Home Health Care and You - How to Choose a Nurse

You have to pick a home care worker for a senior in your family. It's expected that you should want to choose the most experienced and reliable nurse. When you must take on a home healthcare specialist, how can you ensure your decision is the best? As with any service, the most reliable way to proceed is to take it slow so you can thoroughly research your options.

Before you begin your list of potential workers, you've got to have an idea of the qualities you're after. To help create a master list of prospective home healthcare workers, start by inquiring from people you know for referrals. Nurses, caregivers, neighbours, friends and different family members are a good resource. Plus there are plenty federal, provincial and special societies that specialize in home care. It is important that you phone these specialized groups before deciding.

Build Your Document of Questions
Once you've written out a full list of potential home care institutions, it's time to create a list of useful questions to use as a guide throughout the selection process. That way, you're sure to ask similar questions of each agency you contact. Keep in mind, you are looking to choose someone who will join the home of your loved one regularly to offer home care, so you have incentive to dig into the past and find out what kind of services your potential nurses will be offering.

Sliding Door of Home Care Nurses
The family member you care about requires quality attention and that means the at home worker should have an understanding of what they need. One of the most sought after qualities of home care is the consistency of the worker. Unfortunately, you will discover agencies that send out a variety of home workers like a revolving door. Every time a new nurse comes through your door, they must learn about your family member's needs all over again. Ensure you discover if the nurse you are short listing is not going to be replaced every other day.

Canada has a retiring population and many people are searching for home care for their dependent. Educated professionals in this industry are looking to work in this field, but too many who are less experienced are taking advantage of this consumer demand. By preparing yourself with a robust understanding of what you should be considering in a health care provider you are prepared to uncover the right worker for you. Don't forget to ask friends and family you know about their experiences, contact trusted resources, interview effectively and be sure to only hire a worker who will remain for a long time.

11 Places to Find Home Health Care Aides

There are a few common places that many families use to recruit home health aides. The most frequently used sources are:

-Independent Living Centers

-Your doctor's office

-Nursing Schools

-Physical Therapy Schools

-Vocational Schools (Including Certified Nursing Assistant programs)

-A home health-care agency

-State Department of Developmental Disability or County Vocational Rehabilitation

-Ads in local newspapers/classifieds

-Bulletin boards at schools, community colleges, places of worship, etc.

-Word of mouth


Centers for Independent Living (CILs) often provide training programs for home health aides. CILs assist people with disabilities to live independently and offer information on managing personal assistants and a referral service. As with any other referral service, you should check the references and do an extensive interview on personal assistants. Similar programs are offered in rural areas called programs for rural independent living.

Senior centers can also be valuable resources as many maintain a list of people willing to do attendant work. If you have sough medical attention in the past, your physician, social worker, rehabilitation therapist, or other medical staff may have information on home health aides.

You may also want to contact nursing schools in your area either directly or posting job listings on their bulletin boards. Nursing students are frequently looking to gain experience and will likely view your care needs very seriously.

In the case that you do not find an adequate home health aide, you can always use an agency. The employees provided by the agency are usually more trained. In the event that you PA quits or takes a leave, agencies provide immediate replacements. Agencies provide insurance coverage and benefits to their employees which contributes to a more stable workforce. The downfall of using an agency is that you do not have as much freedom to choose your assistant as hiring independently, and much of the time there are restrictions on the tasks that their HHAs can do. Agencies are often much more expensive than hiring independently.

Many people have been successful using Refugee agencies. You can offer training in English as part of a benefits package. They sometimes offer additional support and training.

Finally, word of mouth is a powerful recruiting method. Ask family members and friends who have sought care in the past. Ask them about their experience with the HHA, but remember to do your own research and background check on the individual.

Home Health Care of Elderly Family Members

Home Health Care is a supportive kind of care that is provided to the patient in his own home by insured and bonded health care professionals. It is a skilled care that can also be given by the family members, friends, primary caregivers, or voluntary caregivers. The term Home Health Care refers to the care that is offered to the patient by licensed personnel. It is a skilled nursing care.

The primary aim if Home Health Care is to make it possible for the person to remain in his home setting instead of using institutional-based, long-term or residential nursing care. The health care professionals render the health services to the client in their own home. These services are generally a combination of life assistance services and professional health care services.

The life assistance services incorporate help with the regular tasks like laundry, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, shopping, transportation, errands and activities of daily living (ADL). ADL refers to six basic activities of your regular routine that features: bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, walking and using the toilet. It reflects the patient's capacity for self-care. The professional home health services contains psychological or medical assessment, pain management, wound care, physical therapy, medication teaching, disease education as well as management, occupational and speech therapy.

We are aware that many a times people like to receive care in a familiar atmosphere with the love, patience and understanding of the friends and family that surround them. The elderly care professionals design services that specifically help the patients increase and strengthen their ability to care for themselves in their homes. Good health and well-being, no doubt, begins at home with an understanding that illness can affect the loved ones as well as the patient's hopes and aspirations.

Helping the patients to become independent is extremely important for us. A number of Home Senior Care services are offered for the patients who experience illness, surgery or hospitalization or the ones who are facing a new health diagnosis that needs a consistent change in their daily lifestyle. In the centers, they use unique care plans, medical treatments, comprehensive assessments, medication management and effective symptom control. The physical rehabilitation services helps to restore the functions that are impaired because of surgery, illness or accident.

Elderly Health Care also caters to the newly diagnosed disease like heart failure, diabetes, or pulmonary disease. They guide the patients to combine the self-management skills in their daily lifestyle. Nowadays, the Senior Health Care services specialize in caring for the patients having a number of medical conditions that demands infusion therapy or IV. Through the advancements in the Home Health Care technology, the hospital stays of these patients are often reduced considerably, and the treatment is offered in the comfort and privacy of home. This enables the patient to live productive and rich life in a comfortable home setting.

Home Health Care Technology - Baby Boomers Require Action to Age in Place

Home health care technology can assist baby boomers to successfully age in place by promoting independence and offering assistance when it is needed.

Boomers have made it perfectly clear they want to remain in their communities and stay in their homes for as long as possible. The results of a survey conducted by The American Association of Retired Persons of September 2008 asked baby boomers if they agreed with this statement:

"What I'd really like to do is stay in my current residence for as long as possible." The results were:

  • 80% of those between the age of 55-64 agree
  • 88% believe that it is likely that they can
  • 75% of those that responded between the mid 50's and mid 60"s believe some aspect of their home will challenge their ability to do so (stairs being the biggest obstacle with 24%).

So here is the surprising, yet disturbing news. Clarity conducted a research study that studied two groups: Baby Boomers between the ages of 43 - 61, with aging parents and seniors, age 65 plus, and still living independently, at home.

The results of this study:

  • 53% of the aging seniors in the study were concerned about their ability (despite their desire) to remain in their own homes. They cited concerns about health, memory and the ability to drive.
  • When asked about fears, seniors 26% ranked loss of independence. The highest,13%, feared moving into a nursing home and 3%, had a fear of death.
  • 51% of boomers believe there is technology to help their parents. But only 14% have looked for any home health care technology.

Aging seniors and baby boomers rank moving into a nursing home higher than they fear death.

Baby boomers require taking action to successfully age in place and home health care technology is there to support them and their aging loved one. It is important to be proactive and not reactive to researching home health care technology.

Research shows that most home health care technology is initiated in the home, only after an incident occurs. This incident, with an aging senior often results in an unnecessary hospitalization. Most accidents, that happen at home, can be prevented. The technology is available to maintain independence, prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and improve the quality of life of our aging seniors.

