Home Health Care

8 Questions to Ask Your Home Health Care Agency Or Nurse

If you are in the process of finding a home care services agency or if you are considering hiring a home care nursing aide or a home health care physical therapist or occupational therapist, it is critical to find out their qualifications.

We assembled a list of 8 questions you can ask the home care agency to ensure that you are choosing the right provider for your needs.

1) What is the background of the home care company & how long have they been in business?

You want to find a reputable in home nursing agency that has been in business for a number of years and has a successful track record. Most newer home nursing care agencies haven't been around long enough to build a proven track record or a list of red flags.

So, it's important to find out as much information about the company as possible. You can do this by finding information on who owns the company and what role the ownership plays in the type and levels of service.

2) What are the home nursing care agencies qualifications, certifications, experience and training of their home care aides and nurses?

It's extremely important to find out about the credentials of the home health aides and nurses that the home care company sends to your home.

Make sure their home health aides and nurses are certified and have received adequate training.

3) How does the home nursing care agency monitor care and can the family provide feedback?

Find out if there are any quality assurance measures in place. Many home health care agencies periodically visit the home of the client or make regular calls to gather client feedback.

If this is not the case, find out how a family member can provide feedback on the quality of care or who they may contact in the home care agency to have any questions answered.

4) Are there any home visits or assessments that take place prior to home health care services beginning?

Find out if there are any options available that allow the family members, client and the home care agency representative to meet prior to the start of services. Most reputable home nursing care agencies offer free consultations.

5) Does the agency have a current operating license in their respective state or city?

It is important to find out if the home health care agency has a current and valid license to operate in their respective city or state. This often overlooked aspect is the most important factor in choosing a home health care agency.

6) How does the home nursing care company work with your doctor in developing a plan of care?

Most agencies work directly with your doctor in planning for your care, especially if the client requires care that is beyond the scope of activities related to activities of daily living.

7) Can the home care company provide references or testimonials?

Most reputable home health care companies can provide references from doctors, nurses, social workers and even clients if requested. They may even have a page on their website that is dedicated to providing this type of information to potential clients.

8) What happens if a home health aide or nurse is absent from the agency on a particular day?

If the home health care provider is required to take a day off for illness or another emergency, what type of protocol is put in place by the home health care company to cover the absence?

There are usually plans put in place to ensure that the client receives that continuity of care in the event of an absence by their home care provider or nurse.

How to Choose the Right Home Health Agency

The use of home health care is becoming increasingly popular due to the number of individuals that are constantly in need of health care and nurse aids. There are many nursing agencies that are available for you to choose from; however, not every home health agency is the same and in order for you to find the best company to do your business with, there are a number of things that you need to take into consideration but before we look at how to choose the right health agency, let us focus on what exactly is a home health agency and the services that they offer.

What is a home health agency and what do they do?

A health agency is a company that provides individuals with a variety of social services and health care. The services that are offered by these companies are done in the home and they are provided to people who are terminally ill, disabled, or recovering from an accident or an illness that had them bed ridden for some time. The services that are offered are normally therapeutic, in the medical area, and they will also assist you or your loved ones with daily activities that are crucial to your daily life. Some of these nursing agencies will also offer some light home cleaning that is needed to keep their ward in the best of health. A home health agency provides the patients with the most suitable nurse for the job when they need ongoing health care but prefer to stay home instead of going into a nursing home.

However, who will you be letting into your home when you hire the services of a health agency?

The services offered by a health agency means that they will only send certified Medicare professionals into your home. These professionals must meet the minimum requirements of the law for a health care professional in order for them to provide home health services. The services that are offered by health agency professionals are monitored on a regular basis and these health care providers are highly supervised in order for them to provide the best services possible.

When choosing a home health agency, consider the following:

Base on the fact that not all nursing agencies offer the same thing, you need to first think about the services that you need. There are some agencies that offer their health care by providing the patients with nurses, social workers, physicians, therapists, volunteers, homemakers, supply dealers, and HCA's, while there are others who only offer the service of a nurse and one or two other specialists. In order for you to get the best treatment available to you, it is essential that you know beforehand all the services that are offered by the agencies that you are looking into.

If you or your loved ones need the service of more than one health care professional, a nursing agency will put a team together with all the specialists that are needed to provide the best home care possible.

Step 1 of Hiring a Home Health Care Agency - Crucial Questions

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is part of the federal government's Department of Health and Human Services. Because many Medicare and Medicaid recipients are elderly, much of the funding goes to nursing homes or eldercare services. Nursing centers that receive certifications from Medicare undergo an inspection every fifteen months (at a minimum). CMS visits nursing homes and publishes information on any deficiencies found during inspection.

CMS Deficiencies & Citations

Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes are inspected every twelve to fifteen months for health and fire safety regulations. If a complaint is lodged, the facility may be inspected more frequently. When a nursing home fails to meet state and federal minimum standards for care, a deficiency is issued. A citation is issued when a SNF is fined for noncompliance with the state minimum standards. Deficiencies are noted on Medicare's Nursing Home Compare.

It's important to note that deficiencies vary in severity and scope, and many nursing homes receive citations and/or deficiencies. Medicare deficiencies should be evaluated for the number of residents affected along with the seriousness of the infraction. Gilbert Guide only lists Medicare-certified nursing homes; the Medicare deficiency scoring is listed in addition to Gilbert Guide's and/or user reviews in our nursing home listings.

If your doctor has prescribed home health care for your loved one, it's likely that he or she also provided the contact details of at least one local agency. Physicians typically maintain relationships with home health care agencies, and most patients use an agency that has been recommended by their doctor. However, you are free to explore your options and choose the agency that best fits your needs and preferences.

Avoid Being Uncomfortable at a Hospital and Use Home Health Care

What happens when the health problem requires medical attention over the course of a long period of time or even for the rest of your life? Being hospitalized for long periods of time can be both uncomfortable and expensive as well. In events such as these, home health care can be a solution to the problem.

Home health care is, as the name suggests, any health care assistance in the comfort of your own home. There are a variety of companies that offer these services and each with various specializations to provide any sort of assistance that a person may require.

Companies that handle these are primarily oriented towards senior citizens. However, any person with an illness or disability that requires continual assistance may benefit from it as well.

Most companies offer their services in a variety of places (other than in your own home) such as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and retirement facilities.

Home health care can be provided on a short or long term basis. It can benefit people recover from an accident or surgery after leaving the hospital or maybe provided for people with permanent disabilities or who are otherwise unable to take care of themselves. The services that companies generally focus on range from companionship and assistance to the patients to do some of their daily chores to twenty four hour care. Many of the companies' caregivers are trained nurses and can administer doses of medication or provide specialized medical assistance.

This is usually sought when the family members of the patient have a hard time being able to give all the assistance that the patient requires.

Choosing the right care program can be difficult. A primary concern can be the cost of acquiring home health care services. As mentioned before, there are many home health care companies, both privately and publicly owned. Privately owned companies require a greater personal expense in order to hire their services whereas Medi-care based agencies require little or no cost. Medi-care based agencies can even offer better assistance as they are held to stricter standards than some of the privately owned home health care companies. The first step to choosing the right agency, regardless of whether it's public or private, is the sort of services they offer. Some care providers only provide skilled services such as nursing, therapy and home aide and other agencies focus more on personal care and sitter services. The family members should research on several companies to choose which one best suits their needs. Even after a home health care service has been obtained and provided, family members are encouraged to occasionally supervise that their loved ones are getting the help they need.

Home health care is a great benefit for people who have trouble accomplishing some of their daily tasks. In this manner, family members know that their loved ones are getting all the help they need and continue to enjoy their company.

Why Discharged Hospital Patients Should Consider Home Health Care?

As a home health care company owner, I often look at over the counter supplies at my local pharmacy. To my surprise, my local independent pharmacy stocked hydrocolloid and alginate dressings. Hydrocollid Dressings and Calcium Alginate Dressings are newer advanced dressings that replace the gauze and iodine that are normally used to treat wounds.

They use the theory of "moist healing", and try to protect healthy cells that can be used to heal the wound itself from being destroyed. Hydrocolloid dressings and calcium alginates are more expensive that gauze and iodine, however they can speed up the healing process, and do not need to be changed as frequently as gauze. The cost of these advanced wound and pressure ulcer dressings were extremely marked up. I expect that most people who purchase these types of dressings on their own have Medicare or some type of private insurance. Even paying just the 15-20% co-pay, the cost of these dressings alone could run $100+ for full healing, and that doesn't even factor in the sterile saline, sterile gloves, possible debridement, and other costs.

