's progress and needs.

Although most families don't consider this advantage, home health is also preferred by insurance companies. The cost is much lower than a long hospital stay. Hospice and other non profit organizations also may donate equipment. People like to think that cost is no issue when it comes to the care of your loved one. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes one when you realize those hospital bills don't stop rolling in. Home health provides a way for you to get the care you need while the insurance company doesn't have to cover the huge bills a hospital would be sending. Often Medicaid and Medicare provide free home health visits as well.

Home Health Care For Your Child - Easing the Transition From Hospitalto Home

Whether your child has been hospitalized due to an illness, injury, or for complications from a chronic disease, transitioning from the hospital to home health care is always an adjustment. For many parents, this is an overwhelming time. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ease your child's transition and give you peace of mind as well.

Plan Ahead

Depending on your child's condition, modifications might need to be made to your home before he/she can be cared for there. If a wheelchair will be used, you will have to make sure your home can accommodate one.

The room your child will stay in might also need modifications to accommodate any machines that will be part of his/her home health care. Make sure there are enough outlets, and that a backup generator is available in case of a power outage. In some cases, your insurance company can provide reimbursement for this expense.

It's a good idea to contact your local ambulance company of your child's situation ahead of time so you can review with them the best procedure if an emergency should arise.

You should also think about how you would handle an emergency disaster situation, such as a fire or tornado. Make a plan for how you will get your child to safety while protecting any life saving machinery that he/she needs to be with him/her.

Speaking of machines, you should always familiarize yourself with all medical equipment that will be going home with your child before he/she leaves the hospital as well.

Arrange for Assistance

In many cases, children will need some assistance from medical professionals as he/she makes the transition from hospital to home health care. The social worker at the hospital will go over in detail what kind of assistance will be provide and how often.

If possible, meet with the caregiver ahead and go over your child's condition. Discuss his/her medication and therapy schedule and whatever machines are needed for his/her care. Provide a journal near your child's bed so that different caregivers can keep notes to make sure communications are clear.

Have a Support Network

Providing home health care for a child can be challenging. Make sure you have a support network, not only of medical professionals but of friends and family as well. Sometimes the only ones who can truly understand are those going through a similar situation. A great source of support made possible by the internet is online bulletin boards where you can meet parents facing similar challenges.

Who Says I Need Home Health Care? I Can Do This Myself

The need for more home health care initiatives is apparent. The carry and counsel initiatives are being tested in many states with a lot of success. America as a whole growing older. This has the unexpected results of more absenteeism and a need to restructure human resources benefits to accommodate the increasing numbers of elder people over the age of 60.  Everyone knows that the baby boomer generation carries with it extreme changes in the demographic of the corporate world. Benefits need to be structured so that human resources can take into account the number of people needing long term health care and medicare/Medicaid benefits in the coming age. The squeeze generation, especially is suffering the brunt of the aging population problem. Along with their parental responsibilities, many single women find themselves being the sole caregiver to their elderly parents. It becomes increasingly difficult for women to maintain careers while juggling the domestic responsibilities of being a parent and a caregiver.

With the government in a slump, it is becoming more difficult for the aging population to get the rights that they deserve. New legislation that has recently been passed helps insurers cut the price of medical care, but who is to defend the aging population against these insurers. People have little say in the type of home health care that they can receive. More legislation needs to be passed to allow families to take responsibility over their funding and be able to pay their family members if necessary, not relying solely on nursing home care and home health agencies. For full service nursing home care, the cost can run to upwards of 60 thousand dollars a year.

10 Tips For Choosing the Perfect In-Home Health Care Agency

When caring for your aging parent or loved one becomes overwhelming and you need a break, or when extra help is needed with bathing, feeding, dressing, household duties or if caring for them yourself is just not possible anymore, selecting an in-home health care provider is a good alternative.

Proper screening is essential to ensure that the person you choose has, not only the skills to provide excellent care, but also the right personality for the job. Consider these tips and hints and you will find that hiring an in-home heath care provider does not have to be stressful.

1. Evaluate Your Loved One's Needs
While some older adults just need assistance with basic living skills, others have additional health care needs that require a special skill set. Therefore, it is necessary to make a list of all of the duties that an in-home health care professional will need to provide so you can narrow down the list of candidates early on. If you are hiring through an agency, give them as much information from the start so they can match you up with someone who possesses all of knowledge and capabilities to give the best care possible to your loved one.
If your home health care worker will be assisting with bathing or dressing, it is important to discuss this with your loved one to make sure that they are comfortable with the gender of the companion. Women or men may become embarrassed when opposite gendered health care workers assist them with personal care and this may cause bath time to become stressful.

2. Speak With Local Experts
Before you go to the yellow pages or check out the classifieds for home heath aids, speak with neighbors, doctors, and elder care providers locally who can give you some recommendations and advice. Find out where other families have found in-home help and have them tell you about their experience. An administrator at a local nursing home may also have some suggestions for you on where to locate the best care giver. Support groups are a wealth of information, as well.

3. Create a Job Description
When you are ready to begin speaking with applicants and conducting interviews, start by writing a job description. The job duties can serve as talking points for your interview and also give the applicants a clear picture of what will be required of them.

4. Prepare Interview Questions
If you are not experienced at conducting formal interviews, you will benefit greatly by having a prepared list of questions. It will help you stay in control of the interview, not miss any key points, and make the best use of your time. Write it all down.

5. Outline an Employment Contract
Even if the person you select comes highly recommended and you and your family really hit it off with them, make sure to remain professional. This includes having them sign a contract that outlines your expectations, their duties, as well as boundaries. You can then refer back to the contract should a situation arise in the future. Often Home Health Agencies prepare the contracts themselves. Be sure to read them carefully and add anything that you wish to be included.

6. Personally Screen Candidates
Since the person you hire will be spending time alone with your parent or loved one, it is essential that you approve them yourself. Having an agency just send someone over is not acceptable in this situation. Even if they can paint a picture of a candidate's qualifications, because the job of health care provider is so intimate, personality is equally as important. If your loved one is able to participate in the interview, that is ideal. Regardless, they should spend some time together to make sure that they click.

7. Conduct a Background Check
Do not trust your intuition. When you think that you have found the person you want to hire, do conduct a background check to make sure that the person you hire does not have a questionable past.

8. Check References
Even if this is their first job in the field of health care, every applicant should be able to provide references. Ideally, these should come from past employers. Otherwise, professors, internship supervisors, and personal references can also be used.

9. Protect Your Home and Family
Since the health care provider you hire will most likely have free access to your home, possessions, and family members, find out if they are bonded. It they are not bonded themselves, find out if the agency that you hired them from is. Remember not to leave credit cards, checkbooks and personal papers in unsecured areas.

10. Stay Involved
Your job is not over once the contract is signed and employment has begun. The more of a presence you have in your loved one's life the better. Even if you can not be there in person, scheduling telephone meetings can let the health care provider know that you are involved and on top of things. Ask for progress reports and find out if there are any difficulties. Since the health care provider is around your loved one the most, they can give you the best information about their physical health as well as their state of mind.

One way to stay involved is to use a caregiver's organizer (which we just happen to offer on our website). The Caregiver's Companion is an organizational tool that has sections for personal information, family history, medications and side effects, medical appointments, and home health care workers notes. I hate selling, but this IS a very good tool in my opinion.

How to Start a Home Health Care Business

For the past few decades, there is a steady proliferation in the in-home healthcare business. Many factors are held responsible for this development in the healthcare industry. While the average life expectancy has increased with the invention of newer healthcare facilities, there is also a steady growth in the working class of the population. Increase in the number of working people often leaves old parents vulnerable and lonely at home. Thus, there is an increasing lookout for trustworthy and highly professional home care operators. Do you know that the Natick VNA has empowered the patients not to go by the hospital's referral but have the power to make informed decisions about the home care they would choose?

Do you want to know how to start a home health care business to help the people in your area? The most difficult part about venturing into a new business is getting the right start. Firstly, you must map out a proper plan of action that you need to follow strictly. Here are certain guidelines that you may follow:

* While you can set up the establishment of the home healthcare facility within your locality, it's better to set up a business in place where the majority of the population is the baby boomers. It is mostly this generation that requires in-home care. Therefore, by setting up a healthcare service in such a locality would, on one hand help the aged generation and it will be beneficial for your business too.