Home health care technology is available to aging baby boomers now. In order to successfully age in place requires planning. Many boomers have aging loved ones that they are presently taking care of and providing assistance in the home. It will not be long and the boomers will require care and have the same goals: aging in place. Boomers, take action now to make your goal of aging in place a reality.

Home Health Care - 6 Advantages Why You May Want To Consider It!

A great alternative to nursing care is Home Health Care.

Here are some Advantages you may want to consider:

1. Allows the patient to recover in the comfort and security of their own surroundings.

2. Offers Individualized care according to their specific needs.

3. Makes it possible to be able to care for a patient where they live. It may delay the need for an elderly loved one to be placed in a nursing facility.

4. Offers maintaining independence. Knowing your parents for years as strong and independent can be quite scary once they are unable to do most things any longer. It is difficult for them as well as for their children. If possible, it is such a wonderful thing to make them feel independent by offering them some help instead of wisking them off to a nursing facility if they don't want that. It's true, in some cases it just cannot be helped; however depending on your situation -- home care can be a great alternative.

5. Provides a patient and their family more control over the type of care given to the patient. A responsible person must coordinate all of the services and costs required in order for a at-home program to work successfully.

6. Offers one-on-one personalized attention, unlike that within a hospital or nursing facility. For example, a staff person may be totally responsible for the care of 10 or even more residents in a nursing facility. This advantage alone is something to consider if your situation warrants it.

Home Health Care: Convenient and Less Expensive

Despite popular belief, you don't have to be in a hospital or nursing facility to have a staff of professionals take care of you - the is an alternative called home health care. Essentially, many of the same type of services offered at hospitals can be offered to you at your home through specialized agencies, and often it's more convenient and less expensive for you in the end.

You know that health care, ultimately, is to take care of you after you've been injured or sick. Now, if you can do this at your home, and gain your strength and self-sufficiency back in an environment where you're more comfortable, that would be a great option to exercise.

Some home health care services include: wound care, patient education, nutrition therapy, injections, intravenous therapy, and speech-language therapy. Staff can also monitor serious illness and unstable health status, as well as helping with getting you into and out of bed, helping you bathe and use the bathroom, and doing things like light housekeeping, cooking, shopping, and laundry.

To find agencies available for this type of work, do an internet search and find out if there is anything local, and find out if they provide the exact service to the specifications that you require. Be aware that there are arrangements made between insurers and the agencies, so always ask questions before deciding who to hire.

So when they're there, what should you expect from a home health care team? They should be aware of your diet, your amount of exercise, your blood pressure and heart rate, your breathing, your temperature, and all of your vitals. They should know your medication routines and have them all up to date. They should check on your pain levels and your mental and physical condition every day, if not more often. They will make sure that your home is safe, and they will teach you how to take care of yourself as the process moves forward.

They'll also explain to you what your plan of care is. It's essentially a list of everything you need - what services, by what type of care professional, what equipment they need, how often they need to take care of what parts of your health, and what you should expect when the treatments are complete.

And be sure to ask yourself questions while you are under care. Are they treating you respectfully? Are they explaining why they are doing what they're doing? Are they continually suggesting ways to improve your treatment? Are they putting your mental and physical health first with regard to the service?

Ultimately it's up to you to pick the best service provider for your home health care, so do your research and decide if it's for you.

Home Health Care: The Finest Package To Stay Healthy

Home health care is the answer to your long-time agony of restoring your most treasured health without living in a hospital. During this age and time, the number of people with chronic diseases, mentally challenged and physically incapacitated is growing. That's why health care services that are delivered at home are of great significance to their lives. It includes the finest package to restore your health and eventually be in good physical shape.

The idea of living in the hospital to meet your medical challenges is really dreadful. Aside from the costly medical procedures in a health care institution, you also find it uncomfortable to live each day of your life in the hospital. The development of health home care deletes this inconvenience. These services help you regain your optimal health. But this doesn't sacrifice the idea of quality services when you are in an excellent medical institution undergoing sophisticated treatments. These home care services use state of the art facilities and are delivered by experienced and competent medical staff. Through that you will never have to put your own health at stake.

But, what are really the services offered by this health home care providers? First, we have the language and speech therapy. Victims of a physically debilitating stroke can still recover their communication skills with the help of a competent speech therapist. Yes, it is a long process. But at the end, you'll surely reap the fruits of your sacrifices. These services can also focus on educating the family. As we all know, prevention is always the best cure. These services also teach the significant knowledge needed by these individuals as they struggle in maintaining good health. They can also educate the family members of individuals who have chronic diseases of thing they should and shouldn't do if emergency occurs. They can further educate the youth against the evil and danger brought about by sexually transmitted diseases. With this, you just can't provide worthwhile knowledge but can straighten their paths as well. Lastly, these services also concentrate in feeding the emotional and spiritual well-being of dying patients or those who have chronic diseases. They could still assist these individuals to attain a dignified death when their time comes or could still let hope shine despite the overshadowing of darkness, as in the case of chronically ill patients. Whatever the purpose of health home care may be, its ultimate goal is to be a part of a patient's life. Truly, these medical staff members want nothing but the best and quality life for their patients.

Being a part of a health home care staff is really mentally taxing and physically demanding. But, do you know what makes this career path worth the sacrifices? It is the smile of the patients whenever you touch them with care and their satisfied hearts whenever you smile back at them. At the end of the day, you can truly say that these services don't only provide purely medical treatment and health knowledge, but this career also touch lives as they become part of a patient's heart.

Home Health Care Software

The health care industry has become so popular these days that you should provide the best service to survive in this field. Thanks to the computer and software technologies with the use of advanced technologies, one can easily streamline the health care business nowadays. Whether you are new to health care or an established one, you should have the right software to run a successful business. A good software package designed for a home run health care business allows you to focus more on the patient care rather on billing and financing. This software allows the easy management of daily tasks such as billing and scheduling. Some of the other features of home care software include tracking patient information, caregiver information and payroll and so on.

Well programmed software allows streamlining the business tasks. From appointment scheduling to generating the insurance claims, everything is made easy with the use of home care software. This software usually supports both paper and electronic claim forms. The general accounting feature of the software automatically calculates all the payments related to the home health service. This automated process eases the everyday tasks that are related with the back office work and in turn helps to improve the profitability.

This kind of software is available from various vendors. All of this software is programmed on state-of -the -art technologies. Home health software is user-friendly and self-explanatory. Hence, one requires minimal training to install and understand the software.

The health software solution is the comprehensive to all the back office work of a home care business. If you do not manage your billing efficiently, you cannot run a successful business. If you do a little research, you can find the best software that matches your requirement. With the use of integrated software system, you can improve the efficiency and productivity of the home health care business with minimal effort.

Saving Money With Home Health Care

Home health care has become a viable option not only for elderly people, but also for people of all ages with either temporary or long-term special medical needs. With such care, a patient can remain in the comfort of his/her home and still receive specialized medical treatment or assistance with personal care needs. Oftentimes this will be more acceptable to the patient when given the option of staying in their own home versus moving into a nursing home or hospital.

Home health care can consist of having a private-duty nurse come to the patient's home for extended care or help with a ventilator, IV's, gastrostomy tubes and other chronic medical needs. It can also involve the training of household members to give such treatments under supervision. Home personal care can be provided to help with meals or personal grooming as well as assistance with household chores such as cleaning or laundry.

Ask your personal physician or local hospital for recommendations when it comes to choosing a home care agency. Don't be afraid to question the agency about the training and supervision of their staff. Ask how problems are addressed and resolved and if there is someone on call 24 hours per day.