If someone is discharged from the hospital and are considered homebound, and have severe wounds, they would likely qualify for home health care. Home health can send a skilled nurse to the home to perform or teach the patient or caregiver how to properly manage wounds, and most importantly, the supplies that I previously mentioned (dressings, sterile supplies) would all be part of the home health services. Also if eligible for home health, the services are covered under Medicare part "A" which would not have a co-payment or deductible.

Senior Health Care Insurance

Health Insurance For Seniors On The Net

When a good friend of mine inquired where he could obtain information about medical insurance for his out-of-state, elderly mother, I told him to try the Internet.

He reported back to me about a week later, in desperation: "I am giving up, I am too confused." He had taken on an overwhelming project with his widowed mother, living in another state. As the only child, and following the sudden death of his father, it was his responsibility to care for his mother.

In this world of technology, the family unit is often living in different geographical areas and the family members are usually quite involved with their own lives, careers, and families. In addition, when both parents are alive, often one or both parents are quite independent and do not require a lot of assistance. As time goes on things, of course, change, and sometimes change very suddenly. There can be a crisis, with regard to the health care needs of one or both aging parents.

With our baby boomers facing this problem in ever increasing numbers, and with the information highway in full bloom, there is a definite need for planning.

Protecting your parent's assets and health is a huge and daunting undertaking, which requires a tremendous amount of education and practical application. Our seniors face many diverse responsibilities upon reaching age 65. To name just a few: Estate planning, taxation, Medicare, social security, wills, insurance, and various other legal and financial matters. All of these different areas require expertise from accountants, lawyers, estate planners, insurance agents, home brokers, financial advisors, and others.

The Internet is a good starting point for most people to find resources for questions and solutions for your problems. There is, however, no replacement for good solid intelligent advice from an expert.

Twenty years ago, insurance for elders was sold by "senior insurance specialists", with just a handful of companies in each state. The programs were most often Medi-gap or Medicare supplemental policies, which covered the expenses not covered by Medicare, including hospital and doctor deductibles, durable medical devices, and non-approved Medicare costs. Ironically these specialists did not sell a lot of nursing care policies, even though Medicare paid a national average of less than 2% of these expenses. With the advent of "financial and estate planning" and more insurance companies entering this market, a more broad and diversified product line became available to agents, brokers, planners, and seniors.

Part of this new diversification was the "home health care plan", sold by itself, and in conjunction with senior health insurance products. The appeal of the "home health care policy" was that a senior could stay at home and still receive medical and custodial benefits, allowing a person to recuperate in the comfort of their own home.

This was the answer to a huge problem. The last place an older person wanted to go was a "retirement home", or "rest home", or, God forbid, the "nursing home." It appeared that seniors could now rely on this new innovation without worry of having to move out of their home environment in the event of a health problem.

As with most things," if it is too good to be true".... The home health care policy is no exception. The problem is, there is not enough coverage for a lengthy illness or recuperation time. The fact is, the new trend is toward an "all in one" type facility, allowing for a variety of levels of care all in one location. In other words a senior could start off with little or no health care concerns in an independent, less expensive area, and then go to an assisted living, or nursing care facility, all within the same compound.

A "nursing home" requires a nurse on the premises 24 hours per day, assisted living is just eight hours. The advantages to this are financial. The patient or senior is only charged according to the care level required during the time he or she is admitted to that facility. Another benefit is it alleviates a lot of planning because the care is delivered, as it is needed. The medical attention is available to all residents regardless of their current health.

Some people are offered a lifetime package, which covers their care for the rest of their life, regardless of their current age. It also allows for social outlets to an otherwise somewhat isolated group. On-line shopping services have become a huge business. It is definitely here to stay and many insurance policies are purchased from Internet quotes and on-line applications.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of insurance agents and brokers advertising on the Internet. Most of them will provide instant on-line quotes and even applications for the potential insured. I highly discourage a layperson to purchase insurance in this fashion. A little knowledge can be dangerous.

The federal government has mandated to all states through legislation, the standardized senior health insurance policy guidelines, which are governed and regulated by each state insurance department.

There are plans for almost every level of health. Some are designed and priced for a less than healthy individual. Others are for a person with minimal health concerns. . The whole concept of insurance is to provide protection for "unanticipated" sickness or injury, especially catastrophic expenses, which would devastate a person's net worth. The more small expenses a person is willing or able to pay (self-insure), the lower the rate. I recommend this strategy when evaluating your insurance options.

Another consideration when reviewing various insurance plans is to look at the company itself. How long has the company been selling this type of insurance? Do they have a lot of complaints filed with the local department of insurance? Are the rates stable? Does it pay claims on time? Service? Most agents talk about the rating. These ratings are as follows: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, or "not rated".

Do not be fooled by rating alone. It is good to have a high rating, but it is far better to have a company that has longevity, stability, innovation, service, and expertise. The problem is that some companies enter into a market and quickly leave without explanation. This does not give security to the policyholder.

The most important consideration should be a review of the profit/loss ratio for that product. This will establish stability, and longevity in the market. An insurance company with a moderate profit in a particular line of business will remain in that market. On the other hand, a company with losses will make changes and possibly even withdraw. This is information not normally available to Internet users.

Before entering into an insurance contract, the senior person, the family, and other advisors must be realistic, and a careful evaluation of the entire picture must be examined. The age, the health of the senior, the financial resources, the personality and attitude of the senior, and most importantly the desires of the senior, should all be considered.

Early planning is important, as qualification becomes increasingly more difficult as the applicant's health declines. The senior health care market is complex. I will offer some words of advice to attempt to alleviate potential pitfalls.

*Choose a well-informed, seasoned, and service oriented agent or broker to assist your decision making process. The professional can offer invaluable information, but do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions and even get a second opinion.

*Do not wait until your parent or loved one is sick, or injured. Plan ahead and take the time needed to cover all the options.

*Choose an experienced insurance company. A Company that has been in the marketplace for a significant time and has maintained a balance of rates and benefits and sound risk selection with moderate rate increases over time is your best bet.

*The plan should be flexible, with a broad range of options and benefit selections to the insured. There should be no tricks, or complicated language for the coverage. An incredibly low rate is a red flag for trouble in the future.

*Do not rush or be rushed by an over aggressive sales person.

This policy will not be inexpensive and will need to be read and reviewed for a clear understanding of the contents. This is one advantage to the Internet. You are allowed to read indefinitely before you act.

A long-term care program, with or without insurance coverage, will only work if the senior has input into the care selection process. If there are any questions about the accreditation of a facility please call the "Continuing Care Accreditation Commission at 202-783-7286.

What Is the Correct Home Health Care Franchise for Me?

There are over 14 different home health care franchises out there to choose from as a business opportunity. Which is the right one for you and what are the differences?

Right now, the home health care industry is booming but even without the boom it would still be a good business to get into. It has some features that are particularly good when looking at what type of business to get into. It has repeat customers, is recession resistant, has a management style business model, and has in-demand services.

Repeat customers are important aspect to any business. It is much easier to grow a business when you have a base to work with. You can provide good service to keep your current customers while you grow the business by finding new customers. Plus, with repeat customers, you have a better chance of an existing customer referring your services to someone else since they see you often.

The in-home health services are always going to be needed to some extent because it is based on the age of people rather than some fad.

Typically, you manage this type of business rather than do the physical work. Because of this, you can enjoy a white-collar style position. Also, it is easier to sell a business in the future if you manage as opposed to "being the business."

Right now, the home health care services are in demand and will continue to be in demand so the aging population can stay in their home while they age.

So what are the differences. The main differences are the services provided. Almost all provide non-medical services. In addition to the non-medical services provide, some will provide medical services, staffing services, and placement services.

Non-medical services may include light house cleaning, light cooking, companionship, transportation, bathing, dressing, grooming, repositioning bed-bound patients. Most non-medical services can be provided by a Certified Nurse Assistant or a Home Health Assistant but verify this with each franchise.

Medical services could include wound care, giving medication, physical therapy, blood sugar testing, IV hookups, catheters, etc. Medical services typically require a Registered Nurse to be a director with LPN's or RN's performing the work.

Staffing services are another revenue source that some franchises chose to add. Since you are already finding work for caregivers by getting your own clients, you could easily speak to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living homes, etc to see if you can place employees into their systems. If you have an abundance of caregiver applicants, this seems like a great additional revenue source. Keep in mind, your main focus should be building in-home clients for your caregivers. Also, remember that there are companies that do just staffing for health care workers.