* If you are pondering over the question - how to start a home health care business? You must start by getting a proper state license. The procedures for getting a license vary from one state to another. Therefore, you must contact your local government to know the proper procedures that you need to follow.

* While hiring health care professionals, you must check their valid nursing certification. It is preferable to go for professionals with prior experience. Remember it is better to hire professionals on contractual or part-time basis, rather than hiring full time employees. This will help you to control the costs in the initial phase of the business.

* Contact a reliable medical insurance company to get your business insured. While doing so, you must talk with the insurer and ensure that your business is suitable for meeting the requisite terms and conditions. If you are hiring health care aids, you should check their criminal records. This would ensure the safety your clients.

When you are venturing into a new business, it is always better to ask experts about the do's and don'ts. Search for a reliable healthcare consultant who can suggest you about starting your healthcare business.

Licensed Home Health Care Tips

We all hit certain milestones in our driving our first car, going to college, getting married, buying a home, having children and then eventually caring for aging parents. That last one is the part of life that no one wants to think about but it eventually arrives for most of us: the day when life has come full circle and our parents now need round the clock care as they did when they were infants. Fortunately for seniors, in the twenty-first century home health care products and services have evolved to a point where there are ample options to choose from when deciding how to care for our aging or ailing loved ones.

You should look for an experienced company that will be able to provide comprehensive home health care services for elderly loved ones. Look for features such as a care plan written by a registered nurse, preparation of meals based on client needs, facilitating a safe environment, assistance in moving around such as from bed to chair, reinforcement of medication schedules and assistance with personal hygiene. These are all tasks that would be a full-time job for a family member.

A reputable, state licensed home care agency employs all of its personnel and caregivers, which means employees go through rigorous background checks, are insured and bonded by the agency as well as supervised by a state licensed registered nurse.

Individuals trying to hire a private caregiver will not have access to the resources necessary to establish client safeguards and as a result could end up putting their loved one in harm's way. Paying a private caregiver and dealing with aspects of insurance and employment such as withholding state and federal income taxes is not something that the average person is familiar. In fact, it is downright complicated and time-consuming with plenty of pitfalls, the worst of which is an IRS audit of your financial records. Nobody wants that.

Home health care agencies provide all the services and care you will need for the aging loved one in your life. A good agency goes to great lengths to ensure its caregivers are supremely qualified and handpicked to care for your loved ones on a daily basis or as much as you need. They provide a variety of services such as meal planning and preparation, health and hygiene, homemaking duties such as laundry and light cleaning, and caregivers can be shuttled right to your home in most instances. They even provide socialization and companionship.

Home Health Care For the Elderly - Nursing Homes Aren't Always the Right Choice

You obviously want the best for whom you are needing to help. That is why home health care for the elderly is the best bet. Chances are it's either your mother or father that is needing help and relying on your to take of things that need to be taken care of, but you don't have the time to care for them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It's a hard choice to make. You want to make sure that they are being well taken care of, getting their medicine on time, etc. Here are just some things that home health care provides.

Assistance with bathing and grooming
Meal preparation
Medication reminders
Some might provide taking care of some errands
Keeping records of their illnesses and medications.

Hiring home health care for the elderly will be the best thing for them. They can still be comfortable in their own home while a nurse takes care of them. It puts them in much better spirit when they have their own house and their own surroundings. Plus you get one on one help and attention from a nurse. Which means they will get the chance to get to know more about you and why you are needing a nurse. The nurse will get to know your likes and dislikes and they will know exactly what you need.

When you stick and elderly person that is sick and needs to be taken care of in a home it makes it much more difficult for them to adapt to that environment. You have to think how you would feel if you were in their shoes. Being ill and having no choice but to move somewhere new. Which means new bed, new room, new eating schedule, etc. All that change at once can be very difficult for an elderly person. Also they lose the majority of their freedom. It could easily put them into a depressing state which would makes things a lot worse.

If you think home health care for the elderly is the best thing for whom you are taking care of than do some research online and figure out who around your town does home health care and give them a call. You will want to call more than one company. Here are some things you can jot down on paper and ask them when you call.

How much does it cost?
How does there company work?
When they come out to the home what all do they provide?

So, decide on what you want to do. Do your research. If you decide you want home health care for the elderly make sure the nurse comes out to the house and meet them and sit down and talk with them about everything that is needing to get done and why they are needing a nurse. This will make them a much happier and healthier person.

What Is Home Health Care? Read On

Home Health Care has developed into being one of the top five profitable job industries in the United States. It has gotten so big; the vast majority of people in the United States are interested in getting a position in this field. And, who can blame them?

Even with an economy still in recovery mode after the crippling recession, home health care continues to thrive all around. There are companies that offer these types of services and there are individual people who decide to start up their own home care program. Home care takes place in the comfort and privacy of the patient's home and this something that the patient can appreciate.

The thing is, there are a lot of aging individuals in the United States and some of them simply need some extra care. These people may need help and assistance but do not want to admit to it because they want to live independently in their own home. Their family members may try to help but could end up too busy with work.

With home health care, the patient can live in the home, a place where they feel comfortable being, while also getting the help and assistance they need. Professionals working in this field are able to perform a number of different tasks and are trained with the skills they need to care for the people who need their help.

Some of the tasks that can be performed by the professional include personal services, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Services also include administering medication, checking blood pressure, and also doing certain activities with the person they are caring for. Activities may include memory loss programs or similar ways of interaction.

Those who are working in this profession have to be considerate and compassionate people. They also need to be able to multitask. People who take on this profession will have a lot of different responsibilities on their hands but if they are the type of person who loves being able to help other people, this is definitely the ideal job for them.

In order to work in this profession, one may need some sort of certification. However, that will ultimately depend on the specific type of care offered, along with the particular state in which the care is offered. Overall, this is a great field to work in.

Anyone who is interested in pursuing a job in home health care can make their dreams become reality. Most importantly, these people will feel a sense of accomplishment in knowing they have been able to help and assist someone who really could use a helping hand. Aside from earning good money, it is a simply rewarding job all around.

Importance of Lead Generation in a Medical Home Health Care Business

When you are in the home care business (medical or non medical), you must have tried your own ways of lead generating before as well. The traditional methods of lead generation are too monotonous and time consuming. When you try them out for your lead generation business, you are bound to face rejection initially. It is only after a lot of pursuing that these methods actually start producing results.

It is very important that the leads you get are prospective and hold some potential for conversion. For that, the leads must be exclusive and fresh. Used and recycled leads hardly have any prospects. That is why; you must never purchase any such leads which you will need to share with agents like you. Getting unique and exclusive leads mean; you have lesser number of competitions to deal with. You can approach the leads in your own way and pursue it according to your own ways.

Getting across such leads is literally impossible with the traditional methods or through the cheap internet leads. Most of these leads are exhausted and hardly hold any validity at all. You need regular flow of potential leads. The leads must be screened and verified. You must be provided with all the relevant details of the leads such as the full name, the physical address, the contact details and the income levels. This will give you a better idea about the offers you should make to the prospective leads.

To avail all these facilities, you must approach a professional lead generation company. These companies are experts in lead generation techniques and will get you the most prospective leads. When you give your details to the company, you will need to specify your niche; if any. The company will provide you the leads in accordance with your niche and you will pursue them likewise.

You must always look for a company that has a very good customer support. To ensure that you need to contact it and see how fast they respond. You must also get a choice of choosing the territory to which you will leads will belong. This will give you a greater advantage as pursuing your leads and working on them later on can become relatively easier. Lead generation is a big responsibility.

You cannot trust just any other company which is in this business. You must make a thorough research to find out the authenticity of the company and the quality of the service provided. You must also consider the affordability factor. So look for a cheap lead generation method; without compromising on the quality. When it comes to medical home health care business, the quality and quantity of the leads hold equal importance.

The Benefits of Working in Home Health Care

The healthcare industry is a continually booming industry. There are always jobs to be had, especially in the home healthcare field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides are projected to grow by 50% between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than other occupations. The reasoning behind this is the increasing costs of inpatient hospital care. Home health aides are also better for those who simply need help with daily tasks rather than medical care.

If an ever-growing job market isn't reason enough, the flexible nature of home health aide agencies can be very alluring to some. Many tend to work part-time, weekends, or evenings depending on the needs of their clients. Although home health aides won't be interacting with other aides, they will still be interacting with a variety of patients. Yes, some patients may not be the most pleasant to be around, but it can be a wonderful way to interact with a wide range of people, not to mention that you can significantly impact someone's life.

