Home health care refers to the process of having a health care provider, usually a nurse or a nurse assistant, come to the home of a person who is elderly or disabled and help them with basic daily activities that due to their age and disability they are unable to perform themselves.
It can take many forms, depending on the extent of assistance the patient requires. For some patients, basic assistance with housework and meal preparation is the extent of their need. For others, full medical knowledge may be required.
Evaluate the needs of your loved one before contacting the provider and discussing your options. The level of care offered varies greatly, from weekly visits to live-in companion care. The home health care agency can explain your options and discuss pricing with you.
Medicare provides coverage for some home health care, depending on the specific needs of the senior involved. Any care you want beyond the coverage offered by Medicare or your own insurance company would have to be paid out of pocket. This can make it difficult to provide the level of care you sometimes want, but most companies are aware of this issue and can help you find a financing plan that works.
As the needs of the patient change, so does the providers arrangement. Be prepared for your home health care needs to increase, and be aware of the point where you will be interested in ending home health in favor of looking into a nursing home of some sort. Of course, most seniors prefer to stay in their own home as long as possible.
You may be able to keep home health care but may need to change providers. For example, if you start with an untrained companion provider basic cleaning and meal preparation services, you may at some point need to hire a nurse or nurse assistant to take care of the patient's increased medical needs.
This is a good option for seniors who have minor difficulties performing the basic activities of daily living, like bathing and dressing themselves, but otherwise are healthy. For seniors that live far away from their family, they can help provide social interaction and interest to the lives of the senior.
Home health care is a good choice for many elderly people. It is, however, a complex decision that requires taking into account the finances available, the needs and wants of the senior, the availability and willingness of the family to provide care, and the potential future needs of the senior. By contacting them and discussing your situation and concerns, you can determine the best course of action for you and your family.