Placement services or assisted living placement services are another revenue source for many of the franchises. When your client becomes unable to live at their home, you can refer them to an assisted living home or nursing home if needed. You will receive a referral fee from the assisted living home or nursing home. You will have the referral agreement created with the homes before you start referring clients.

You may just want to focus on non-medical and/or medical and not worry about the other services. Or maybe you see the advantage of being able to offer those additional services.

Another aspect to look at when choosing the right one is what type of workforce do they have. Almost all the systems make their caregivers employees, while just a couple make them independent contractors. This model can make a substantial difference to your bottom line.

Also, you may want to find out if the franchise company works with Medicare and Medicaid. Some people view this as a positive because of the guaranteed payments while others know the hassle it creates and the lower payment produced by Medicare.

All of these are aspects to consider when you are looking at which home health care franchise to buy into.

We can help narrow down which one is best for you. We are franchise consultants that specialize in the home health care franchises. Our services are free to you, we save you endless hours of searching for the right one, we get you in contact with the appropriate people quickly, and we have other references and material to help you conduct your research.

Home Health Care Tips - Finding a Nurse for Your Loved One

It's time to find a home healthcare worker. Isn't it reasonable to consider only the best for your family? When you're ready to choose a home nurse, how can you be confident your choice is the best? As with finding any contract service provider, the best plan is to slow it down so you can thoroughly screen your worker.

Testimonials
Before you can commence your search, you've got to have an idea who to contact. To help build a list of excellent home health professionals, begin by inquiring from those you already know for recommendations. Doctors, home care givers, neighbors, and other family members are a fantastic source of information. Additionally, there are numerous federal, provincial and local non-profits that focus on 'at home' care. It is critical that you tap into these excellent organizations before committing to one nurse.

Make a Backlog of Questions
After you've compiled a complete list of possible nurses, start to compile a list of excellent questions you can refer to as an outline while in the selection process. Doing this, you're sure to produce similar questions of every 'in home' care provider you reach. Keep in mind, you're looking to pick a home care worker who will join the home of your family member on a regular basis to give care, so you have the right to check references.

Security of Health Worker
The family member you care about needs extra attention and that means the 'at home' worker must be aware of what they need. Consistency is key. All too often, you will find institutions that contract out a variety of 'at home' nurses like a revolving door. Once you have a brand new 'in home' provider, they will have to study your dependent's needs from the start. Be sure you find out if the professional you are looking into comes from a strong company.

Canada has a growing senior population and many people are looking for 'in home' care for their families. Trained home care workers in this industry are being prepared to enter this business, but too many who are less qualified are exploiting this consumer demand. By prepping yourself with a robust understanding this industry you will be better able to keep an eye out for a home health professional suited for you. Be sure to ask people you already know about their experiences, take advantage of trusted organizations, ask good questions and make sure you only hire a nurse who will stay for the long term.

Home Health Care Bill of Rights

Recipients of home health care in Illinois have certain inalienable rights of privacy guaranteed by the Privacy Act of 1974. Agencies who provide home health care and participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs are required by law to do a complete assessment of your current health status, which includes information which can be used to indicate your progress towards your goals. Home health agencies must use the OASIS - the Outcome and Assessment Information Set to evaluate your health. And to accomplish this, the agency must obtain information from you. This information will be used by the HCFA (Health Care Financing Administration, the government's Medicare and Medicaid agency) to ensure that your agency meets quality standards, and administers its patients appropriate care. As a patient, you have the right to refuse to provide information to assess your agency. If you choose to provide information for the assessment, it is then protected by the Federal Privacy Act of 1974 and the HHA OASIS - the Home Health Agency Outcome and Assessment Information Set records system. You always have the right to examine, review, copy, and request corrections of your information in the HHA OASIS records system.

The information which is collected will be used for a number of purposes. In the first place, it can support litigation which involves the Health Care Financing Administration, as well as support requests by constituents to Congressional representatives. The information is also used to support policy, regulatory, and reimbursement functions performed by the Health Care Financing Administration and by home health care providing agencies. The information is also used to study the quality and effectiveness of care which is provided by agencies providing home healthcare in Illinois. Assessments based on this information are used to survey and certify Medicare and Medicaid agencies; and they enable regulators to provide these agencies with data to improve the quality of their patient care. The information is also used to develop, validate, and refine the system under which Medicare disburses payments; and for health care payment related projects. It also supports the research and evaluation of epidemiological projects which relate to the prevention of disability and disease; or which maintain or restore health.

The Health Care Financing Administration can release your information without your consent, but recipients of this information must agree in writing to continue the confidentiality of your information. Release of your health and independent retirement living information is permitted only to the Federal Department of Justice for litigation involving the Health Care Financing Administration; to agencies to assist them in improving their services; to state governmental agencies for evaluating the cost and effectiveness of state services; to congressional offices responding to constituent inquiries, made at the constituents' written request; and to individuals and organizations researching epidemiological projects relating to disease or disability prevention. While you, the patient, are under no obligation to provide information on the OASIS (the government cannot instruct the agency to refuse you its services), nonetheless incomplete or invalid information can cause payment errors, and make it more difficult to determine whether the agency is providing you with quality service.

Non Medical In Home Health Care

In Home Health Care generally represents a wide range of services that an caregiver would give to help someone recovering from an acute situation like a hip fracture, or the person might have an on-going condition that they need help with, such as cerebral palsy or a stroke.

Or they might be trying to age at home safely and do as much maintenance as possible to prevent an acute situation from happening.

The duties and skills of a home caregiver vary, but all have the same thing in common- they make it possible for seniors to remain in the comfort of their home in a safe environment, which allows them more independence than they would have if they were in a facility.

While the caregivers are doing this they also provide the family caregiver with much needed rest and the chance to replenish physically and emotionally.

Getting Started With Homecare

If you're thinking about getting non-medical in home care to assist with the caregiving responsibilities for your elderly loved one there are number of things you might need to know.

1. The first thing you need to do is make sure you and your loved one are comfortable with someone else taking on some of the responsibilities that you have been doing yourself.

There are many seniors who are totally opposed to the idea of someone else coming into their home and taking care of them. So there will need to be some negotiations before any plan can be put into place.

It's important to understand both sides of the story, why the care recipient doesn't want the help and why a caregiver needs someone to help. Home Instead Senior Care and help you with ideas and solutions to this common issue.

2. Next you need to define the tasks that need to be done by the in home caregivers. A good company will help you determine what type of homecare is most appropriate in your situation.

For example, do you need a nurse to clean and bandage wounds and monitor equipment? Or does your parent need help getting showered and dressed? Or what about Medication reminders? Transportation? Or maybe just companionship?

It's important to know exactly what you will need help with.

3. Once you know what type of assistance you need, and everyone agrees to what is necessary, the inevitable question that comes up is where do you find homecare services, how much they will cost, and whether any of the cost is covered by insurance or provided by the government.

Some federally funded programs, insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) do provide for some home health care services, but the coverage provided might not fit your exact needs.

To be sure whether or not you have any coverage at all, it is imperative that you review your insurance benefits.

4. If you're like the majority of family caregivers you will need the most help with personal care tasks- which happen to be the tasks that most private health insurance programs or Medicare won't cover.

So unless your loved one had the foresight and knowledge and the funds to purchase long-term-care insurance prior to becoming ill, your access to homecare will be limited by what you can afford.

You may be able to get some help from state programs that take into account your ability to pay, and the age or extent of disability loved one, but the sad reality is that more often than not the costs of homecare services will have to come out of your own pocket.

With that being said. It's important to choose a good In Home Health Care Company to help you take care of your loved one at the most affordable price.