Home health aides do not need to go to medical school, but they must complete special training courses. The courses required vary from state to state. Many are trained on the job by registered nurses, experienced aides, or supervisors. They are taught how to prepare food for those with special diets, basic housekeeping tasks, such as keeping the home safe for the patient, how to respond to emergencies, and basic safety techniques. Home health aides should be compassionate, responsible, cheerful, and emotionally stable.

Although the job can sometimes be physically demanding, the rewards are great. As mentioned before, you can truly impact people's lives and they can have a positive effect on yours as well. No two days will ever be alike. The job is always interesting and there isn't much room for dull moments. You will always be meeting new people and doing different tasks for each one. Since the aides work in patients' homes, the work environment is also constantly changing. For those that don't want to sit in the same cubicle everyday, this can be a great advantage.

Advancement within the field can sometimes be limited. However, more training is key to moving ahead. With additional training, home health aides can become nursing aides, licensed practical nurses, or registered nurses. And of course there is always the option of opening your own home healthcare agency. With so many benefits and job opportunities, it's no surprise that more and more people are turning to the healthcare industry and discovering a wonderful new career.

What Are The Costs Involved in Home Health Care?

Home health care has become a preferred method of caring for elderly people in our society. It fulfills the needs of both the individual who is able to remain in their own familiar surroundings and of Medicare and health insurance providers who don't have to pick up the higher costs incurred by moving the person into a nursing facility. There are, however, some initial costs involved in making a person's home ready for home care. This article is going to investigate some of these costs and possible ways to finance them.

A hospital bed is often a necessity for the home bound. This type of bed both protects the patient and makes it easy for caregivers to do the things they need to do. The bed is equipped with adjustable side rails, wheels for easy movement, and even buttons the patient can use to call the caregiver. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set guidelines for how these beds are constructed and operated. They range from manual to partially electric to full-electric models. While full-electric means the ultimate ease of operation, this bed will also be the most expensive. Medicare will only cover the cost of bed rentals. If you wish to purchase your own full-electric bed, you can expect to pay around $900 for a good, basic model. Adding other options which are available will be an additional cost.

A wheelchair is also often a necessary piece of equipment for someone in home care. It provides greater, safer movement for those with mobility issues. Once again, the chairs vary greatly. The most popular are power chairs. These chairs can range from lightweight to heavy, and the costs will vary. You can find power wheelchairs and scooters available online which will help you compare and buy with ease. If you want to keep the price of the chair down, you can investigate websites such as eBay or Nextag to compare prices for both wheelchairs and power scooters.

Other types of equipment may be necessary based on the infirmities the patient is having. You may need to purchase breathing equipment, a walk-in bathtub, other bath aids, such as a stool or safety bars, lift chairs, toilet extensions, incontinence supplies, and mobility aids. Although none of this equipment is inexpensive, most of these items represent a one-time purchase. Patients who find themselves strapped for the necessary cash need to look into their insurance benefits. Often insurance companies and Medicare will pay for these supplies if they are prescribed by a doctor. There are also loan companies who specialize in home care available online that can help you finance the equipment you need.

Tips For Shopping Online For Home Health Care Services

There are many types of home health services, both traditional and non-traditional. Home nursing and assistant services, massage therapists that visit the home, physiotherapists, even beauty therapists who do face massage could be considered a home health service. Whatever home health assistance you need, there is probably a service or individual who is willing to provide it.

Online shopping for home health services can be convenient and easy, but you need to take some additional care before you decide on a service. Here are seven tips for shopping online for home health services.

EVALUATE YOUR NEEDS. Before looking for a health professional to provide in-home help, you need to clearly define your own needs. What exactly are you hoping to achieve? What sort of person do you think could best help you? What sort of tasks do you think they would have to do in order for your needs to be met? How much can you afford to pay? How much time do you think they would need to spend regularly at your home?

START WITH AN ONLINE SEARCH OF HOME HEALTH PROVIDERS IN YOUR LOCAL AREA. Look for agencies and professional organizations with members who work privately as well. Once you have them listed, check them out. Read the information on their websites and take down contact phone numbers so you can call them.

QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK. Do they have professional membership and if necessary, State registration? Do their employees or contractors have professional qualifications and professional memberships? Can you request someone of a particular gender? Are the service providers who visit the home covered by insurance?

PRICING. You need to ask about the costs of the service. You need to ask if there is a minimum number of hours charged whether worked or not. Some agencies, for example, will charge a minimum of three hours even if the work only takes one hour.

REFERENCES. Request references including contact numbers even if you are using an agency. Either phone the referees yourself, or have someone you trust make the calls for you. If you are going to have someone in your home providing a health related service, you need to be sure of their bona fides. Even though agencies have this role, you cannot be sure that they are fulfilling it. Contacting people who have employed the person you are interested in hiring, helps to prevent mistakes.

HEALTH INSURANCE. Do you have private health cover? If so check with your provider to see if they will cover all or part of the expenses. You might be surprised.

COMPARE SERVICES, PRICES AND QUALITY OF SERVICE BASED ON REFERENCES. Once you have all the information you need, make a decision. Look for the best combination of quality, price, reliability and guarantees.

Shopping online for a home health service can save time but also requires additional safeguards to ensure the genuineness of the provider. If you follow the seven tips given in this article, you are in a good position to find the best home health service for your needs.

9 Benefits of Home Health Care

1. Professionalism. You may be uncertain about handing over care of your loved one to a stranger, but our caregivers are certified and thoroughly screened, and receive regular 'in-service' trainings to keep their professionally-trained skills sharp.

2. Personalized care. Every good home health agency has a licensed RN on staff to oversee the caregivers and cases, and each patient's care is tailored to suit their specific needs.

3. Medication control. With a professional caregiver monitoring your loved one's health, there's no need to worry about whether or not they've forgotten to take their medication; Certified Nursing Assistants will carefully chart all medication and health information.

4. Nutrition and food preparation. Malnutrition can be a problem for older adults living on their own, either because they're unable to cook for themselves or can't get out to the grocery store. A caregiver can help prepare healthful, tasty meals, and thereby stave off easily avoidable health problems.

5. Transportation. A home health professional can make sure that your loved one makes it to all of their appointments ready and on time, and can pick up groceries and prescriptions-all the ingredients for a healthy life at home.

6. Company. Lack of social interaction can not only lead to depression in the elderly and disabled, but can also contribute to the deterioration of their mental capabilities. Friendly conversation and company will improve the emotional and mental state of your loved one.

7. 24/7 support. Clients will be able to reach their agency at all times, should there be an emergency.

8. Peace of mind. There's little that causes more worry than the thought of a loved one with diminished physical or mental capacities home alone; knowing that a friendly, professional caregiver is there can give you some peace of mind in knowing that your parent isn't alone.

9. Family togetherness. The stress of caregiving can wreak havoc on family bonds, and hospitalizing a loved one can leave family members at the mercy of visiting hours and having to travel to spend time with their spouse, parent, or child. Hiring a caregiver allows your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home, and can eliminate much of the stress and promote harmony within a family during difficult times.

Home Health Care

Home health care is something that we all need to be aware of. As we age, and more commonly, as our parents age, we find we need to have interest in this industry. Aging is a natural and inevitable process, and there comes a time when our parents are unable to provide the same level of self-care they used to.

This is where it comes into play. It is a way to provide our parents with the care they need, without having to worry about their increasing physical deterioration. Home health providers can provide a range of services to meet the needs of your particular loved one.

These providers come into the home and assist with whatever needs to be done. This includes, but is not limited to, medical care when needed. For most people, their first introduction to this is part of the recovery process from a major injury or medical event.

Medical events are part of life for elderly people. Many people start suffering from falls as they age, due to increasing issues with balance and reduced bone strength. Another common medical event for older people is surgery of some sort. There are many different surgeries that the elderly could have, and many of them result in elaborate aftercare requirements.

For many elderly people, it is covered by Medicare. The exact coverage depends on the nature of the medical issue that the person is suffering from and the severity of the medical condition. Consulting your company and discussing your coverage in advance is recommended.