Choosing a home health care agency should not be taken lightly, but if you can find an appropriate fit for you loved one, a home health care agency usually costs only 1/5 of the cost of moving the patient to an outside facility. It has proven to be a cost-effective alternative to health care and usually results in a happier patient.

Why Choose Home Health Care?

Increasingly, families are making the decision to have health care provided in their own homes. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day in 2011, the need for quality, affordable health care becomes an increased concern across the U.S. The aging baby-boomers - it's anticipated that by 2030 the number of people over 65 will exceed 70 million - are now in a position where they need extra help with chronic conditions and daily activities, but don't want to lose the independence and comfort of their homes. In addition, the high costs of hospital and facility stays can cause a frightening financial burden. While not everyone who needs health care assistance is a senior citizen - like new mothers and singles living without family nearby - the focus is often on the baby-boom generation.

There is scientific evidence that supports the belief that people heal faster and feel better when allowed to be at home. Certainly the amount of germs and sources of infection are less when in a home environment over an institution. The psychological benefits are undeniable; when asked, most people who are hospitalized with an illness "just want to go home." This also allows family to stay with the person in need, providing them with the knowledge that they are still in the loop of their loved-one's health issues.

Routine can be essential for physical and emotional well-being. A home health care provider will help maintain the discipline of scheduled medications and therapies within a framework of personal routine. Allowing a patient the comfort of keeping their normal, daily routine in their own home adds to the quality of life and sense of safety. In addition, the health care provider can watch for changes in habits, attitudes, and demeanor that can be indicators of larger problems. The emotional well-being extends to those who live with the patient, as it can be difficult to care for a family member with so many other demands - like work or children - that divide their time. Lack of health care knowledge can put a strain on relationships between family members. With the help of a trained home caregiver, family can enjoy being with each other while still getting the best attention to health issues.

Sometimes, it is the simple things that can mean a huge difference in the health of someone in need of care. Having a health care provider come in a few times a week to fix a meal, assist with personal hygiene, and make sure that items are picked up for easy movement about the house can prevent illness or injury from poor nutrition, infection, or accidents. This type of service is also very beneficial to new mothers or those recovering from surgeries, etc. that are without the luxury of nearby family or friends to help during the first few weeks home.

An additional advantage to the comfort and health benefits is that it makes more economic sense to have a provider in your home. Lengthy stays in a hospital or institution can add up to thousands of dollars very quickly, compounding the stress in your life. By comparison, home health care is significantly cheaper, giving you more options with your health care dollar.

A home health agency is strictly regulated, meeting federal requirements and regulations to assure you that your home care provider is highly trained. While they are not a substitute for a doctor's care, they can be an essential supplement to daily routine; keeping you healthier, and happier for years to come.

Home Health Care Beds - Advice on Choosing the Right Home Health Care Bed for Your Needs

Do you or a loved one have a debilitating illness or condition that requires lengthy or even permanent bed rest? Choosing a home care bed can be a daunting experience, especially when time is short and money is scarce. Here is a detailed look at the various factors you should consider before making a home care bed purchase.

Consider your medical condition

The most important in choosing a home care bed is assessing your medical condition. The right bed can significantly improve your health and happiness, so make sure you match the bed to your specific healthcare needs.

First, how much do you weigh? Most standard home care beds support up to 450 pounds. If you're heavier than that, you'll need to narrow your search to a bariatric bed, which are specifically designed to support obese patients.

Wheelchair-bound people and those at risk for falls should consider a low bed to make getting in and out of the bed as easy as possible. Paraplegics and other people with very limited mobility may want to invest in a professionally refurbished hospital bed rather than a home care bed.

Consider a medical mattress

After assessing your medical condition, you may find that you don't need a home care bed at all. A medical-grade foam or air mattress on top of a regular bed may be suitable for your needs. Many medical-grade mattresses are available in Twin, Full, Queen and King sizes. But is your current bed in good shape? If not, you could just end up damaging your new mattress.

Most people buy a home care bed and a mattress at the same time. If you're bed-bound, you'll want an alternating pressure system, or APM, that helps prevent bedsores. Depending on the model you choose, you could end up spending as much on a mattress as you do on the bed itself.

Consider your caregiver's needs

If you have a caregiver, you should consider their needs as well as your own. A bed that rises to a comfortable working height will reduce strain on your caregiver and help prevent injuries. A control panel puts all the bed controls in one convenient spot for your caregiver.

Opting for a home care bed with manual controls will save you money, but it will be more difficult for your caregiver to raise and lower the bed. If you can afford it, choose a semi-electric or fully electric model instead.

Consider your living space

When choosing a home care bed, don't forget to check the dimensions. Most home care beds ship unassembled, so they're easy to set up in the room of your choice. But if you opt for a refurbished hospital bed, you'll need to make sure your hallways and doors are large enough to move the bed into the room. For either bed, you'll also want to ensure that you have enough space to move about the room freely once the bed is in place.

Consider your time frame

If you needed a bed yesterday and haven't started shopping until today, then getting your bed quickly might be a big issue. Most home care beds take several weeks to build, and they often aren't kept in stock because of the large amount of storage space required.

If you need a bed immediately, your best bet is a professionally refurbished hospital bed. You'll get the same quality of bed (if not better), and they're usually in stock and ready to ship. The best option, of course, is to plan ahead so you aren't force to settle on a bed that isn't perfect for you.

Consider your finances

You might be surprised that cost is so far down on this list, but for many people, money is no object when it comes to their health and well-being. You'll be spending a lot of time in the bed you choose, so it's better to make a sound investment for the future rather than focus on short-term savings.

The least expensive home care beds start around $500.00 for a manual model with no frills. But for the average electric home care bed, you can expect to pay at least $1,000.00. A decent medical-grade foam mattress costs about $300.00, while a medical air mattress will typically run about $1,000.00. If you choose a refurbished hospital bed instead, you can expect to pay at least $2,500.00.

These prices do not include shipping and installation (although some vendors will ship beds for free, and some beds can be assembled at home with basic tools). Since beds are large and heavy, shipping can often add several hundred dollars to your purchase price.

Check with your Medicare or Medicaid caseworker to see if they can help defray your costs. Keep in mind that your claim may take a while to process, and you may be required to rent a bed for a period of time before you're approved to purchase one. Many patients prefer to avoid this hassle and buy the bed on their own.

Consider your options

Sometimes accessories make a huge difference in your use and enjoyment of a home care bed. People at risk for falling out of bed should definitely purchase bed rails, which are available in half-length and full-length sizes. Those who have trouble getting in and out of bed may need a trapeze bar or a lift system to help them bathe and use the bathroom.

Besides medical accessories, you may also want to look into purely aesthetic options. These days, many home care beds are designed to look like standard beds, with decorative headboards and footboards in a wide variety of colors. You can match the bed to your current d├ęcor or buy a set of coordinating furniture specially designed for assisted living facilities.

Consider the source

No matter which home care bed you choose, make sure you're working with a reputable vendor. The medical equipment industry is quite competitive these days, and especially so on the Internet, where all you need is a website and a manufacturer willing to supply you with products. Find out how long the vendor has been in business and how much experience they have selling home care beds.

Read the vendor's policies carefully so you're not surprised later by the fine print. Make sure you get a quote in writing detailing all of your costs, including shipping and installation. Your sales representative should be available during normal business hours to answer your questions and give you advice. No reputable salesperson should hurry you through a decision this important, so beware of high-pressure sales techniques.

If you ask plenty of questions and consider the answers carefully, you're sure to purchase a home care bed that's suitable for your health and happiness.