Understanding Your Medicare Home Health Care Benefits

For many caregivers and families who are searching to find out more information on how they can care for their elders and loved ones, it can seem like a daunting task. One of the most important distinctions that have to be made on your information gathering quest is to know the difference between Medicare covered Home Care vs. all other forms of home care. In this article, we will explain what Medicare Home Care is and how to find out if you or your loved one qualifies.
What is Medicare Home Health Care?
Home Health Care is skilled nursing care and certain other health care services that you get in your home for the treatment of an illness or injury.
One of the services offered to senior citizens by Medicare is Home Health Services. Medicare recipients must qualify for services, and they must be recommended by the individual's primary care physician or specialty care physician.
Medicare beneficiaries who feel they may need Medicare home care should always look into whether they can actually qualify for Medicare home health services. It is not a general personal care or chore-worker service. Rather, Medicare home care covers limited, specifically defined at-home care related to diagnosed medical conditions, and sometimes includes personal care services.
These Medicare home care services must be prescribed by a physician, and provided through a licensed home health agency. The beneficiary must have a medical condition, or combination of conditions, that require periodic services from a skilled nurse or therapist. A plan of care will be developed that describes the specific services covered. Eligibility and coverage are evaluated strictly so the beneficiary's conditions and care needs must be aired fully.
Medicare Home Care Qualifications
It is common for an elderly person to need assistance upon discharge from a hospital or in-patient rehabilitation stay. That individual's physician, sometimes in concert with family members and the patient him/herself, would determine the in-home health care need and complete paperwork that refers the patient to home health care.
Other common situations include the slow physical decline elderly people experience; when that decline includes inability to care for oneself on a daily basis-but nursing home care is not yet required-the physician may recommend home health care for just those tasks the senior is unable to perform.
These four conditions must be met before homecare services can be prescribed and covered by Medicare:
1. Your doctor must decide that you need medical care in your home, and make a plan for your care at home; and
2. You must need at least one of the following: intermittent (and not full time) skilled nursing care, or physical therapy or speech-language pathology services or continue to need occupational therapy; and
3. You must be home bound or normally unable to leave home & leaving home takes a considerable and taxing effort. A person may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons; and
4. The home health agency caring for you must be approved ("certified") by the Medicare program.
You can always find more information about your benefits and rights at Medicare's website.

10 Top Questions to Ask an in Home Health Care Agency

About Senior Care

Finding the right in home health care agency that provides senior home care can cause stress and anxiety to a family caregiver. Many times the home health care provider is set up by the discharge planner or social worker at the hospital. There are also times when a family care giver wants to make arrangements for in home health care.

Many family members providing care for elderly in home settings find a need for outside help. Family caregivers are often reluctant to have inside help, because they fear that they will not be able to find good help. I think that it is important for family caregiver to understand that in home health care can be a blessing and give you peace of mind. Everything that has so many pluses also has some minuses. Education is the key to preventing mistake.

I am here to help you prevent making mistakes and enjoy the benefits of senior home care. I have created a list of over 30 questions to ask, I will share 10 of them with you today. I feeI I must first address that there are two categories of in home health care as determined by Medicare guidelines.They are skilled care or custodial care.

Skilled care requires a doctor's order and refers to a medical or more intense need such as nursing, social services and therapy (physical, occupational or speech). Custodial care refers to help with bathing, dressing, and cooking, cleaning and shopping or even companionship. There is a different type of home health care provider for each level of service needed.

How is the agency licensed or accredited? I like to ask this question because accreditations are the organizations that set the standards for the industry. Many organizations must have these accreditations in order to receive reimbursement by long term care insurance providers. I will tell you not all agencies are accredited even though they meet all the requirements. Some agencies choose not to go through the process as it is time consuming and very expensive. I would not rule an organization out if the rest of the interview goes well.

More of the top 10 questions to ask an in home health care agency about senior home care

How long has the in home health care agency been in business? It is important that you deal with an organization that has a solid reputation and the people that work in that organization are individuals that belong and are know to the community.

What kind of criminal background checks are performed for prospective employees? Are employee references checked? How many? Are personnel files updated annually? These are very important questions. Too many times agencies hire employees and allow them to start work before their background checks have come back to meet the demands of the industry. This can be disastrous.

Are the employees bonded and insured? Does that protect the family in case of theft or accidents? What type of training does the company provide to employees? This is an important question if you have an aging senior with a disease specific diagnosis such as dementia, vision or hearing impaired, diabetes etc.

Does the agency offer a free home health care consultation by a registered nurse prior to start of service? If you are considering custodial services this may not be considered part of the services offered. When it is, consider it an extra bonus. A professional nurse adds a different perspective and may be able to recommend a higher level of care when needed.

Does the agency provide a plan of care in writing for clients? How much say does the family have in the plan of care? These two questions are very important on many levels. A written plan of care gives everyone goals and expectations. The family involvement in developing the plan of care gives the aging senior and caregiver a sense of control over the situation. This also gives the family a clear understanding of the expectations of the duties that will be preformed and something to refer to so that there is no confusion about those duties.

There are many questions to ask an in home health care agency about senior home care. Asking those questions Taking the time and investigating resources can keep the aging senior in your life at home for as long as possible.

Home Health Care - Relieving Your Family Worries

There can never be a disturbing time like when you go to work, knowing very well that there is someone who is at home in need of attention either because of an illness or due to their age factor but have no one to attend to them. Whether you try to forget or not, you just simply can't afford to feel worried about the situation. Other times it may be you who wants things done in your house but you have no one to do them. This makes it difficult to welcome a visitor to your house because it's in a mess. To avoid all these situations, which in one way or another will end up knocking at your door steps no mater how best we try to avoid them, using services of home health care is the best solution.

There are organizations which are very keen in ensuring that your family gets to have the attention it needs. Home aids New York has over sometime been noted to provide a home, meeting the social needs of your family members. The main reason for using home health aides is because this is a profession. It's not a service where every one wants to do. You have to undergo through required professionalism and have skills which when you apply effectively to families out there, they get a reason to feel at home, if not to feel alive.

The old and the disabled are the most worrying people, when you have them in the house. Knowing that you will have to go to work but the person you are leaving behind can simply do nothing even to go to the toilet, makes many cry. However, this is a thing of the past now. Disabled care in New York is provided to meet those worries and to solve the problem for once and for all. You are provided with certified health aides who ensure that caring home health care is what you get and nothing short of it.

Your children, you, your brothers and sisters and those who require comfort at times when life appears hard, will experience a comfort time, and a time where the professions will give you an ear and listen to all your needs and give you a hope to live, and a chance to face life in a new and different way. Everyone regardless of their age, sex or gender requires home health care, and as long as you are satisfied that they are there for your family, your worries will no longer be there.

The Basics of Home Health Care

Home health care can be defined as health related services that are given at home. The industry usually includes a wide array of services. The convenience, affordability and benefits of this field many times outweigh other available options for care, and for this reason, it has grown in popularity.

Examples of home health care may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nursing care, and plenty more. In fact the list is endless, since it's as relative as the various types of medical services that everyday people need.

Patients can choose between caregivers that live in or those who work on separate shifts. A paraplegic patient for example, may require around the clock health care, whereas someone that might be recovering from a leg injury may need only a few hours of doctor recommended physical therapy per day. Guardians of ailing individuals can make their selections based on individual needs. Doctors may sometimes intervene to recommend or prescribe a specific care, so likewise, it's based on a number of factors.

People who might need home assistance come in all ages and conditions. A victim of a car accident for example, may need several services in order to recover. An aging parent who suffers from a condition that affects memory may mean they need to be watched constantly to prevent hazards to themselves or society.

The cost comparison when sided with a hospital or medical facility can be less expensive or more costly depending on the provider being used. Before selecting this option, it's important to consider if the patient's insurance plan covers such services. It's actually very popular with Medicare, but it would be wise to first check with an agent before accumulating a very hefty medical bill in hopes you're covered.

The dynamics of the field are huge as mentioned, due to the fact that there are so many forms of medical needs. Home health aides for instance, fall under the health care umbrella because they make daily living easier at home. These specialists can perform non-medical tasks such as showering, preparing meals, giving medications, transporting, cleaning, among many other chores. On the other hand, a certified nurse should always administer injections, tube feedings or wound dressings.

Other factors to consider include checking the reputation of the home health care provider being hired. You may choose to work with an agency or use an independent aide. Background checks and verification of certifications should always be performed. After all, the safety of a loved one always comes first.

Lastly home health care is a great alternative to hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, given that the recipients will be more comfortable in environments that they are more familiar with.

Home Health Care Provider - Find the Right One For You

It takes both time and patience to find an experienced and reliable home health care provider, but it is worth the effort. Determining what qualities the ideal caregiver should possess is a personal decision.

Home care agency versus an individual home health care provider

Deciding whether you want to hire an individual caregiver or work with a home health care agency will depend on your needs, preferences and your available financial resources. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice, so understanding your options is an important part of making a decision.

Agencies usually have trained and licensed staff that provides in home care. They supervise the worker. If provider doesn't work out, the agency will replace him/her. This can be greatly convenient, however, consideration should be given to the cost obtaining home care services through an agency. Due to administrative overheads, the cost of in home care may be higher. This may reduce the number of hours of caregiver services you can afford. There may also be less flexibility in the type of service each category of home health care provider is allowed to give.