A home health care provider can provide medical care for a loved one that is recovering from illness or injury. They can come to the person's home, and provide the aftercare that the doctor ordered to ensure that the recovery goes smoothly and the patient does not suffer from any issues as a result of their weakened state.

They can also provide care that is not medical in nature. They can assist with grooming and toileting needs, as well as feeding the person and providing assistance with basic acts of daily living. In some cases, they clean and prepare meals for the person to eat when the home health care person is no longer there.

Arranging for home health care is a great way to ensure that your loved one is receiving the care that they need to stay healthy for as long as possible. There are different kinds and different arrangements for them, depending on the needs of the person receiving care. Always make sure you understand what level of care is covered by your insurance or Medicare.

Home Health Care vs Assisted Living

Home Health Care in Los Angeles

Home health care is health care that is provided to patients inside their home, and usually by either health care professionals or family and friends. The term "home care" suggests that the care provided is non-medical and more of a custodial nature, whereas "home health care" may suggest licensed staff members. The differences here are similar to the differences between assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Much like assisted living facilities, home health care lets seniors enjoy a good measure of independence. An elderly individual or couple will appreciate having privacy as well as assistance in daily living needs.

What Home Health Care Provides

What kind of services does home health care provide? Home health care may help seniors with daily living needs such as bathing, dressing, house keeping and cooking and dining preparation. Depending on the needs of the resident, there may be special provisions such as transportation services and errands, volunteer programs, exercise and walking, and toileting assistance. More extensive forms of home health care would also provide rehabilitation programs, including visits from physical therapists and nurses. Other qualified home health care professionals may include respiratory nurses, occupational nurses, social workers, mental health workers and physicians.

Who pays for home health care? This type of outside assisted living program can be paid by private resources from the resident or family, by public payers such as Medicare and Medicaid or by employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Medicare will usually not pay for home health care on a long term basis while Medicaid is more likely to help low-income families with little or no assets. Employer-sponsored home health care is likely to be on a short term basis unless the insurance plan is very generous. Most of the time home health care will be paid for by a family's own resources.

Comparing Home Health Care with Assisted Living

How does home health care compare with in-house stays at nursing homes and assisted living facilities? Most seniors would prefer home health care, of course, as people always do value their privacy. However, there are also circumstances that would necessitate constant supervision of the resident at an assisted living facility, and not only occasional visits. Home health care is basically assisted living, but with even more independence. Therefore a resident that cannot be left alone for long periods of time would be better suited in a nursing or board and care type home.

It might appear that home health care would be cheaper than a stay in a nursing home. However, home health care costs can be just as expensive, depending on the number of hours aides work. Some residents have admitted that full time home health care usually costs twice as much as a stay in a board and care or assisted living home. Most home health care agencies will charge about $20.00 an hour or over. If the resident is relatively independent then the fees associated with the service can be controlled. However, don't forget that if your needs are minimal to begin with, you could hire a trusted individual to perform the same tasks and save money from paying an agency fee.

Home health care is ideal for seniors who feel well and can easily get around but who need occasional doctor visits and help with housekeeping. It is also a preferable choice if a senior needs full time care but does not want to become a resident in a public nursing home. Full time home health care provides the most privacy and personal attention possible. If you are looking for this type of senior assistance, you should always be mindful of the qualifications of workers, as opening one's home to a stranger could always be a security risk. The best home health care agencies have screened workers who are well qualified in their field.

How We Can Help You

ElderHomeFinders is a company dedicated to helping seniors locate assistance in the southern California area. We inspect assisted living facilities and retirement communities in the area so that our clients will find the perfect home at a price they can afford. Can ElderHomeFinders also help seniors find home health care? Yes. Our company can put you in touch with the right home health care agency, according to your special needs and budget limitation. We can also advise you on the differences between home health care services and assisted living and board and care facilities and which choice would better work for you. Seniors have worked hard all their life and surely deserve the best health care possible - whether in a senior living facility or in their own home.

Home Health Care - What to Look For

America's senior citizen population has never been bigger, and it just keeps on growing! Better medical care and healthier lifestyles mean that people are living longer than ever before, and the need for quality home health care services is growing too. If you have an aging parent or partner or if you have a special needs child who requires part or full-time care, then home health care might be a great choice for your family. Here are some things to look for during your selection process.

--An Excellent Reputation: Being able to remain in the familiar surroundings of one's own home is a blessing indeed; but sometimes medical attention is needed or a caregiver is wanted to provide family members with a little relief. Home health care satisfies these needs and more, but you want to be sure you are choosing a professional agency that enjoys longevity and a positive reputation in your community.

--All the Right Qualifications: When it comes to your loved ones, you want only the best; be sure that the agency's medical staff is comprised of RNs who are qualified to administer medications and comprehensive care across a broad spectrum of needs. Caregivers should be state-certified and thoroughly screened by the agency for your protection and the well-being of your loved one.

--Ongoing Communication: Your home health care services providers should keep you as well as your loved one's medical team thoroughly apprised of everything they do to ensure that everyone involved in care is on the same page.

Make sure to interview plenty of candidates in your area and take the time to choose the service whose team best meets your standards for professionalism, qualifications, and following proper procedures. And remember: it's all about kindness, caring and compassion too.

How to Best Use Bed and Floor Trapezes in Home Health Care

When you or a loved one need home health care, having the right equipment at hand can be essential. Especially if the home health care patient needs to use a wheelchair, and has difficulty moving about on their own. This kind of patient also will have difficulty getting in and out of bed and other than slings the best aids for this task are bed and floor trapezes designed for easy transfer from bed to chair, and back again. In this article we will cover the basic types of trapeze equipment and how to best use them effectively.

Bed Trapezes

When it comes to bed and floor trapezes for home health care, the one most often employed is the bed trapeze. These attach directly to a hospital bed, and can be done in two ways. The first most commonly used hospital bed trapeze is the overhead trapeze bar, which is usually attached directly to the headboard. The bar itself retracts, so that it is never truly in the way. Having it attached overhead allows the patient to be able to use it to pull themselves up into a sitting position easily without aid. A secondary use that is often used by patients with decent upper body strength is as an exercise tool, with the overhead attachment making it perfect for continuing to strengthen that upper body strength by doing pull ups from a prone position.

The second type of hospital bed trapeze attaches to a side rail, instead of the headboard. In terms of home trapeze equipment, it can be the most versatile of its kind, making it easily adjustable for patients who may be taller than average, or whose infirmity or injury requires them to pull up from a different angle than others might. Both kinds of bed trapezes are essential for patients who want some sense of independence and are vital in getting them into an upright position for transfer into their wheelchair from the bed.

Floor Trapezes

Floor trapezes operate completely independent of hospital beds and generally come in two forms: stationary and wheeled. In whatever form you choose, they are very important for use with bariatric patients, because overhead and rail bed trapezes are often not enough to facilitate getting them into an upright position, and then into their wheelchair or mobility scooter. A bariatric patient is considered to be any patient that is considered to be obese, usually 300 pounds or more.

The stationary floor medical trapeze is usually adjustable in height, and once it is locked into place, is pretty hard to shift out of position. Because it is most often used with bariatric patients, it will often be used in tandem with a belt sling by the caregiver, to add extra stability when transferring the patient from the bed to their chair. The wheeled floor trapeze unit, on the other hand, is one of the most versatile types around. The wheels lock to keep it in place, and can be used at bedside or anywhere else in the home when the patient needs to be transferred from their wheelchair, even in the bath. For patients that require constant aid in transfers, this kind of bed and floor trapezes is the perfect choice for the home.

Understanding the Benefits of Home Health Care

Home health care is a must for people who are currently in the process of rehabilitation. This is also an option that people can take for their senior elders. Most people think that this type of living conditions always refers to having someone live-in the same home as the patient but actually, there are different ways in which this setup is made possible.

But the truth is that there are different types of services that home health care can render, depending on what your needs are. It's also not necessary to have the caretaker live in your home if that is not the setup that you like. The first most important thing to do would be to identify what your needs are and who the patient will be.

Home health care is often about skilled care nursing which is facilitated on a part-time or skilled basis. General assisted care is often being implemented but on top of this, there are other services too that can be offered such as physical therapy as well as occupational therapy. You can also ask for other medical social services to be included in the program.

In relation to these types of services, there are also several types of care professionals who can be offered to you by the care agencies. On a general level, there are care aides who are perfect for people who are in need of assisted living. They can also do some light housekeeping duties for the patient such as cooking and cleaning the home, even doing some groceries.