How to Find a Good Home Health Care Caregiver

How does one choose the best home health care caregiver? When you or a loved one needs long term care, keeping it simple is always the way to go. For most people who have limitations in their daily activities, the best type of care is the at-home type. Having a caregiver who comes by on a daily or semi-daily basis to help with the tasks you can no longer perform is an ideal solution. But how do you choose someone you can trust to come into your home?

How Do I Choose a Home Health Care Provider?

Check with the experts in the field of home health care. There are a multitude of companies on the market today which specialize in providing home health care workers to those who need it. Such companies have reputations which can be verified through a simple online search of state governing bodies and consumer protection organizations. Companies who furnish home health care workers are usually very stringent in their recruiting tactics and background checks and carry large liability policies to cover anything that might go wrong.

Ask for recommendations. Talk with your doctor about who he or she would recommend in home health care. This may be your best source of information. Also, talk to friends and neighbors about who they have used or if they know someone who used a home health care worker that they were particularly pleased with. Word of mouth is often the most reliable type of recommendation. Whether the average person praises or condemns another's work, usually they have nothing to gain or lose.

What Qualifications Should I Look for?

If you must choose a long term care giver without the help of a service, here are some things to keep in mind. Check to make sure that all licenses are up-to-date. Be sure that the care giver is qualified to perform the duties that he or she will have to do. In certain places, you must be a Registered Nurse to administer any type of medication. If you cannot do this yourself and need help, then you may have no choice but to go with an RN.

Meet with the caregiver at least twice to familiarize yourself with him or her. Be sure you feel comfortable with the person. Instincts mean a lot. Ask for references and be sure to check them. Ask questions such as why the person left their last job and whether the old employer would consider rehiring them or not. Run a background check. By simply getting some basic information and paying a small fee, usually less than $30, you can run a background check on a person in the state you are in. This may come back with information that will surprise you and aid you in weeding out inappropriate candidates for the job.

Where Do I locate Home Health Care Workers?

A good source of potential home health care workers is local hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Often nurses and other health care workers are open to working a little on days they are off or even picking up a few extra hours every day. Check with the human resources departments of such places to see if you can place an ad on a bulletin board or if they have some names they could refer to you.

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Home Health Care - Facts You'll Want to Know to Help Your Family Both Young and Old

Home Health Care: According to Wikipedia, "Home care aims to make it possible for people to remain at home rather than use residential, long-term, or institutional-based nursing care. Home Care providers render services in the client's own home. These services may include some combination of professional health care services and life assistance services. Life assistance services include help with daily tasks such as Meal Preparation, Medication reminders, Laundry, Light Housekeeping, Errands, Shopping, Transportation, and Companionship. Activities of daily living (ADL) refers to six activities (bathing, dressing, transferring, using the toilet, eating, and walking) that reflect the patient's capacity for self-care."

1. People are living longer, but usually have one or more chronic diseases along with a decline in their mental capacity. This makes it not only difficult for them to try to live on their own, but unsafe as well. As we age many of us just need help. Living longer is great, but many times it because harder and harder to be on our own.

2. The top five chronic illnesses were diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, musculoskeletal diseases, heart failure, and chronic pulmonary disease. I know we all plan to be healthy and live long but it doesn't always happen that way. These diseases seem to crop up on us, unfortunately.

3. There are resources out there that can provide high quality customized home medical care and non-medical care services for any age and any medical condition. People need to realize that there are many services available for different types of situations.

4. Assistance can be provided to help elderly family members who may live out of town to live safely and independently in their own home. There's nothing worse than being far away from home and living alone. With this type of assistance, it is possible to have piece of mind.

5. Terminally ill persons usually want to spend the time they have remaining in the comfort of their own home around family and friends. This can be a monumental task for family members who usually work each day. The demands related to this type of help for your loved one can be exhausting.

Paying for Home Health Care

Health care services are seen as the right of every citizen. But what about elderly individuals who want to be cared for at home? Who will foot their bill? Home health care can be paid for by the patient himself, his family, through public funding, or through private sources. Public third-party payers include Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Administration, the Older American Act, and the Social Services grant programs.

There are also community organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association and the American Cancer Society who can help elderly patients foot the home health care bill. Meanwhile, private third-party payers include managed care associations, workers' compensation, health insurance companies, and CHAMPUS. Inevitably, some people will fail to meet the criteria set by third-party payers. In these cases, patients would need to shoulder the cost of care themselves. Home care providers might be open to negotiation.

Medicaid - this program is administered by the state. It is joint federal-state assistance for low-income Americans. The eligibility requirements of each state vary; however, they are only required to give home health services to people who receive federally-assisted income (such as Social Security Income and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Individuals who are "categorically needy" can also take advantage of this service. Categorically needy include individuals who are disabled, blind, or who live below federal poverty levels but with incomes that are too high for meet coverage.

Medicare - most Americans above the age of 65 are eligible to get Medicare assistance. If an individual wants to get home care services, he or she may get the services offered by a Medicare-certified agency. Depending on the medical condition of the patient, the agency may provide physical and occupational therapy, nursing, and HCA services. Patients can also get access to medical supplies. The referring physician needs to authorize home health care plan, and this needs to be re-certified every six months.

Older American Act (OAA) - it was enacted in 1965. OAA funds state and local social programs that are designed to help older individuals remain independent. This federal funding covers personal care, HCA, chore, meal deliver, and even shopping services for elderly people who need it most. A person must be at least 60 years old to quality.

Veterans Administration - veterans who sustained service-related injuries and are at least 50% disable will get coverage from the Veterans Administration. A physician will authorize the services; it will be delivered through the agency's home care units.

Social Services Grant Programs - every year, a state will get block grants from the federal government. This will fund state-identified social requirements. A portion of the funding will be allotted for programs that provide chore worker services and HCA to elderly individuals.

For individuals who have commercial insurance coverage, their coverage varies. Most policies offer a certain level of home care services for people with acute needs. However, a lot of individuals encounter problems with longer-term services. In Purchasing Medigap insurance would offer comprehensive home care services.

How Can Home Health Care Agencies Decrease Hospital Re-Admission Rates?

As part of the changes that the Center of Medicare Services (CMS) have recently implemented, many hospitals will no longer be reimbursed for inpatient hospital stays if a patient is readmitted within thirty days of discharge. In looking at some of the data on rehospitalization rates we see a wide fluctuation nationwide. Some states have rates as low as 13 %, some are as high as 27%. There are wide variations within some states. What can we learn from the states that are doing well? What does best practice look like? There are a growing number of approaches but many experts agree that the design of our current health care system itself is flawed, at least in this country. We have a highly fragmented system which means that no one provider can remedy this problem. We need greater transparency between medical facilities as far as patient records to ease patient transitions and our current reimbursement system is based on the amount of care and not necessarily on the quality of services rendered.

So where can we start? In the home health arena there are some areas where we can at least begin to make headway:

• Timely follow up.
If an appointment with the primary care physician has not been made by the patient or family at the time of admission to home care services then the admitting RN can make that appointment for the patient or have them call that day. It could be made part of the admission process. Fifty percent of all 30 day hospital readmissions nationally occurred before the patient had their first post hospitalization appointment with the primary care physician (PCP). The ideal would be to have that appointment set up prior to hospital discharge but in the event that it does not happen the visiting nurse should be the safety net.

• Medication reconciliation.
Patients medications change frequently with hospitalizations. The primary care physician must be made aware of the patient's current medication regime. With the increased utilization of hospitalists, most PCPs are no longer treating the patient while in the hospital hence they are not aware of medication changes. Ten day summaries that come from the hospital to the PCPs office need to be more timely, ideally within days after discharge.