When choosing an independent caregiver, use your best judgment. References from friends, neighbors, and relatives also help. The list of duties they provide is not restricted and can be mutually decided. Further, the costs are typically lower. On the downside, it may take extra work to find the providers, though. Further, there may also be no guarantee of their nursing credentials or home healthcare training.

The first checklist

After deciding between hiring through a home health care agency or an individual provider, keep the following in mind:

o Ask your doctor, nurse, hospital discharge planner, friends, neighbors, and relatives for references
o Check out Medicare's Home Health Care Compare Tool
o Search the Internet using keywords such as "home care" and "home health care"
o Look up the Yellow Pages

Zeroing in

Once you have a list of providers, check these out:

o Valid personal referrals
o Recognition by Medicare/Medicaid or Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
o Types of services provided
o Skills of the caregiver
o Payment options
o Ownership/management, if it is an agency
o Whether the agency's caregivers are bonded and insured
o Criminal record, if you hire an individual

While interviewing potential providers, make your expectations and needs clear right from the start. Ask questions to get to know the potential hire better, and make a decision based on your overall impression of the provider.

The Difference Between Home Health Care and Home Care

Most seniors prefer and feel comfortable retiring in their own homes as much as possible when the need for long term care arises, regardless of their health condition. They would choose to receive care at home even if their health becomes physically exhausting and financially devastating.

Everyone must have heard of home health care and home care, but can't figure out the difference of the two. The two services seem so related with each other, although the differences could be very trifling. Home health care service is directly related to medical services in line with home chores, while the latter is restricted to housekeeping and other personal care for the patient. Home health care can be used to assist a person recover from illness or injury. This may also include but not limited to speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy that patients with chronic condition might need. Home health care requires registered nurses, therapists and home health aides to ensure the health and safety of patients.

Perhaps the biggest question is how to determine if you are receiving quality home health care services. There are so many agencies where you can find help, but you may likely end up in a substandard company if you can't figure out the qualities of a good home health care.

When hiring an independent home health caregiver, make sure to conduct extensive background check on that person to ensure he or she has no criminal background. You must interview the applicant and ask for references that you may check afterward. Before the interview, make sure you had prepared a detailed list of what a sick spouse or loved ones need, and then ask what specific services he or she can deliver. The screening will be less strenuous if you know what to expect and the qualities you are looking for.

Hiring a home health care professional through an agency would be more efficient, because it could lessen the screening process. Normally, these agencies have available staff ready for the work the moment the client needs the services. Good thing about this arrangement is you can meet that individual and discuss everything you expect from the job before he or she formally starts working. You must tell the provider all the details about your loved one:

•Health condition - illnesses or disability
•The drugs or treatments used and how they must be taken
•Behavioral problems - if the senior has unmanageable depression, fear, anger etc.
•Nutritional requirements
•Likes and dislikes
•Special needs

Other than those things, there may be other special requirements your loved one might need. For example, tell the caregiver what kind of clothing he or she needs every day to prevent any discomfort. The health provider should also know your contact number and other immediate family members in case of an emergency. Common things like where to find food, emergency kits, and how to fix household or medical appliances must be instructed to lessen the worry. Anticipating all the possible risks and changing needs of your loved one can help you become more prepared when any unexpected events happen.

Comparing Home Health Care to a Nursing Home

Nursing homes are a necessary part of the health care picture for the elderly. However, we believe in helping people delay or completely avoid the necessity of having to reside in one. Staying with family in comfortable surroundings is usually a better environment for loved ones. In-Home Health Care is a great alternative. Nonetheless, we work with many nursing homes by supplying extra care for loved ones staying there.

Quality home care for the elderly provides quality of life to family members needing non-medical assistance in their lives. Professional and trusted home health care for seniors is a calling. Professional in-home health care helps those we love to lead a more fulfilling, healthier, and happier life.

It can be overwhelming to care for a loved one. A trusted, bonded and loyal staff can work with you to find and provide the home health care solutions to every situation. Having senior stay in their home can be the better alternative to a nursing home.

A good senior home health care organization will help in realizing that when home care is not an option. They will work with you in all settings including assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospice care & hospitals.

Nursing homes can be expensive, they may not be the best option for your loved one. Keeping a loved one in their own home with help from a senior day care professional could be better for them.
Better for their self esteem, their self worth and your loved one will be grateful to stay home.
Senior day care and in-home health care will give you the advantage of providing trusted, bonded and loyal care for your loved one.

Whether you need part-time companionship or full-time at-home nursing care for any situation ranging from illness, aging, or rehabilitation, find professional home health care group that is committed to finding and implementing home health care solutions that work for you.

The Money in Home Health Care

Home care as a job might be quite lucrative. The job pays well and along with the pay it also gives a sense of satisfaction to the care taker gets on helping others. With the advancement of time more and more people prefer home care than institutional care. As the care quotient of the former is much higher than the latter. The rising employment opportunities with regard to home care are also on the rise because more and more people are recognizing the cost effectiveness of home health. The need for care executives was always at a high in the west and nowadays it is also catching up in the east. The educational requirements of a home health executive are of the second priority. With a will to help and a caring, compassionate heart any individual can try to enrol himself into the service.

Though the pay scale of the home health professional is not very high in India, a recent economic survey shows a boost in this sector as more and more parents and other working people opt for their services to look after their children or elderly parents alike.

A home care executive must have a very sound philanthropic sense of helping others. He / she should work with responsibility toward both society and toward the people he/ she is responsible towards. The sense of help should be the foremost in the mind of such caretakers and all other considerations should come later. When it comes to his job he should be very tactful, responsible and should maintain a very high level of job-fulfillment and give priority to every little detail. A detail missed could lead to crucial errors on the part of the home care executive. Therefore, one must be sure be very cautious and keep an eye-out on the job.

Home Health Care Insurance

There are various insurance policies that help pay for or totally cover the costs of home health care. Consumers are reminded to be very cautious when shopping, comparing and buying home health care insurance policies because coverage is often limited. Considering the limitations and loopholes that home health care insurance has, they may be more expensive than other insurance policies. Home health care may only be accounted for by comprehensive insurance policies with pay benefits for nursing homes, assisted living communities, and adult day care.
Types of Home Health Care Insurance
The different types of home health care insurance depend on each policy's extent of coverage when paying for home health care services. Private insurance usually only pays for part of the home health care costs which include personal and hospice care. Managed care insurance plans may offer some help with home health care costs if the home health care provider is Medicare-certified, these plans also require hefty premiums.
There are also existing home care policies which actually pays for the excess amounts that your original insurance policy does not cover. These supplemental insurance policies cover additional payments on home medical equipment as well. Long-term care insurance cover most medical and nursing services including licensed home health care costs. They may even include personal care as well as services incurred for the upkeep and maintenance of the policyholder's home. Long term care insurance is paid for in monthly installments based on the individual's age and health conditions. Many times, the benefits may only be reaped after a pre-defined waiting period, or when the insurance company decides the financial assistance is actually necessary.
Originally, long term care insurance policies were intended to pay for a lengthy stay in a nursing home, yet because of the public demand and preference for home health care, a lot of long term care insurance policies now cover in-home services which may vary greatly according to plans. Considerations regarding pre-existing health conditions and prior hospitalizations usually limit the coverage of these insurance policies.

Hiring a Home Health Care Employee

 Providing the primary care for an elder loved one can be difficult. When you cannot deliver all the elder care yourself and support from friends, family, and community organizations is not enough, it may be useful to hire a home health care worker. He or she can offer care from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day, and can provide many other helpful services. Types of in-home health care services include:

  • General Health Management like administration of medication or other medical treatments
  • Personal care such as bathing, oral hygiene, dressing, and shaving
  • Nutrition help like preparing meals, assisting eating, and grocery shopping
  • Homemaking services including laundry, dishwashing, and light housework
  • Companionship for example reading to the senior or taking them on walks

Recruiting and Interviewing Applicants

There are many avenues for hiring a home health care employee. Generally, home health care workers can be hired directly or through an agency. Home health care agencies often have a staff that includes social workers and nurses that will manage your care. However hiring an independent home health care worker is generally more cost effective, it will also give you more control over the type of care you receive. 

Senior home care workers should be carefully screened for proper training, qualifications, and temperament. Fully discuss the needs of the elder care recipient during an interview with a prospective home health care employee.  There should be a written copy the job description and the type of experience you are looking for.