Depending on the case of the patient, a nurse may also be assigned to your home. However, nurses for home health care often follow a specific schedule and visit on an intermittent basis. But there are also agencies where hiring a nurse, who lives with the patient, is made possible. Rates of this kind might be more expensive but worth it.

When there is a nurse involved or a health aide to live with the patient, the agency often coordinates this with the client first. The client is sometimes given the opportunity to actually speak with the qualified care professionals to help assess the best option among them. The client may also be given the freedom to suggest bits and pieces in the program.

You may have noticed the relevance of agencies in the home health care setup. They are actually the institutions whom you could turn to for your needs. These agencies are great because they can become the point of contact for your questions and other needs.

Home health care is a long-term process. So before you get into this, better make sure that you go through the details first and that you are able to understand the implications it will have on your family.

The Benefits of Home Health Care

Let's face it; everyone has to deal with health care at some point in their lives. No matter how healthy of a lifestyle you tend to live, chances are you'll require this when you grow old. There are a variety of different ways to go about obtaining this, many people take the route of going into a nursing home. Instead, however, home health care can be very effective. The following are just a few of the most prominent benefits of home health care, all of which make a case for taking this route rather than settling on a nursing home.

For one, this provides those who receive it with the dignity that they deserve. Going into a nursing home can be a shock to a person's system, and can dramatically affect their dignity in negative ways. Home health care, on the other hand, provides these individuals with the respect that they deserve.

This is very effective at preventing or delaying the need for hospital care. For example, those that do not receive this type often end up in the hospital earlier than necessary because no preventative measures are taken. Home health care is a very good solution to this.

Another reason to consider is that it offers the individual the most amount of comfort and freedom that they can experience in their current state. The same cannot be said for those who end up in nursing homes, which feature rigid schedules and programs that must be followed. As a result, it provides for the most relaxing environment possible for a person to grow old in.

In order for one to grow old comfortably, it's important for the program to be tailored to their individual needs and preferences. Unfortunately, this is not common when people end up in nursing homes. With this, however, this can be very easily attainable and is very much worth working towards.

While some people think they can grow old in their homes on their own, the fact remains that professionally supervised services are of the utmost importance. Home health care provides these types of services, and should not be underestimated. Rather than going into a nursing home, one should consider this as the better alternative.

When people grow old, it's not uncommon for families to get torn apart over the stress factors that sometimes come about. This can help to alleviate this stress, and make things easier and more comfortable for everyone involved.

As you can see, there are many benefits to home health care. This is without a doubt the best way to age in a graceful, respectful manner.

Benefits of Elderly Home Health Care

Are you aware of the fact that elderly individuals prefer to stay at home than to be placed in nursing home or long-term care centers? Are you aware of the benefits of home health care? To know more about it, read the article below.

Senior citizens do not like to be placed in nursing homes or assisted living facilities because they do not like to loss their independence and they like to enjoy the comfort of their own homes.

Majority of them want to stay in their own houses, but many of them are placed in geriatrics homes when it is not really needed.

Advantages of home health care:

* It is more suitable than nursing homes or assisted living facilities because it promotes their independence and their empowerment.

* It promotes stable of mind, mental health and boosts sense of being control of oneself.

* They feel less vulnerable because friends and family are near and just around.

* If you hire caregivers, your loved ones can establish strong bond of companionship with them.

* Caregivers can help them achieve normal routine while improving their quality of life.

* They can accompany your parents to visit their friends and relatives who also receive the same type home care.

As your parents or grandparents grew older, it can be challenging for you on how to take care of them better. Despite the different and sensitive needs they have, they need all the love, understanding, companionship, support and care from family members, thus home care is the best option to consider.

Tips on how to provide quality home health care for your elderly loved ones:

* Assess their needs first. List their needs and ways on how to meet them. If they have dementia or Alzheimer's disease, it is best that you consult your physician first before you decide to take them home.

* Sit down and have a talk with other members of the family regarding your decision to take care of your elderly loved one at home. Since it can be a difficult decision for the family, it is best that you have an open line of communication to know each other's concerns.

* If you and other members of the family are busy, you can hire a caregiver to look after your parents at home. It is much better than placing them in nursing homes because you can monitor their health and status easily. Be sure to choose credible, experienced and responsible caregiver. Try to ask friends, relatives and colleagues for referrals or surf the Internet to read reviews of satisfied customers.

* Having caregiver at home to look after your parents is advantageous because of several reasons like:

- They can provide company and support.

- They can keep an eye of safety hazards at home.

- They can help maintain the cleanliness of your home.

- They can prepare nutritious and appetizing meals for your parents.

- They can monitor and give medicines at prescribed time.

- They can bring your parents to the park, to visit friends or to the doctor for regular monitoring and check ups.

- They can assist in bathing and grooming of your elderly loved ones.

* Lastly, you have the chance to spend quality time with your parents or grandparents.

With the advantages of elderly home health care mentioned above, there is no doubt that home health care is the best option available.

Home Health Care - Staying Healthy When You Are The Caregiver

Caregivers are expected to be strong and healthy, but what happens if the caregiver gets sick? As the operator of a home care agency, I could always tell when a caregiver who was calling on the phone to order service was at a breaking point. Their voices were very stressed and they were almost in a panic. Often, as they described their situation, you could hear the tears welling up inside of them. These were individuals who have taken on a tremendous load and were in need of support. Unfortunately, they waited too long and the stress of being a caregiver had already taken its toll, but it does not have to be that way.

If you are the primary caregiver of older parents or an ailing spouse, you need to be very careful not to let the situation overwhelm you. While this sounds easier said than done, there are steps you can take to prevent burnout. Here are a few points that can help.

  1. Look for help. Allow others to help and don't feel that you have to be the one to do everything. There are numerous ways to get help for your loved one depending on your needs, location and financial situation. Here are a few:
    1. Contact the Office on Aging and ask about respite programs. Usually, most counties have programs that will pay for a limited number of hours of home care services, free of charge. This program is designed to give you a break and allow you to get out of the house.
    2. If you qualify for Medicaid, there may be programs available which would pay for either home care or adult day care services.
    3. If the person has a serious illness, consider hiring hospice. You do not have to wait until the illness is at the end stages to get help.
    4. Ask relatives or close friends to help out.

  2. Get some exercise. Exercise can help you reduces stress, keep your body strong, strengthen your immune system and just make you feel good. Some of the best exercises are walking or biking. These are easy to do, gets your heart rate into the aerobic zone, burns calories and gives you a chance to clear your head. Some excellent mind/body exercises include yoga, tai chi and Qi gong. Make time to exercise and you will reap the rewards.
  3. Eat well. Like exercise, eating a well balanced diet helps you feel good, helps avoid being sick and gives you the energy you need to be a caregiver.
  4. Learn relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation and some of the mind/body exercise mentioned above can be tremendously helpful. An easy breathing technique is to inhale through your nose four a count of four, filling your belly with air, not your chest. Hold your breath for a count of seven and then exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Do a few repetitions at a time. This can really help calm the nerves when practiced regularly.
  5. Get an adequate amount of sleep. The fastest way to get run down is never getting enough sleep. If you find you are caring for your loved one at night, try to hire a person for overnights if this is possible. If you have siblings, ask them to chip in financially if they are not able to share some of the actual hands on care.

While it can be very difficult to do many of the suggestions listed above, you must understand that if you get run down and sick, the problem is greatly magnified. You must be firm in demanding time to care for yourself and most importantly, you must not feel guilty. You are doing a great and honorable thing by being a caregiver, but it must not completely take over your life.

If you do not know where to turn, consider hiring a professional geriatric care manager. While they can be a bit costly, it is often money well spent as their years of experience are focused on helping seniors and their families when in need.

Lastly, an excellent resource for finding senior related business is a website called CareGrade, found at Here you will find a listing of local services and be able to read reviews written by professional geriatric care managers.

7 Questions to Ask About Home Health Care

There may come a time where you, your parents, or another elderly relative living in the low country of South Carolina, may need the services of a local home health care agency. Nobody wants to become injured or sick, but life happens, and when it does, know that there are great institutions offering home health care in Charleston.

Before approaching the various agencies providing home health care in Charleston, make a list of questions. When talking to the various representatives write down the answers, so you can compare them afterwards. The information you gathered during these conversations will then help you to make an informed decision.