• Educating the patient.
The patient needs to recognize the signs and symptoms that necessitate a call to his PCP. The patient needs to be educated as to his disease process and understand the effect that it has on his daily living and the modifications needed to successfully live with his current limitations, whether they be temporary or permanent. Discovering what contributed to this present hospitalization and how to alter or recognize those circumstances is key to preventing an avoidable readmission.

In conclusion, the post acute care plan needs to be comprehensive in meeting all of the patient's needs and most importantly the patient and family need to be part of the health care team. Proper assessment of what the patient/family actually learned from a hospitalization and what they need to understand to prevent a recurrence is essential going forward.

Home Health Care - Professional Medical Care in the Comfort of Your Home

When suffering from an illness or recovering from an accident, there is no place you would rather be other than at home with the people you love. In such situations, home health care is the perfect solution that keeps families together, helps them adjust to a new lifestyle and affords greater dignity.

To put it simply, home health care is the health care service offered in a patient's home. In addition, most leading providers like offer a wide spectrum of home care services ranging from in-home nursing care following a hospital stay, to assistance with daily living activities such as shopping, cooking or dressing.

The home health care industry is revolutionizing health care all over the globe. For instance, in the United States, Girling has been providing a variety of quality care services to people in their homes for more than 38 years. Continued commitment to ensuring the finest standard of health care has made Girling an undisputed leader in the health care industry. The services of Girling are now available in Texas, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Illinois.

Amedisys is one of the top providers with agencies located across the United States and Puerto Rico. Amedisys services offer a great range of medical services like skilled nursing, personal assistance services and pediatric home care. Whether you are recovering from illness, injury, childbirth or simply need extra help at home, Amedisys provides the level of care to meet your specific needs. However, before deciding on any agency, you must confirm how long the agency has been in service, if the agency is licensed by the state and certified by Medicare.

ALL health care providers working with Gentiva are highly skilled certified, tested and bonded. Gentiva also offers insurance specialists to verify the exact insurance coverage available so there will not be any financial surprises. Home support services from Gentiva thus offer solutions for the daily challenges of living while allowing patients to remain independent at home.

Dangers of Assuming Medicare Covers Everything - Elderly Home Health Care Vs Assisted Living Costs

Elderly home care is and will continue to be much more cost effective now and in the future. When considering the cost of elder home care versus assisted living costs, there are many factors to take into consideration. One consideration is to understand the trends of the health care industry, so that you can financially plan for your future. Many believe that Medicare will cover everything they need as they age. Although many realize that they need to financially prepare for the future, most do not investigate the cost and options of future care needs. Many do not feel that they can afford to invest in long term care insurance.

In 2008, Prudential Insurance did a study on long term care. The results, which will be followed up every year, had some alarming information regarding the costs that will pay for care and services as we age. The information from this and other studies is important to assure successful planning for our future care needs.

It was noted that elderly assisted living homes have seen the largest increase in costs over a 2 year period. The average daily cost of living in an elderly assisted living facility increased to almost $39,000 per year. This is an average rate of just over $100 per day.

There was an astonishing average increase of a 15% in rates for the elderly assisted living facilities that provide care for dementia and Alzheimer's patients.

Elderly home health care has had the smallest rate increase of all the providers. The rate of elderly home health care has had a 5% increase over the past two years and a 17% increase over the last 7 years.

The costs to have a certified nursing assistant provide elder home care averages $21 per hour. A certified nursing assistant provides services such as: bathing and dressing. The services of elder home care are ordered by a physician and usually paid for by insurance. These services provided by elderly home health care are intermittent and are offered for a short period of time.

Another study, also done in 2008 was preformed by the Genworth Financial Group. This study explored the cost of care that covers the non skilled side of elder home care. This is the largest growing portion of the elder home health care services. This growth, is due in part to many aging seniors desire to remain in their homes as long as possible.

The average cost for homemaker services in the elder home care sector is $18 an hour. There has been a rate increase of 4% over the past year. A homemaker provides some housekeeping duties, companionship, and assistance with cooking, if needed. They may also run short errands when required.

Elderly home care also provides home health aides. They provide basic assistance with bathing and dressing. A home health aide averages a rate $19 an hour. This shows an increase of 3% in just one year.

Met Life Market surveyed adult day services in 2008. The results from this survey show the average daily cost for adult day care services is $64. This shows an increase of 5% in the past year.

Adult day care services are a growing trend in the aging health care market. Adult day care is a cost effective way keep an aging senior at home

For caregivers, utilizing adult day care services permits them to continue to work. Many caregivers take time to do things to they need to take care of and get a break from their care giving duties.

The costs of elder home care services will continue to rise. Surveys show that the trends will continue. The largest increases will be in the assisted living and nursing home areas of elderly home health care services.

The past five years has seen an increase in elderly assisted living rates jump by 41%. Over the past five years, there has been an increase in nursing homes rates of over 30%. Over half the surveyed facilities expect to increase their rates, again, over the next year. The good news is that one in four elder home care providers plan to increase their rates in the next year.

Being aware of the cost of elderly home care and elderly assisted living can assist you in planning for your future needs. Educate yourself on the various options available and how you can utilize those services for future needs. It is important to be proactive and investigate avenues to pay for your future health care needs.

Home Health Care: A Walk Through

Home health care is exactly what you'd expect. If you don't like the hospital scene, can't afford it, or would just rather stay in your house, these can be achieved by choosing home health care. Other advantages include lower cost, more individual attention, and easier access to the care provider. You will feel more at ease in your own home.

The main purpose of this is to treat a sickness, injury, or other similar problem. Being able to remain in the comfort and familiarity of your home can be a very positive experience. A safe, well-known place to recover can allow visits from friends and family. Invite them over for coffee and to sign your cast.

Wondering if your type of situation is right for this? Many people recovering from injuries and ailments can choose home health care, including those suffering from things that require physical therapy, speech therapy, patient and aid education, nutrition therapy, occupational therapy, and anything that benefits from monitoring. Even daily chores like cooking are under this.

Many agencies offer home health care as an option. Do some research to find the location and services offered of all the home health care providers. Make sure home health care is certified by your insurance before making that your choice. Otherwise it might not be covered. No one needs extra stress when going through a time of turmoil.

While on duty, staff hired from their agencies will provide services for daily activities like eating meals, checking pulse, lung function, medicine and other treatment timing, check on pain levels, make sure your area is safe, and coordinate with your doctor and other care providers to help you regain your independence as quickly and effectively as possible.

In order to provide the best service, be sure to describe your situation, needs, and expectations for your helper. This is called your plan of care. Your doctor should be involved in this process to help make sure the complete care is given. Plans of care will be reviewed often to ensure it is on track and remaining effective.

Don't feel like you can't speak up and ask questions to your care provider, either. Any concerns and questions should be answered in order to give you the best care. If they are impolite, won't explain things to you, or delay responses when you ask for something, report this to any other health care professionals.

Now that you know a little more about home health care, search some sources of information for more details. They will describe good and bad experiences from their patients, which ones benefitted from them the most, and pricing will be offered, as well. It can be a very helpful alternative for you and your loved one.

Home Health Care's Effectiveness With Its Skilled Nurses

Home health care permits patients as well as family members to stabilize self-respect and independence. In fact, there are about seven million citizens in the United States that require home health care nursing services because of severe illness, seemingly permanent health problems or even disability (according to the National Association for Home Care).

Home care begins at Public Health Nursing. Here, the nurses conduct home visits to encourage health education and offer remedies as part of their community outreach programs. At present, nurses are practicing home care with their academic programs. Afterwards, these home health care agencies apply them on sick patients.