References

Have applicants fill out an employment form that includes the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Educational background
  • Work history 
Before hiring, you should ask to see the senior home care worker's licenses and certificates, if applicable, and personal identification including their social security card, driver's license, or photo ID. 

References should be checked out thoroughly.  Prospective employees should provide the employer with names, dates of employment, and phone numbers of previous employers and how to contact them.  It is best to talk directly to previous employers, rather than just to accept letters of recommendations. Also ask the applicant to provide or sign off on conducting a criminal background check 

Special Points to Consider

Make sure the person you are considering hiring knows how to carry out the tasks the elder care recipient requires, such as transferring the senior to and from a wheelchair or bed.  Training may be available, but make sure the worker completes the training successfully before hiring him or her.

No one should be hired on a seven-day-a-week basis.  Even the most dedicated employee will soon burn out.  All employees need some time to take care of their personal needs.  No worker should be on call 24-hours a day.  If the elder care recipient needs frequent supervision or care during the night, a family member or second home health care worker should be able to help out or fill in.

Live-in assistance may seem to be more convenient and economic than hourly or per-day employees but there can be drawbacks.  Food and lodging costs must be calculated into the total cost of care, and it could be difficult to dismiss someone without immediate housing alternatives.  If you decide to utilize a live-in arrangement, the employee should have his own living quarters, free time, and ample sleep.

Job Expectations and Considerations

Before hiring a senior home health care worker, you should go over the tasks you expect them to perform and other issues, such as promptness, benefits, pay scale, holidays, vacations, absences, and notification time needed for either employer or employee before employment is terminated. If you work and are heavily dependent on the home health care worker, emphasize the importance of being informed as soon as possible if he or she is going to be late or absent so that you can make alternative arrangements. Be clear about notification needed for time off, or what to do in the case the home health care worker experiences a personal emergency that requires them to abruptly leave work.  It is important to have a backup list of friends, family, other home care workers, or a home health care agency you can call on.

Be clear about issues concerning salary, payment schedule, and reimbursement or petty cash funds for out of pocket expenses.  

You should spend the day with the home health care worker on his first day to make sure you are both in agreement over how to carry out daily tasks.  It would also be helpful to supply the home health care worker with a list of information on the elder care recipient such as: special diets, likes, dislikes, mobility problems, health issues, danger signs to monitor, possible behavior problems and accompanying coping strategies, medication schedule, therapeutic exercises, eye glasses, dentures, and any prosthetics. 

You should also provide the following information to your home health care worker: your contact information, emergency contacts, security precautions and access to keys, clothing, and locations of washing/cleaning supplies, medical supplies, light bulbs, flashlights, fuse box, and other important household items.

Transportation

Another big consideration in hiring a senior home care worker is how he or she is going to get to work.  If they do not have a reliable car or access to public transit, then you might want to consider hiring someone to drive him or her, which might be more economical than using taxis.  Inform your insurance company if the home health care worker is going to drive your car when caring for the senior.  Your insurance company will perform the necessary driving background checks.  If the home health care worker is using his or her car to drive the elder care recipient, then discuss use of her or his car, and conduct a driving background check.

Insurance and Payroll

Check with an insurance company about the proper coverage for a worker in your home.

Make sure all the proper taxes are being drawn from the employee's check by contacting the Internal Revenue Service, state treasury department, social security, and the labor department.  If you do not want to deal with the complexities of the payroll withholdings yourself, than you can hire a payroll company for a fee.

Even if your home health care worker is working as a contractor, you are still obligated to report the earnings to the IRS.  Talk to your accountant or financial adviser about making sure you are following IRS rules.

Ensuring Security

You should protect your private papers and valuables in a locked file cabinet, safe deposit box, or safe. If you are unable to pick up your mail on a daily basis, have someone you trust do it, or have it sent to a post box. You should check the phone bill for unusual items or unauthorized calls. You should put a block on your phone for 900 numbers, collect calls, and long-distance calls.

Keep checkbooks and credit cards locked up. Review credit card and bank statements on a monthly basis, and periodically request credit reports from credit reporting agencies.  Lock up valuable possessions or keep an inventory of items accessible to people working in the house.

You can help to prevent elder abuse to your loved one by: 

  • Make sure the home health care worker thoroughly understands his or her responsibilities, the elder care recipient's medical problems and limitations, and how to cope with stressful situations.
  • Do not overburden the home health care worker.
  • Encourage openness over potential problems.
The following are possible signs of elder abuse or neglect: 

  • Personality changes
  • Crying, whimpering, or refusing to talk
  • Sloppy appearance
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Disorganized or dirty living conditions
  • Signs of inappropriate sedation, such as confusion, or excessive sleeping
  • Mysterious bruises, pressure sores, fractures, or burns
  • Weight loss
If you suspect abuse, act immediately.  Do not wait until the situation turns tragic.  Investigate the situation by talking to the elder care recipient in a safe situation, or install monitoring equipment. Examples of abusive behavior include yelling, threatening, or over controlling behavior that could involve isolating the senior from others. If the situation is serious, you should replace the home health care worker as quickly as possible. If you fear the elder care recipient is in danger, he or she should be separated from the home health care worker as soon as possible.  Place the elder care recipient with a trusted relative or in a respite care facility. Make sure your loved one is safe before confronting the home health care worker, especially if there is concern about retaliation.

Report the situation to Adult Protective Services after ensuring the safety of the elder care recipient.  The police should be contacted in the case of serious neglect, such as sexual abuse, physical injury, or misuse of funds.

Supervising a Home Health Care Worker

The most important thing to remember after hiring a home health care worker is to keep the lines of communication open.  You should explain the job responsibilities clearly, and your responsibilities to the home health care worker. Do not forget that the home health care worker is there for the elder care recipient and not the rest of the family.  For live-in arrangements, the maximum amount of privacy should be set up for the home health care worker's living quarters. Meetings should be set up on a regular basis to assure that problems are nipped in the bud.  If conflicts cannot be resolved after repeated attempts, than it is best to terminate the employee.  In such a case, you may have to either place the elder care recipient in a nursing home temporarily or hire a home health care worker through an agency.  Reserve funds should be kept on hand in the case of such an emergency.  

General Eligibility Requirements for Home Care Benefits

Hiring a home health care worker directly is usually less expensive than hiring through a home health care agency; but if the elder care recipient is eligible and you wish to use assistance from Medicare, you must hire someone through a certified home health care agency.  For the senior patient to be eligible, three or more services must be ordered by a physician. Other factors or eligibility are the required need for skilled nursing assistance, or one of the following therapies: physical, speech or occupational. The elder care recipient's medical needs will determine asset and income requirements.

Hiring Home Health Care Workers through Home Health Care Agencies versus Independently

Different health professionals can assess the elder care recipient's needs.  A nurse or social worker can help with design and coordination of a home care plan.  Your care manager, doctor, or discharge planner can help with services being covered by Medicare.  They generally help make the arrangements with a home care agency.

You should ask the home health care agency how they supervise their employees, and what kind of training their employees receive. Find out the procedures for when an employee does not show up.  Also ask about the fee schedule and what it covers, there may be a sliding fee schedule. Furthermore, find out if they have a policy for minimum or maximum hours. Ask the agency if there are any limitations on the types of tasks performed.

Especially if you have to pay for the care services yourself, find out if there are any hidden costs such as transportation.  If all the costs for hiring a care worker through an agency become too much, you may want to consider hiring directly. 

Hiring independent home health care workers is not only more economical than using an agency, but it also allows more direct control over the elder care.

The Importance Of Professional Physicians Scales For In-Home Health Care

Professional physician scales have tremendous importance in the field of medical healthcare as well as in-home health care. Professional physician scales are generally used for measuring and documenting the body weight of an individual person. In upgraded scales, the body mass index of an individual can also be measured. Hospitals, doctor's chambers, gymnasium, health clubs, physical therapist's clinics, even in some of the drug stores- any place related to the healthcare field must contain different types.

Any new-born baby should be weighed daily to track with his growth, any bed ridden patient should be scaled for proper medication, any patient needs to be scaled to determine the proper dose of anesthesia during operation, an athlete needs to be weighed daily to check how much muscle has been developed or how much fat has been drained. Even in some of particular athletics field, the contestants are categorized according to their body weight and hence in those games the importance of physician scales is really huge. And there are thousands of other cases where weighing machines have their tremendous importance.