1. What kind of services do you offer? Do they include: bathing and grooming, dressing, light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, medication reminders, as well as eating and feeding assistance, and incontinence management?
2. Do the caregivers working in home health care in Charleston also take care of pets?
3. Is emotional support available? The loss of their independence can be traumatic for some patients, as well as dealing with their health issues.
4. Do you provide both short and long term assistance? You need to make sure that short term commitments can be extended in case a recovery is not going as smoothly as predicted.
5. Are the caregivers engaged in home health care in Charleston supervised by registered nurses? Do they receive ongoing in-house training?
6. Is professional support staff available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week?
7. Will supervisors and registered nurses always be accessible to answer my questions? Although you may be satisfied with the initial information you received, other concerns may pop up later on. If that happens, you want them answered by professionals you can trust.

Home Health Care: Choose Wisely

Many people don't think about it until it's too late, but home health care is something that you should consider before hospitals or nursing homes become your only option. Realistically, wouldn't you want your children to keep you around after you are unable to take care of yourself, in the comfort of your own home?

If you have not run across the idea of home health care yet in your travels, it combines the best of many worlds of care. The same quality of care a patient would get in a hospital is transferred to a private residence, where the patient is the sole focus of a trained professional on hand.

The person will be trained in many basic and advanced parts of the treatment process, including having knowledge of nutrition, IV's, patient and caregiver processes, occupational and dietary therapy, and a consistent knowledge of anything medically related that specific person needs to be health and safe in the home environment.

If medical agencies are smart, they always have an arm of their service that includes the ability of their staff to go on home health care assignments. This is because is can be beneficial to all parties involved, as the correct utilization of resources saves everyone time and money, and people use that to their advantage.

If you are worried about certain conditions for your parent, here are some things that home health care deals with as well - helping them eat and drink properly, basic cooking and cleaning, checking temperature and breathing, if they need assistance getting into and out of bed, if they need a helping hand with things like bathing or using the bathroom.

One of the first things that you should discuss is the plan of care. That is a document that details all of the daily, short term, and long term aspects of the care, from who is going to take care of what, to the types of medical equipment that needs to be on hand, to deciding which treatments are going to take how long and when results should be seen.

Staff should always be determined to improve their service as well. If you have noticed that your home health care provided has become lazy or does not take as much interest in the client as they should, you should immediately start shopping around for a better place to hire from. Improvement is always the key.

It's not an easy decision sending a loved one to a hospital or nursing home, so make the right choice and instead have the hospital come to you. The service can be excellent, and you'll feel more connected instead of guilty as time goes by and your parents are still happy.

Nurses On Home Health Care

Nurse is one of the noble professions that most of the people need to have in terms of medical assistance and health care. They are being looked up with high respect and appreciation by different race of people with different culture and beliefs.

Nurses can do different tasks according to their trainings and skills. Most of their jobs usually differ according to their practice area and work place. Most of the place and major areas that they usually work on are hospitals, government health centers, nursing home, day care center, home health care center. Home health care center, as it name implies, these nurses are home based nurses that provide health care to private individuals on their homes. They provide health care according to the need of the patient on their home. They do have specialization according to their degrees and trainings.

Nurses who work at private homes do take different patients like those who suffer from chronic illnesses, physical and mental illness, recovering from accidents, terminal injuries like those who need special care due to acquired illness on childbirth. Home care services are being provided for a short time only that is depends on the service approved by the attending physician. Home care nurses are usually associated with private organization and hospital or some do work independently. One of the most special jobs of a home care nurses is their ability to go along with the family members and give them information about the condition of the patient and instruct them what to do in case of emergency.

Hospice Home Health Caring Tips

Once your loved one gets to the point where medical treatment is no longer effective, you move into palliative care mode. That's when Hospice takes over the daily routine of care. this article will inform you of just what Hospice covers.

Terminal patients come in many forms. Elderly patients are sometimes referred to Hospice at the end of their lives to help with the transition to death. Many of these patients have already been in some form of home health and are just moved to being cared for by Hospice. Other reasons for Hospice are terminal illness and injury. Many cancer patients are in Hospice care for the final stages of life.

Hospice care is a lifesaver for most families because they can't afford the care costs associated with long illness. Home health is expensive and hospital stays are even worse. Hospice provides medical equipment such as beds, walkers, wheel chairs, and ventilators. These costs alone can overwhelm a family under any circumstances. Add in the impending death of a loved one and it becomes unmanageable. Also, many times family members will take leaves of absence from work in the time that their spouse or parent is under Hospice care. With no work, the free medical equipment is a gift from the heavens. Medications and doctor visits are also free once a person qualifies for Hospice.

Hospice offers much more than just medical care. They have grief counselors and clergy on call for families of ill patients. Their goal is to counsel everyone involved to make the situation as painless as possible. Often you will get visits at home from your nurse and your counselor. The counselors speak with the entire family, together and individually. This is a great way to get everything out in the open with each other and express your fears.

Hospice has different stages of care. Patients progress through these stages at different speeds. Most Hospice centers use a color coded system for identifying teams. Others use numbers, like 1-4, to depict the level of care needed. In the beginning, lower stages require minimal care and visits. They set you up with your equipment and give you the information you will need. As you progress through the program you get more in depth care. Visits increase and so do phone calls. They take it upon themselves to keep a constant line of communication with you. Toward the end your home health provider may transfer some of their low level cases to another caregiver.

Will Malpractice Cases Increase for Connecticut's Home Health Care Industry?

Several forces are coming together which will expand the home health care industry in Connecticut.

Governor Malloy is expanding the MFP ( Money Follows the Person) program. This is a federal reform program that aims to reduce the number of patients on Medicaid in expensive institutional healthcare settings. It focuses on moving people out of long-term care facilities and placing them back into their homes where most elderly people prefer to reside. The Connecticut legislature has approved new regulations for the home health care industry that will allow nurses to delegate medication administration to home health aides that are working with patients in their homes. All of these changes are designed to benefit the elderly and to improve quality of life and expand the elderly population that can reside at home with assistance. These are all positive things for health challenged individuals, providing the proper community support is available. This was not the case when the state decided that mental health patients belonged in the community and not in chronic care facilities. Community support was grossly inadequate in the 1980s when the state deinstitutionalized patients from psychiatric hospitals, producing disastrous results for many communities and individuals. Hopefully this most recent plan to transition people into the community has taken into account the need for expanded home health care services.

A second shift in the state's public health policy that has started to effect the home health care industry is in the area of informed risk. Informed risk is basically a policy stating that a person who may not be deemed safe to stay at home is allowed to remain at home as long as patient and family acknowledge that the patient is at greater risk of injury at home as opposed to a facility. It is an honoring of the patient's wishes as opposed to what the agency may feel is the best plan of care for the individual. Up until recently if a person was deemed unsafe in their home environment the home care agency would not support the person remaining at home. In other words they would refuse to provide services. Now the state is promoting keeping people at risk in their homes, providing that they are mentally sound, and they have acknowledged the fact that they are assuming greater risk by staying at home.

Even with good agency oversight it is inevitable that these shifts regarding informed risk and allowing non nurses to give medications will lead to an increase in injuries, accidental overdoses, misuse of medications as well as negligence and/or abuse. Agency staff will need to carefully document risk assessment and delegation of duties. Careful monitoring and good case management will help minimize errors and limit abuse and neglect in this population however the home care industry is certain to have an increase in liability hence the possibility of increasing nursing malpractice claims.

With the first wave of baby boomers starting to retire, the number of senior citizens in Connecticut continues to expand. The need for experienced home health care experts will continue to grow as well.

How to Become a Home Health Care Nurse

Home Health Care Nursing Information and Overview

Home health care is allowing the patient and their family to maintain dignity and independence. According to the National Association for Home Care, there are more than 7 million individuals in the United States in need of home health care nurse services because of acute illness, long term health problems, permanent disability or terminal illness.

Home Health Care Basics

Nurses practice in a number of venues: Hospital settings, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and home health care. Home health care nursing is a growing phenomenon as more patients and their families desire to receive care in their homes. The history of home health care stems from Public Health Nursing where public health nurses made home visits to promote health education and provide treatment as part of community outreach programs. Today academic programs train nurses in home care and agencies place home health care nurses with ailing individuals and their families depending on the nurse's experience and qualifications. In many cases there is a shared relationship between the agency and the academic institution.