Home care service is truly useless without the services of home health care nurses. There are home care nurses that do their practice in various places such as nursing homes, hospitals or in assisted living centers. This kind of health care service is rapidly growing because more patients are coming in and their families are craving for health care in their own homes.

A home care nurse should acquire various skills. They should be knowledgeable in giving emotional support; in educating patients who are starting to recover from injuries or illnesses; in counseling women who have encountered early pregnancy; and in catering to the elderly who are longing for palliative care due to chronic illnesses.

These nurses should also be skillful in giving care in a dissimilar setting, especially in the sick person's house. They should also have good communication skills when it comes to dealing with this kind of dynamics. Additional skills necessary involve coordination, critical thinking, assessment and documentation.

Home health care nurses should also be skilled in taking care of children with disabilities. Today, there are many children with disabilities that have congenital physical impairments, genetic disorders and other kinds of injury. There are several complexities departed but with a positive attitude and reinforcement instilled in these nurses' character, it can lead to the health improvement of the child.

Home care truly works for as long as there are skilled home health care nurses who are willing to provide services with tender loving care. They should also be knowledgeable and qualified to deliver good services to their patients. Nurses are usually given good compensation benefits for their services. At the same time, patients and families are happy with the great services given by these nurses.

4 Tips For Finding The Best Home Health Care Provider

Home health care is a delicate matter and must be handled with tact and commitment. There may come a time when a parent or other elderly loved one is no longer able to safely support themselves on their own. Home health care is a viable alternative to sending someone to a nursing home and is a convenient option that enables your loved one to get the care they need without having to be uprooted from their home. With an enormous amount of options, it can be tricky to find the best service but continue reading and you will discover several easy tips for finding a high quality home health care provider.

Get References/Recommendations

Any successful home health care provider should have references or recommendations readily available. Talk to your loved one's doctors, attorney, financial advisor and other members of the community that may know of companies that offer a premium quality service. Your local Area Agency on Aging will have a list of providers you can look at. If this agency or a hospital social work department can give a recommendation that would be great because they rarely do so and tend to save such references for the very best services.

Find Out Your Liability

Whenever you hire a private home health care provider, please understand that there will be certain liabilities involved. Be sure to learn more about insurance, taxes, worker's compensation, training and background checks before making any decisions. If you use an employment agency to make a hire for example, you could become the official employer of the caregiver which means responsibility for payment, taxes and numerous other obligations.

Analyze Their Equipment

Only consider home health care providers that use cutting edge communications and monitoring technology. Don't be afraid to ask questions. For example: How long does it take the service provider to find out if their employee has not turned up? How do they communicate with you? Do they provide online monitoring? Be specific with your questions and don't be fobbed off by vague answers.

Know Your Provider

As this company will be responsible for taking care of your loved one, you need to learn more about them and how they operate. Find out if they allow you and your loved one to interview candidates for the job and get information on how they train and support their team. Additionally, you need to find out how many different caregivers will be responsible for providing care. It is best if only 1-2 staff members are involved to maintain continuity. Your loved one should not be subjected to the confusion of having several different strange people in his/her home.

Remember that home health care is not a 'one size fits all' solution and the company you choose should have the ability to provide a service specifically tailored to the needs of your loved one. The home care agency you choose should be licensed and subject to state regulations but there will always be qualifications and skills that sets one provider apart from all the rest. Don't settle for second-rate home health care, do your research and ensure the person you love receives the best level of attention and support possible.

Home Health Care: For Your Convenience

If you have ever heard of home health care, you probably realized that it could potentially be the best and most convenient option for you when it is time to take care of a parent or other adult who can no longer completely take care of himself or herself. This is something that happens to all of us at some point.

Home health care goes by many other names as well. These include domiciliary care, social care, in-home care, and formal care. These are all essentially the same things, and in the following it a few paragraphs we look through what all of that specifically means when it comes to services.

Home health care specifically deals with licensed professionals. These are licensed health care specialists who have gone through all of the regulated training sessions in order to be put on a list of people that can practice medicine. This is an important distinction because there are other types of care that do not require this license.

Included in this short list of licensed healthcare professionals who can provide home health care are licensed nurses, social workers who have medical experience, physical therapists who have been through regulated courses, and dietitians. These people all have medical experience thus fit in this specific category that you are concerned with right now.

This is in direct opposition to non-medical or custodial care. These are the type of people who come in and take care of the elderly more or for a social reason than a medical one. They are not licensed to do things with medication or specific medical devices, and so they have fee different function they perform at your home should you choose to hire them.

There is the matter of why you would choose home health care in the first place. Mostly because, there is going to be a time when you have to either send someone to a nursing home or hospital. If this is not something you are interested in quite yet, home healthcare is a responsible alternative where everyone gets what they need.

The cost of home health care is quite variable. Sometimes it could be quite a bit more expensive than the hospital or nursing home visit, while on the other hand, the money that you save from sending someone in your home may be to your financial advantage in the end.

Home health care is definitely something you should consider for your family or loved ones, or something that they should consider for you if you are getting on in years. It will probably become more popular in the coming years as people are more interested in keeping their family around, rather than sending them away.

Policy Form To Be Given To All Home Health Care Applicants

It can be very difficult and challenging for a disabled person or someone who cares for a disabled person to find a home health care aide who is compatible, honest, and reliable. All of the suggestions below come from my personal experience, having had MS for 40 years. My hope is that this list gives you some direction to follow in order to find a health care aide to suit your needs and to make your life better.

• You must be able to lift and transfer the person in your care to and from the toilet, bed, shower, or anywhere else the patient wishes to go in a safe and strong manner; not putting him or her in any danger. Learn how to properly and safely help your patient to transfer and move about.

• You must always retain a professional manner, not discussing your personal problems, money problems, health issues, or your family information. You are there to care for your patient and not to burden them with problems of your own.

• You must not take or make personal calls while you are on the job. Handle your personal life when you are not on the job.

• You must pay attention to your patient and do things that she requests in a manner that you are told.

• You must never ask for food or drinks other than water while you are on your job.

• DO NOT take advantage of your patient's disability in any way shape or form. Your patient has you there because there are things that they can no longer do. She is in a vulnerable position and to take advantage of them is unconscionable and will not be tolerated.

• Be on time. If you find it necessary to be late or cannot be there on the appointed day make sure that you call your patient as soon as possible. Do not make them wait for you unnecessarily thereby causing them stress and having to readjust their schedule to suit yours. And never make them have to track you down by calling you or the agency which has hired you.

• The person in your charge is your boss and as such you will act accordingly by being polite, cheerful, caring and by doing a professional and thorough job with whatever task is asked of you just as he would with any other employer.

• Do not rush or cut corners so that you can get out of there as soon as possible. You are being paid with taxpayer money or money from the patient's themselves or their family and as such you are expected to work hard and not to make excuses for substandard work ethics.

• Laziness will not be tolerated and if you are asked to do something do it with a concentrated effort and to the best of your ability. Take personal pride in your work knowing that you were doing something of worth and importance. Not everyone is able to take on being a home health care aide and if you do your job well you are invaluable.

• Make sure that you ask your patient if there is anything else you can do for them before you leave. Make sure that they are comfortable and satisfied with the work you do have done for them.

• If you have any questions about where something belongs or how the patient would like something to be done ask her and don't just put things where you feel like it or do things your own way no matter what the consequences.
Just because the person in your care has a disability does not mean that she is ignorant or not aware of your actions. Realize that it may be hard for people with disabilities to ask for help and to be assertive so it is up to you to make sure that things are done for their convenience and not for yours.