The accuracy of professional physician scales is really important in medical science. The nutrition chart and the diet for a newborn baby is solely determined by its body weight and hence the accurate daily measurement of the weight of a baby is utmost important. The doses of medicines prescribed to a patient largely vary according to the body weight of the patient and a wrong measurement of weight may result in a disastrous medical error.

The professional physician scales can be broadly classified into two categories: mechanical and digital. The mechanical physician scale has the analog display with the use of an indicator. Mechanical devices do not need any external power source to be operated and also these devices are quite reliable for long-term uses. With proper calibration, the accuracy of the mechanical physician scales is very high, but their precision level is somewhat lower. The mechanical devices are the traditional devices and have been used from the beginning of the history of medical science.

On the other hand, the digital scales are the newest devices and they are the result of the modern technologies. A digital scale has the digital display and displays an accurate result of the measured weight, sometimes to the hundredth of a pound. Obviously digital scales need necessary power from a built-in battery or from an external power source. The accuracy and precision of digital scales are quite high. However, since the digital scales are the electronic devices, there are chances of instrumental error and also these scales lose their efficiency after a long time of use.

In the healthcare field, there are lots of companies that manufacture hundreds of different models. The models vary in their shape, size, facilities, displays and the technologies used. The constant research is going on in the healthcare field to achieve the higher level of professional physician scales. With the growth of the technology, more accurate, more precise measurements can be done using the modern professional physician scales.

Tips For Shopping Online For Home Health Care Products

There are a multitude of home health care products that can be purchased online. However, the very availability of these products means we need to be particularly careful about what we buy and for what reason. We also need to be aware of the variability in quality, ingredients and manufacturing conditions that may not be of the same standard as those in our own country. Home health care products can include pharmaceuticals, natural remedies, and other products and equipment that support healing and wellness.

First, it must be said that just because you can buy a health care product online doesn't mean it is legal for you to do so. It is illegal to bring some health products into the country because they have either have not been approved for use here, or have been declared illegal for various reasons. With regard to home health care products that are not taken by mouth, such as equipment, the manufacturers may not have to meet the same quality standards or safety standards as locally made products. Of course, this only refers to imported items. If you can buy well known, safe, local brands online, by all means do so.

The main proviso is with pharmaceutical and natural remedies. There is a risk in home treatment. Both pharmaceutical medications and natural remedies have the potential for side effects and can be harmful in wrong doses or in combination with other products. It is very important that you take the time to fully understand the potential risks and side effects of these types of products and when you are ready to buy, purchase a brand with good quality control and high quality ingredients.

Here are three tips to help you shop online for home health products:

PLAN YOUR PURCHASE. It is not a good idea to impulse buy home health care products. Know exactly what you need. If possible, look at local products and ask questions of health professionals regarding their recommendations. If you cannot view products, search for personal and industry recommendations. Decide on a preferred brand or perhaps narrow it down to a few choices.

SEARCH FOR THE BEST PRICE AND LOWEST DELIVERY COST FROM A RELIABLE ONLINE SUPPLIER. Once you have made your decision, you can target your online shopping to locate the product at the best price. Make sure you only purchase from a supplier that guarantees the product and will refund your money if the product does not do what they say.

CHECK THE SECURITY OF THE SITE BEFORE YOU PAY. Make sure that the payment system is secure before you pay. It can be helpful to type the name of the website plus the word fraud or scam into a search engine and see what comes up. If you get a whole lot of specific results, that would be a good indication you should shop somewhere else.

For the most part, shopping online is a safe and convenient process. The main things you really need to consider is the quality and purpose of the products you are looking to buy. Self medication can be risky and is not advisable. Neither is buying medications from overseas suppliers as you really don't know what you are getting. With regards to any home health care products, it is important to act circumspectly and knowledgeably. After all, you wish to care for your health not harm it.

Home Health Care - Alternative to Do Everything by Yourself

Utilizing the home health care is a best option to get the relief and get rest you require while even so making sure that the older people are getting proper protection and care. Don't feel shamed if you take some time off to take care of yourself and your family, but home health care is essential if you like to keep on care for your family and friends in the future. If you are in a quandary whether to get the servings of home health care.

Your family and friends are taken care of by the trained medical staff. Employing home health care is farther safer than hiring unknowns to care for your relatives. Since home health care working class people are trained medical professionals. These medical professionals can answer properly.

New York City is urgently in demand of teachers especially in high demand schools. Hence, the New York City department of education has a broad range of inducements and special programs for instructors to be and practicing teachers. It is the most former and perhaps the last major cause to restabilize education and attain qualified and motivated potential and assuring pre-service or educator's students to instruct in high demand schools.

Hospice Fraud in South Carolina and the US is a changing problem as the number of hospice patients has blew up over the past years. From 2004 to 2008, many patients encountering hospice care in the US grew about 40% to all but 1.5 million, and of the 2.5 thousand people who died in 2008, intimately one million were housing patients. The consuming bulk of people receiving hospice care encounter national benefits from the federal authorities through the Medicaid or Medicare programs. The health care offers who offer hospice services traditionally inscribe in the Medicaid and Medicare programs in order to modify to receive payments under these governing programs for services delivered to Medicaid and Medicare eligible patients.

Recently federal hospice fake social control actions have evidenced, the number of health care individuals and companies who are wishing to try to defraud the Medicaid and Medicare hospice welfare programs is on the rise.

Hospice care is a kind of health care service for the patients who are ill terminally. Hospices as well offer backing services for the families of ill patients. This care lets in physical care and guidance. Hospice care is normally offered by a private company sanctioned by Medicare and Medicaid. Hospice care is present for all the age groups, including adults, children, and the older people who are in the last stages of life. The main purpose of hospice is to offer care for the ill patient her or his family and not to heal the terminal illness.

5 Things To Consider When Integrating Your Home Health Care With Medicare

Medicare can be perplexing, all the more so when you combine complex health issues and the need for medical aids such as oxygen or hospital beds. While the insurance maze can be difficult to traverse, an estimated 47.5 million people received this program in 2010, which is more than a sixth of the nation's population.

Here is a brief overview and some answers to some commonly asked questions regarding Medicare and home health care.

1. Who qualifies?

Medicare is a national health insurance program provided by the U.S. government for those who are:

- 65 and older

- Under 65 with certain disabilities

- Diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), a form of permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant

2. What types of services does Medicare cover?

Medicare has four different coverage sections: Part A, B, C, and D. "Original Medicare" consists of Part A & B, while Part C is known as "Medicare Advantage Plan". These four parts are summarized briefly:

- Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance

* Part A covers care while in hospital as well as health care in skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice.

- Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance

* Part B covers doctor's visits as well as visits to other health care providers. Additionally, Part B covers hospital outpatient care, durable medical equipment (like intravenous infusion devices), and home health care services. Part B also covers specific types of preventative services, such as getting certain vaccinations.

- Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage

* Part C combines health plan options you purchase from other private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Part C also integrates Medicare Prescription drug coverage (Part D) and can be tailored to include extra benefits at an extra cost.

- Medicare Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

* Part D covers the prescription of Medicare-approved prescription drugs and can lower the cost of other medications. Similar to Part C, Medicare-approved private insurance companies also run Part D.

3. Why do I need to choose between Medicare plans?

The choice of "Original Medicare" (Parts A & B) entails payment of monthly premiums for part B and may necessitate additional coverage to pay deductibles and coinsurance to see physicians, hospitals, and other providers who accept Medicare. If you require Prescription drug coverage, you must pay a monthly premium to join the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

The "Medicare Advantage Plan" (Part C, which covers Part A & B), also requires the payment of monthly premiums in addition to the Part B premium & a copayment for in-plan doctors, hospitals. If prescription medications are not covered by your supplemental coverage, you have the option of joining the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

As with prescription medications, you can purchase supplemental coverage to cover services not covered by Medicare. The "Original Medicare" plan allows for the option of buying Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), while the "Medicare Advantage Plan" does not.

It is prudent to always check if you can take advantage of other additional coverage through your employer or union, military, or Veteran's benefits.

4. Is home health care covered by Medicare?

The Medicare website states, "Medicare only covers home health care on a limited basis as ordered by your doctor". As reviewed earlier, Parts A & B are the Medicare options which cover the home health care services specified by Medicare.

Coverage of home health care by Medicare in New Mexico stipulates you must meet the following criteria:

- You are currently receiving regular services from a physician. This physician must also maintain a care plan unique to you, which is reviewed regularly.