Many changes have taken place in the area of home health care. These include Medicare and Medicaid, and Long Term Care insurance reimbursement and documentation. It is important for the nurse and nursing agency to be aware of the many factors involved for these rules and regulations resulting from these organizations. Population and demographic changes are taking place as well. Baby boomers approaching retirement and will present new challenges for the home health care industry. Technology and medical care in hospitals has lead to shorter inpatient stay and more at-home rehabilitation. Increases in medical outpatient procedures are also taking place with follow-up home care. This has resulted in the decrease of mortality rate from these technologies and medical care has lead to increases in morbidity and chronic illness that makes the need for home health care nursing a greater priority.

Home Health Care Nurse Job Description

Through an array of skills and experience, home health care nurses specialize in a wide range of treatments; emotional support, education of patients who are recovering from illnesses and injury for young children and adults, to women who have experienced recent childbirth, to the elderly who need palliative care for chronic illness.

A practicing nurse must have the skills to provide care in a unique setting such as someone's home. The nurse is working with the patient and the family and must understand the communication skills for such dynamics. Rapport is evident in all nursing positions, but working in a patient's own living space needs a different level of skill and understanding. There is autonomous decision making as the nurse is no longer working as a team with other nurses in a structured environment, but is now as a member of the "family" team. The host family has cultural values that are important and are different for every patient and must be treated with extreme sensitivity. Other skills include critical thinking, coordination, assessment, communication, and documentation.

Home health care nurses also specialize in the care of children with disabilities that requires additional skills such as patience and understanding of the needs of the family. Children are living with disabilities today that would have resulted in mortality just twenty years ago. Genetic disorders, congenital physical impairments, and injury are just a few. Many families are familiar with managing the needs of the child, but still need expert care that only a home health care nurse can provide. It is important that a home health care nurse is aware of the expertise of the family about the child's condition for proper care of the child. There are many complexities involved, but most important, a positive attitude and positive reinforcement is of utmost importance for the development of the child.

Medication coordination between the home health care nurse, doctor, and pharmacist, ensures proper management of the exact science behind giving the patient the correct dose, time of administration, and combinations. Home health care nurses should be familiar with pharmacology and taught in training about different medications used by patients in the clinical setting.

Many advanced practicing nurses are familiar with medication regiments. They have completed graduate level programs. Home health care agencies believe that a nurse should have at least one year of clinical experience before entering home health care. Advanced practicing nurses can expedite that training by helping new nurses understand the home health care market and teaching.

Employment and Salary

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 2.4 million nurses in America, the largest healthcare occupation, yet many academic and hospital organizations believe there is a gross shortage in nursing staff. The shortage of nurses was 6% in 2000 and is expected to be 10% in 2010. The average salary for hospital nursing is $53,450 with 3 out of 5 nursing jobs are in the hospital. For home health care, the salary is $49,000. For nursing care facilities, they were the lowest at $48,200.

Training and continuing education

Most home health care nurses gain their education through accredited nursing schools throughout the country with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), or a master's degree in nursing (MSN). According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2004 there were 674 BSN nursing programs, 846 ADN programs. Also, in 2004, there were 417 master's degree programs, 93 doctoral programs, and 46 joint BSN-doctoral programs. The associate degree program takes 2 to 3 years to complete, while bachelors degrees take 4 years to complete. Nurses can also earn specialized professional certificates online in Geriatric Care or Life Care Planning.

In addition, for those nurses who choose to pursue advancement into administrative positions or research, consulting, and teaching, a bachelor's degree is often essential. A bachelor's degree is also important for becoming a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners (U.S. Department of Labor, 2004).

All home health care nurses have supervised clinical experience during their training, but as stated earlier advanced practicing nurses hold master's degrees and unlike bachelor and associate degrees, they have a minimum of two years of post clinical experience. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, psychology, and behavioral sciences and liberal arts. Many of these programs have training in nursing homes, public health departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory clinics. (U.S. Dep. of Labor, 2004).

Whether a nurse is training in a hospital, nursing facility, or home care, continuing education is necessary. Health care is changing rapidly and staying abreast with the latest developments enhances patient care and health procedures. Universities, continuing education programs, and internet sites, all offer continuing education. One such organization that provides continuing education is the American Nurses Association (ANA) or through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).


There are many rewards to becoming a home health care nurse. Some rewards include the relationship with a patient and their family, autonomy, independence, and engaging in critical thinking. The 21st Century brings with it many opportunities and challenges. We must meet these challenges head on - there is an aging baby boomer population, a growing morbidity factor due to increased medical technology and patient care, and the growing shortage in nursing care.

Becoming a home health care nurse today is exciting and an opportunity to make a difference one life at a time. With clinical experience and proper education, a home health care nurse will lead the future of medical care.

Home Health Care Benefits

Recovering from an illness or injury can be a stressful time for both the patient and the patient's family. That stress is compounded when chronic illness or disability is involved. Research has consistently shown that, when at all possible, recovering at home is the best option for the patient's physical and mental health. Unfortunately, when the patient is elderly or too injured or ill to care for themselves, recovering at home is sometimes not an option.

Finding friends or family members to assist with daily tasks is not always feasible. Even when family members are in a position to assist, the burden placed on them often puts a strain on their other family relationships, as well as their career and personal life. The alternative to home recovery-having their loved one leave their home to life in a medical facility or nursing home-is often a last and regretful resort.

Luckily, there is another way for patients to remain in their beloved homes while receiving quality health care assistance: Home Health Care. Recent technological advance such as the internet and home infusion have made home health care available to many more patients than in the past. According to the National Association for Home Care, there are approximately 20,000 home health care providers today. While almost two-thirds of home care recipients are seniors over 65, home health care can assist anyone who requires some assistance while recovering from an illnesses or suffering a disability.

Here are some benefits of home health care:

o Seniors can continue living in their own familiar, comfortable environment
o Dignity and independence is maintained
o Patients receive one on one attention and care from the home health caregiver
o Home health care is often less expensive than care in nursing homes / assisted living facilities
o It relieves the burden placed on adult children to provide care for their aging parents

Most people prefer receiving care in a familiar setting where they are surrounded by love, patience and understanding people. Home health care providers help strengthen and increase the patient's ability to care for themselves in their homes. They can also have a positive impact on a patient's hopes and aspirations.

Is Home Health Care Right For You?

With the financial situation in the US the way it is presently and the need to fix foreign affairs, health care takes a backseat. The mortgage lending situation undoubtedly, needs careful attention but what happens to health care. The situation in home health care is still shaky to say the least. Family caregivers already have to deal with plenty in terms of estate planning, navigating the Medicare and Medicaid maze, as well hold jobs in the case of many squeeze generation women.

The truth is, America as a nation is aging. The first of the baby boomer generation is turning 65 in the year 2013. With the aging of America, we need to expand the amount of home health care solutions available to seniors. This means more cash and counsel programs, expanded assisted living arrangements, more community living programs, and adult day care. Home health agencies are not for everyone. True, it is a much more financially viable solution than nursing homes, which can cost up to 70 thousand dollars a year.

Everyone wants to retire and age in the comfort of their own home. Not many people want to age in nursing homes. The problem with home health agencies is the limited scope of responsibilities each assistant is allowed to attend to. Many home health care agencies have strict criteria that exclude things like bowel care and help with trach tubes, both things that are essential in family with MS or other brain-impairing diseases. The alternatives are hiring independently, hiring family, or neighbors if the situation allows it. When you consider home health care, the main considerations are financial and quality of care. Do you receive financial aid either by Medicaid or some other outside funding? Do you need professional nursing home type care? What is the extent of disability?

Home Health Care: Your Choice

You don't have to make the terrible decision to send one of your loved ones to a hospital or nursing home - there is always the home health care option! Just think, you might even be able to save money by having a professional come to your home to take care of someone who has been hurt.

Home health care, in the most basic sense, is where a trained agent will come in and do all of the things that a patient would have needed at the hospital, but in the convenient setting of a home environment, where friends and family can be around as well to help things.

During a home heath care contract, personnel can do things like physical and occupational therapy, nutrition therapy, handle treatment that deals with medication or IV's, deal with things like patient and caregiver knowledge, and monitor any possible serious condition that might pop up. All of the attention will definitely be on you, the patient, instead of many at a hospital.