• Never put your patient in an uncomfortable position of having to be afraid of you or to feel that you will take measures to intimidate herby being verbally or physically abusive or by your body language causing your patient to be uncomfortable or even afraid of you. To do so is not only immoral but also illegal and if you are such a person you must be prepared to take the consequences.

• Do not ever ask your patient for money. It is cause for immediate dismissal.

• Do not complain about circumstances in your own life. The person in your care has enough to worry about and should not be put through any more stress than they already have.

• If you are tired or having a bad day do not take it out on your patient. More than likely he or she is having a much worse day than you are.

• Theft of any kind will not be tolerated, is unconscionable, illegal, and cause for immediate dismissal as well as prosecutable.

• If your patient is in a wheelchair or lying in bed do not hover over them thereby making them uncomfortable that you are in a higher position than they. It is rude to your patient and your job is to make them feel as good about themselves as you possibly can.

• Always treat the person in your care as you would wish to be treated if you were in their situation. Be compassionate, caring, and helpful. There may come a day when you yourself will need the help of an aide and act as the aide that you would wish to have in your home and taking care of you.

Do Home Health Care Products Allow You to Adjust Your Home to Meet Your Need For Successful Aging

Many home health care products promote independence and freedom for those individuals that require assistance with any function they are no longer capable of doing for themselves. These products actually allow an individual to successfully age in place.

There are a variety of home health care products on the market today. For every condition or symptom, there is a home health care product to offer a solution. The key to successful aging in place is for the consumer to become aware of those solutions.

Let's start with the basic activities we perform each day. Bathing, dressing, brushing your teeth, shaving and combing your hair are functions we perform everyday and take for granted. For some, the ability to do these tasks can feel as if performing that function is insurmountable. Finding the right home health care product can make performing that task possible.

It is important to note here, that many well meaning care givers would rather perform the task for their aging loved one, instead of painstakingly watching an individual attempt to perform the task themselves.
Please remember, that self reliance is important to an individuals self esteem. The tiny victories of being able to perform the simplest of tasks can have an overwhelming boost of self confidence for your aging loved one. Celebrating those small successes can lead to confidence to attempt a larger task.

Every task an individual can do for themselves promotes an increase in building strength and endurance as well. Caregivers do not be so quick to do things for others. Allow, encourage and promote independence as you are caring for your aging loved one.

If you assess that there is a function or task that is difficult for your aging loved one to do, it is time to investigate the variety of home health care products to find a solution.

Safety is also a major concern for those that want to age in place. Many aging seniors have a fear of falling. This is a justifiable fear as falls rob the aging seniors of their independence and freedom. There are a variety of home health care products that promote safety and security for successful aging in place.

Something as simple as raised toilet seat can make a difference in the ease of getting up and down with out having difficulty. Grab bars strategically placed in the bathroom and bedroom can promote confidence and insure safety. Scald guards in the shower can prevent burns, non slip mats or strips are proactive measures to prevent a fall.

Today's homes were built for the young and growing family. The builders never considered the aging individuals that would remain in those homes long after their families were grown and gone. Today's seniors want to remain in the comfort of their homes, and age in familiar surroundings.

Home health care products allow you to adjust your home to meet your needs and achieve successful aging in place. There are a variety of products ranging from portable ramps to stair lifts to promote safety and mobility.

Although safety and independence are the key factors for utilizing home health care products, it is also important to remember the social and recreational side of your aging senior.

It is important to everyday life to find joy, happiness and recreation. Many aging seniors have interests or hobbies that have helped them, not only enjoy life, but help pass the time involved in an enjoyable activity. For some, the simple act of writing a note can be perceived an impossible task. There are writing instruments and even scissors adapted to suit almost every physical condition.

There are large print cards and games for the vision impaired and adaptive equipment for making reading a book easier.

There are solutions to making physical transfers easier from one place to another, adaptive devices that decrease pain and improve comfort. Caregivers need home health care products as well, to make their lives easier. When you are dealing with a loved one, nothing is more unnerving than not to be able to make our aging loved one comfortable. There are inexpensive assisted devices that can promote comfort and decrease stress.

Home health care products promote independence for successful aging in place. Take time to assess, communicate and investigate solutions to problems that present themselves to you. There is a home health care product out there to meet the needs of you aging senior.

When to Call a Home Health Care Professional

This can be a very stressful. Hopefully, we can help you decide when to call a professional. Many people may need home health care including: disabled persons, chronically ill, cognitive impaired and older adults. When you have an elderly family member at home, you may be struggling to decide when to call a professional. Having someone in your home to help with your family members may cost you less money and allow you more freedom. Older adults will feel more comfortable in their homes. The ability to stay at home will allow them to keep a since of security. They will also avoid the social stigma that comes along with being in a nursing home. Being at home will allow them to stay social in their community. There is a true freedom that you get when you are allowed to stay in your home.

However, if staying at home by themselves is dangerous, a home health care aide can be very beneficial. A home care aide can help prevent falls, burns and overdosing on medications. Nurses can come in to give medications while therapist will come in to help build the clients' strength. A companion can also be used for the things such as cleaning and taking the clients to Dr Appointments. You can also have a sitter come in if you just need a small break to do small errands. Being allowed to leave your loved one home with a trusted caregiver can also be very freeing.

Home health aides are trained to deal with all sorts of aliments including: Dementia/Alzheimer's, chronic pain, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, many heart and lung diseases. Anyone who has ever been a caregiver knows that having patients is a key ingredient to being a good caregiver. There are many good caregivers available, the key is to find one that is right for you.

Home Health Care - The Basic Guide

Home health care is now an important and very real part of life in the United States. The population is aging year by year, thus pointing to the fact that a good percentage of people will need home health care in the years to come. As people get older, their bodies degenerate and they find themselves increasingly unable to get around without help. They may even find themselves housebound after a while, or prefer to stay at home rather then be admitted to hospital. Either way, home health care can provide them with exactly what they are looking for! Personal care is just as important as medical care for the elderly and disabled, and not as expensive as hospital care.

Hospital workers, whether doctors or nurses or health care assistants, are all highly skilled and well worth the money charged to you in most cases, but the majority of people only need limited care for a specific period of time. If the required care is ongoing then the bills for the bed, food and services will soon mount up. However, home health care eliminates the need for two of the charges, only leaving the care service aspect to worry about. Home health care will most definitely benefit these types of people far more and will also provide the post-hospital care that is desperately needed.

The Advantages Of Home Health Care

Home health care can ensure that individuals with ongoing care needs vet the treatment they need in the comfort of their own home. This environment actually encourages recovery because it is a comfortable environment to recuperate, with all of an individuals friends, family and possessions around them. The familiar definitely holds some sort of healing properties. This is one of the reasons why new mothers often choose to give birth at home or return home within hours of it. Home health care assistants and mobile midwives provide the treatment needed. Their absence from hospital also frees up more beds for those that are next in line to have a baby or for treatment so it provides a good deal for all concerned.

Those with long-term illnesses are more often than not cared for at home these days because they can only be made comfortable and do not need surgery. A wide range of home health care professionals may visit them on a daily basis to make sure that there is no change in their condition and to administer ongoing care. Such home health care professionals have often reported that being at home does more for a patient's mental state than a hospital could ever do. With these types of reports showing definite benefits to home health care, everyone should consider it as an option for recovery.

When is In Home Health Care Necessary? Be Prepared to Make the Right Decisions

In home care for your aging parents can decrease stress and give you peace of mind. Providing care for the elderly in the home also can be very stressful and sometimes have disastrous results. That is why choosing the right in home health care agency is important. Many individuals are surprised to find that Medicare does not cover the services their parents need.