- Your physician must certify a "need" for specific medical services such as requirements for intravenous medication therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, or speech-language pathology services.

- The home health care agency providing you services must be Medicare-certified (for more details see below).

- Your physician must certify your health status as homebound, which is indicated by the following:

* Your health condition limits you from leaving the house.

* You are unable travel from home without help (i.e. transportation assistance such as aids or individuals).

* Leaving your home takes considerable effort and may be detrimental to your health condition.

5. My home health company does not take Medicare, why is this?

The Medicare-approval process is lengthy and costly, so while it may appear that many companies may not take Medicare, they may actually be in the process of becoming Medicare certified.

Furthermore, the Medicare criteria for individual qualifying to receive home health care are very strict; the reality is that many people who may apply for coverage by Medicare for their approved home health company services will not actually receive coverage. Currently, Medicare pays only about half of all health care costs to seniors. Medicare very often denies payment due to not meeting criteria, so it is essential to be aware if you meet these criteria prior to restricting yourself exclusively to Medicare-approved home health care companies.

It is crucial not to become overwhelmed by the complexities of Medicare, as there is a vast wealth of information on the Internet.

For a great chart and further information about your Medicare options, see http://www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/coverage-choices.aspx

To look up if Medicare covers your medical services or tests, look at http://www.medicare.gov/Coverage/Home.asp

In conclusion, be mindful that while Medicare solely covers home health for the homebound, home health care is NOT exclusively for the homebound. Home health care agencies offer a variety of service which not only benefits those are not covered by Medicare but also those who are homebound or otherwise.

The Growing Need for Home Health Care Professionals in New Jersey

In the near future there will be a steady rise in the demand for professional home health aides and caregivers. As the baby boom generation (individuals born between 1946 and 1964) continues to age, they stand to dramatically change the population landscape throughout the United States. With New Jersey being the most densely populated state in the country the need for home health care professionals will be particularly strong, as the needs of a growing senior population must be fulfilled. Between 1990 and 2000 the population of individuals 60 and over grew by 3.5% to just under 1.5 million and by 2030 that number is expected to reach 2.5 million or roughly 25% of the state population. It is also important to note that, within this demographic, the largest area of growth occurred among individuals in the 80 and above age group. As New Jersey's senior population ages, the probability that they will live alone increases along with the probability that they will develop a disability, physical or otherwise.

Reports such as this begin to show the growing role that home health care will play in the near future. New Jersey seniors deserve expert care while still having the choice of independent living. Professional home health aides provide a variety of services ranging from live-in care to short-term hourly care. Responsibility is important because aides essentially serve as an extension of the family by providing care for the elderly or disabled while offering peace of mind to other family members who can be assured that their loved ones receive the care they require when they need it.

Home health care professionals come from a variety of fields including nursing, health care, therapy and social work. Before seeking employment, potential aides must be certified through the state Board of Nursing. As the field of home health care grows it is important to find an agency that cares about patients and clients just as much as it cares about its employees. A dedicated agency should provide continual education for aides and caregivers, including courses for certification. It is the responsibility of the home health agency to properly match health care professionals and clients based on fulfillment of needs and overall convenience.

Home Health Care Benefits

As families continue to grow and expand, there are many additional responsibilities that have to be addressed. When a loved one is ill and needs additional help, it can be very hard for families to accommodate their needs. When families find themselves in this predicament, they often reach out to an agency that specializes in home health care.

Home health care can mean different things to different people. The agency that specializes in this type of health care understands this concept and makes sure they understand their clients' needs before they send a caregiver to their homes. When families feel they need help, their first step is usually to call one of these agencies and schedule an appointment to speak with a representative.

Families normally go to an agency to discuss their options and understand exactly how this can benefit their loved one. The agency representative takes the time to listen to the concerns their clients have and what they feel their loved one needs. They also make sure to ask many questions so they understand what they need to provide.

Families are comfortable working with agencies for different reasons. Many families feel that these are professionals and they have many different resources that could benefit their loved ones. They are also very concerned about their loved ones safety. When a home health care professional is selected from an agency, families know they have passed a strict background check and thorough interview process.

This can mean different things to different families. There are families with loved ones that are gravely ill. When these families ask for a home health care professional, they are often there to monitor their health and many other things. This is a situation that the health care professional may have to check on their client once per day.

In other instances home health care professionals only need to see their clients once a week. In these situations, the clients are fairly healthy and able to live independently. They may need help in running errands or doing things around their home due to different medical and health issues. They are able to function well by themselves but families prefer that a medical professional check on them.

There are even some situations that a home health care professional is required to stay with their client all day. In these cases, family members aren't able to be with their loved one during that time and they have requested a health caregiver come into their home. This can happen whenever a loved one will be left alone and they shouldn't be or this can be a part of their daily routine. It all depends upon what the client needs.

When families are made aware of the different options and benefits they have with home health care agencies, they are able to decide what will help their loved one the best. Many of these families take a moment to discuss what they want and then they make arrangements with the agency to start the care. The decision to use these agencies to ensure their loved one receives the best care possible is a daily reminder of their love and dedication to their loved ones.

True Or False - Medication Safety is Important to Elderly Home Health Care

Elderly home health care is a growing industry. As we age, it is more and more important that we age in familiar surroundings, near our family and friends. Medication safety is a major concern as we age at home. Our aging bodies respond differently to medications than they did when we were younger. Many aging adults see multiple doctors and take an array of pills. Experts suggest that the average aging adult actually takes between four to six medications a day. Along with those medications, many are taking vitamins, natural supplements and herbs. It is important to understand that each medication we take as we age can increase our chances for an adverse reaction.

Elderly home health care and medication safety is one of the major problems of concern for family members and physicians alike. The biggest problem with medications as we age is three fold.

  • The first factor is multiple medications, herbs, natural supplements and vitamins can cause a drug interaction. This is an adverse effect to one or more of the drugs you are taking.
  • The second common factor to medication safety is the time it takes your body to metabolize the drug in your system. If you are taking a drug over time, it may build up in your system, resulting in too much medication in your body. The most common sign that there is an adverse reaction to a medication is change in mental status. Simply put, the aging adult may exhibit periods of confusion, mood changes, excessive drowsiness, poor coordination.
  • The third factor that plays a role in elder home care and medication safety is not taking the medications as prescribed. Missing doses, taking another dose because you are not sure you took it, or not taking the medications everyday to stretch out the medications for financial reasons. All of these things have an impact on managing medications safely at home.

To maintain medication safety and elder care at home, you must explore a medication system that is appropriate for the aging adult. There are multiple technological advances, as well simple pill boxes that distribute the medications over a week with slots for different times of the day for your pills.

If you are missing medications or not taking a medication as prescribed, there is assistance for obtaining medications. Be honest with your physician if you cannot afford the medication. Ask if there is a generic brand available. Do not hesitate to ask for samples to try a medication for a few days. If samples are not available, ask for a prescription for just a few days worth. That way you will have time to see if you are going to have a reaction or if the medication is having the anticipated result.

Elderly home health care and medication safety can be accomplished successfully by asking questions and advice from your doctor and other health care professionals. By becoming an educated health care consumer, you can reduce your chances of medication errors and adverse reactions to medications.

Best Home Health Business - Home Health Care

When starting a business, entering the health industry is a very good idea. Starting a business from home is an even better idea. What then is the best home health business one should start? Several ideas come to mind, but one of the best is a health care home business.

A health care venture is primarily intended to provide assistance to the elderly. In the United States, the elderly population is rising and health care for them is in great demand. Target demographics for this kind of business include individuals who are aged 60 and above and have certain disorders and health care problems that curtail their mobility. These people may need regular medical attention. A health care business can also provide services to those seniors recuperating from surgery or illness.

A senior business is one of the best home health businesses because it is one aspect of the that is experiencing a continuous rise of consumers. This business will involve the provision of assistance and services like meal planning, meal preparation, and proper managing of the patient's health. It may also involve light chores like running a few errands and light house cleaning.

One of the reasons why a senior business can be the best home health business is that it does not require a large amount capital. Start-up costs are minimal and since it is a home business you need not even spend money to rent business space! Although this type of business is considered the best health home business, it does not mean you will not have to exert some effort. A background in the health care department would really be advantageous for you.

However, you need not have formal training. As long as you are willing to expand your knowledge through manuals, books, and courses, you are good to go! If you prefer to attend programs that provide intensive training, go ahead and do so. Doing so will considerably increase your chances of success. A senior health care home business is not hard to put up and it can truly be the best health home business.