There are all sorts of agencies that have home health care options. You'll find companies ranging from tiny neighborhood ones to major corporate ones, and the options that you need will be clearly defined when you talk to any of them for the first time. Just don't be scared to ask questions.

The home health care staff will take care of a patients eating and drinking, check on vitals like temperature, breathing, pain levels, amount of sleep they get, heart rate, and blood pressure. In addition, they can take care of things like basic cooking and cleaning, depending on the program you've set up for them.

Always make sure that they explain to you how the plan of car works as well. It's basically just a list of all the services and equipment you need at your home, as well as schedules and time frames, and what type of results you should expect during what stage of the care the patient is in at any given time. Any adjustment in care should be indicated on this list.

The process should be under a state of constant improvement as well. Every day there will be challenges, and the challenges should be met with ideas about how to make the situation better for everyone involved. Staff should always be polite and respectful, and if they aren't, it is time to choose a new company.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how home health care works, do a little homework to find if there are local places that fit you needs, and you know that you'll be ready to make the right decision if you're ever put in the position to make a call.

What Should A Home Health Care Agency Do To Serve Your Needs?

Probably it is time to seek the assistance of a home health care agency if your beloved needs either medical or non medical help. Whilst you've got intentions for being the sole care provider for your loved one, this may turn out to be very hard, on the other hand, the final option is putting them in a home. Know that you are not alone with regards to this problem so you do have alternatives for your beloved, with one of them being help with a home health care agency.

A home health care agency gives numerous beneficial services to you and your family member. As you'll be able to regain things such as time for yourself as well as freedom, your beloved is going to be properly cared for so you don't need to worry. You'll have these facilities brought to you rather than having to bring your beloved from one appointment to another. If you are not sure if a home health care agency will be able to assist you as well as your loved one, here's a perception of the services many agencies offer.

First, they will offer many difference sorts of therapy remedies. Included you'll typically get respiratory, occupational and physical therapies. Through these facilities your beloved will have the ability to live as comfy as possible, enjoy life to their fullest extent, all regardless of age. Whether it is your parent, young child, spouse, and brother or sister, a home health care agency can help.

Next, they also give a selection of other services like assisting with personal needs such as bathing, eating, getting your loved one to meetings, and even just getting them away from the home. In addition to personal care services an ideal agency will also offer patients both live-in care and respite care. With such a service, you can find help for your family member whether it's for a few hours each day or all hours of a day. Health care professionals are available to help with a variety of tasks including things like laundry, keeping the patients room maintained, keeping an eye fixed on their dietary plan, and even running errands. All of these facilities will be provided by an excellent agency.

In a nutshell, no matter what you and your loved one need in order to gain back a high quality of life, home care agencies exist to help, all for an affordable price. A plan will be determined, which can then be accomplished by pros who are qualified to do so. Whether you want help while you're at work, or want to have a family trip, you can get this freedom again. An agency will not only give you freedom, but it can assist with your loved one gaining back their self-esteem, all while being relaxed. These provided services can help every family member, regardless of the patients needs.

Different Types of Health Care Services at Home

Home health care encompasses many different types of health care services which are provided in the patient's home. This can include visits from nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and nursing assistants. Home health care can mean a one time visit or 24 hour a day care.

The patients who receive health care from home are just as diverse. They can be the elderly who live alone or an infant who is on life support. The goal of home health care is to keep the patient in their own home while ensuring good medical care. This kind of health care reduces overall health care costs since these patients do not have to pay for hospital rooms and services.

Health care services at home may be administered by a local hospital or an independent agency. End of life health care from home is often provided by Hospice. It is important to make sure you hire credentialed home healthcare workers when you are looking for home health care. Healthcare practitioners who provide this service must be fully licensed just like their counterparts who work in hospitals or nursing homes.

This particular service is usually covered by insurance, at least in part, if it is ordered by a physician. Insurance companies are generally supportive of home health care because it costs them less money to cover a patient at home as opposed to covering the cost of a hospital stay.

This services may include the following:

1) A visit from a registered nurse for evaluations or to administer IV medications.
2) A visit from a respiratory therapist to maintain medical equipment.
3) A visit from a physical therapist for a session of rehabilitation exercises.
4) Around the clock care by certified nursing assistants.
5) Overnight coverage by a sitter.

Health care services at home will usually be arranged by the hospital, nursing home, or physician after a hospitalization and before the patient is sent home. Insurance arrangements will be made before hand and the approved number of visits and type of care will be determined. If the patient does not need much hands-on care, but requires supervision, a sitter may be indicated. If the patient needs to be fed, bathed, or given medications, a nursing assistant may be sent for part of the day. Home health care workers have specific tasks which they are and are not allowed to do according to their license.

Home Health Care Certification

What exactly is home health care and how do you enter this booming market? As indicated by its name, home health care is simply health care provided for those that require assistance in their home. It shouldn't be confuse from basic home care, which does not account for the trained medical care that is provided.

In most cases, simple home care involves meeting the day to day needs of your loved one, like shopping, cleaning and errand running, and is mostly provided by friends or family. On occasion a companion is hired to perform these tasks. In contrast, home health care is usually provided by a trained professional. This may be a nurse, a therapist, or a home health aide.

To become a home health care professional, you will be required to receive some type of training. The training focus will usually center on home safety in regards to the patient. You will also receive training on how to deliver professional personal care, and how to properly use the equipment needed to assist those requiring home health care services.

The training required for the various positions can vary from on the job training to more advanced training that requires certification or a degree. The largest organization that offers training for home health care certification is the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. They offer various certification programs.

If you are in a current management position, you may want to become certified as a Home Care and Hospice Executive. If you want to receive a certification in the hands on training area, you can apply for the Home Care Aide National Certification program. No matter which certification you seek, you will need to re-certify every four years.

For the home care aides, the certification process will involve three elements that you must pass. You must pass the Training portion, the Skills Demonstration, and the Written Examination. The training portion requires a curriculum of 75 hours. This training will give you the medical skills to become fully certified.

The Skills Demonstration portion involves demonstrating competency in seventeen various skills. Demonstration of this competency comes from observation and documentation. The Written Examination is administered by the Home Care University. Obtaining your certification will ensure patients and clients that you are providing them with a higher standard of home care aide.

Whether you desire to enter this field in a management position, or as a hands-on care provider, the home health care industry has an increased need for professionals in this field. Because of our aging population, the need is expected to continue to rise through the next ten years or so. Obtaining your certification in this area will give you a leg up on your competition.

In Home Health Care Through Early Intervention

When people think of home health care, they mainly consider the needs of the elderly or the disabled. However, there is a federal program available in every state that provides in home care to children with disabilities as well as those who are at high risk for developing disabilities or falling behind their peers developmentally and socially.

Early Intervention can provide speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social play therapy for any children who are shown to be lagging on developmental test between the ages of 4 months and 3 years old. Often doctors will refer their young patients to Early Intervention if they have any concerns, but sometimes a parent who is concerned and doesn't feel like he or she is being taken seriously will refer themselves.

Once an infant or toddler has been screened for Early Intervention and is found to be eligible, the program will begin sending the child's therapists to the house on a regular basis to work on whatever skills the child is lacking or is at risk for losing. Early Intervention bills a client's insurance company just as any other home health care company would do. This includes both private insurance and Medicaid.

This form of home health care is wonderful for parents who are already stretched thin between work, other children, and now a child who has special needs. By coming to the home, instead of requiring that the children are brought to a central office, children are more likely to be seen on a regular basis. It also gives the in home health therapists to get an idea of how a child lives from day to day so that he or she can point out ways for the child's parents to improve on areas when the therapists are not in the home.

In addition to that, many children are much more comfortable in their own homes and tend to actually do better in therapy when the home care physical, speech, or occupational therapist come to work with the child. Having their own toys to play with in familiar surroundings can ease that 'warm up' period that would normally happen when being taken to a new office. Also, when a parent sees an exercise done on their own couch or floor, it can help reinforce how easy it is for them to continue to work with their child between therapist visits.

When a child turns three years old, the in home health care of the Early Intervention program stops. At this time, children who continue to need therapy are transitioned to preschool so that they can receive the therapies they need. The state is required to provide therapy through the school system for any child who needs it from the age three, until they are adults.