In order to find the appropriate elder home care to meet the needs of your parents. Home care has two categories as defined by Medicare. I will explain them both in detail so that you will become familiar with them.

Skilled care refers to medical care provided by nurses, therapists (physical, occupational, or speech), and social services. A order is required from a doctor to receive these services. The care provided is supervised by a registered nurse and the visits are intermittent and short, meaning, several times a week. Medicare or medical insurance will pay for these visits for a very short period of time. Many times if there are procedures that need to be done more than once a day, a family member will be expected to learn the procedure and provide the care.

Custodial care refers to help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, cooking and shopping. These services are provided by home health aides or companions. These services are paid for through private funds, veterans' benefits, community waiver programs or other community resources.

Many family caregivers are reluctant to have outside help inside the home because of the cost. They often neglect to see that they are paying a dear price themselves. Research studies show that family caregivers loose 75% of their earning potential for every year that they provide care for the aging senior in their life. That is just the financial aspect. Many family caregivers neglect their own health and suffer long term health problems long after their care giving days are over.

More on wanting in home care for your aging parents? How to choose the right in home health care agency.

Many family caregivers find that to provide care for the elderly in the home means giving up their social life, family life; it can interfere with their work life. So finding the right in home health care can make a difference in the life of the caregiver as well as the aging senior.

The first step for the family caregiver is to identify what their limitations are regarding their care giving responsibilities. When an individual agrees to take care of an aging senior, they really do not know what they are agreeing to do. They have no idea for how long or where this care giving journey will take them. A family caregiver should be able to identify what they can and cannot do. Sleepless nights, dealing with incontinence, a confused person, missing work to transport to the doctors are just a few things that will need to be discussed.

Once a family caregiver knows their limitations, then they can put a plan in place. This plan would start with investigating all the resources available to the aging senior. This is a process that is time consuming, so I suggest you start early, before you have the need for the services. Knowing the resources available to you will help you know what the financial picture will be for home health care as well. If you are going to be paying out of your own pocket, Met Life and Gen Worth companies put out a yearly long term care costs study that will give you an up to date idea of the cost of services in your area. These are companies that provide long term care insurance policies and the information is very accurate.

In choosing in home care for your aging parents, you must then assess what their needs will be. To choose the right in home health care agency, determine how much supervision or help is needed. Will it be live in help, or round the clock care? Determine if there will be nursing needs or just companionship. This is just the first step, as once you have the workers in place; you will take on the role of manager.

Home Health Care Services - Allowing Those Who Need Help To Live Independent Lives

Old age can keep us from doing things we once thought were easy. As we grow older, living on our own can become something of a struggle. However, home care and home health care services can provide the elderly or sick with the aid and activity they need on a daily basis, allowing them to continue living an independent life.

With over one million people making use of home health care, it has proven to be a successful alternative to long-term nursing facilities. A normal home care service consists of a nurse or aid visiting the patient's home every day to help assist with whatever needs assisting. This can vary from simply cooking meals and housecleaning to providing the patient with physical therapy and medicine. No aspect of what a patient needs is overlooked, and every patient is treated differently according to his or her needs. While one patient might need help keeping maintenance of his or her home and minor physical therapy, another may require help in being bathed and fed. Nurses are trained to be attentive to any potential needs their patient may have.

The need for home health care isn't always clearly determined. It is a good idea to consult with a doctor before deciding whether you or someone you know should seek the aid of home health care services. Consulting with a doctor may also help you financially. If your doctor confirms the need for home services and orders it, financial burden can be lifted off your shoulders through Medicare. Research the agency you use to make sure they can do whatever needs to be done to aid you or a loved one. Check if the nurses are licensed and trained. This research can help prevent any problems along the way.

One important thing to remember is that home care services and home health care services are different. While home care may provide the elderly with daily check-ups and domestic services, home health care includes helping a patient recover from an ailment, such as a heart attack or stroke. Depending on what is required, you might want to make sure that those you'd be hiring are licensed therapists or nurses.

Home health care is a great way to provide yourself or a loved one with the aid and medical treatment that's needed on a daily basis. It allows patients to live healthy lives without encroaching on their independence. If you or someone you know is not ready to go to a long-term nursing facility, home health care is a viable alternative that might just be worth looking into.

Background Checks on Home Health Care Workers

Home health care workers are those that come into the home and care for our elderly. In many cases, these individuals are very well respected and are above all illegal activity, however, there are those that get past the interview of the individual or the company that are not so upright and honest.

In a recent study, one hundred home health workers had been convicted of some type of crime between 1996 and 1999. You may have even read in the news about Patrick Dwyer, owner/operator of Dependable Home Health Care, Inc. was indicted for stealing approximately $160,000 in funds from the New York State Insurance Fund. This was believed to occur when he stole a patient's identity in order to file bogus claims.

Today, it is hard to trust anyone whether they are a company or if you are the person performing the interview. If you are in this situation, you will want to ensure that the person you are inviting into your home to help with household chores, running errands in your vehicle, etc... is trustworthy and professional.

The way in which to do this is to perform a background check. This can be easily accomplished online. Today, there are companies, such as Public Records Pro that offers a searchable database that will allow you to search by name and social security number. You will be able to learn if the person has a criminal record as well as other pertinent information like previous employment. Using this database will help find the best possible home health care worker after performing a thorough background check.

Exercising at Home Means Home Health Care - Get Yourself A Workout at Home Program On The Net

Surely you have heard not once that many people are exercising at home and you have probably wondered what is that all about. Well working out at home means home health care. It is easier, and it is a good way to burn fat and calorie all from your comfort of your home. Get it? You are doing health, meaning exercising to burn fat and calorie at home.

This is a great way to save time and money. I read a lot on the net lately about workout at home programs. They are all good, trust me, they all talk about the type of cardio you should do and the food you should eat. Question is which one to choose. Answer is: it does not matter, just choose one and follow with it. Remember that they are all great programs, as long as you are consistent with them. No one program will tell you lies or set you up for injury, Get one, read through it and start apply the exercises and the nutrition advice in there. Most important is to read the small letters in the very beginning of the book, they usually come under the headline: Disclaimer. This is where the author encourage you to get professional advice before using her or his program.

See, the person who wrote this program is a professional personal trainer, problem is that they never met you and do not know your specific needs. All the exercises in the book they wrote are great exercise regime to follow but you might have an old injury that needs to be looked at before you do the exercises or you may decide to look at the photos in the book, do the exercises as described in there but actually do them wrong, so this needs to be looked at by a qualified personal trainer. For example, I bought a book called Truth about Six Pack Abs, written by Mike Geary. Mike describes and shows how to do all the exercises given in his book. One of them is called renegade rowing, where you are on a push-up position rowing your arms up one at a time holding a dumbbell. There is no jerking here as you must follow the movement properly in order not to injure yourself. In order to perform this exercise properly I went a personal trainer that looked at how I do this exercise and he had to correct my movement. Now I am away with this exercise and my body benefit from it and not getting injured.

Look after yourself at home and keep healthy and fit.

Step 2 of Hiring a Home Health Care Agency - Assessment, Care Plans & Contracts


Before signing a contract with a home health care agency, an assessment will be made to determine the needs of the person who requires care, since a physician's prescription for home health will not fully outline all your needs. Many companies offer this service for free. During an assessment an agency representative from an agency will visit your loved one in the home or at the hospital. The agency representative will ask questions and look around the house if needed. The following issues should be assessed by both interview and observation:

* Physical health
* Medication use
* Amount of aid needed with ADLs or IADLs
* Mental health
* Home safety
* Quality of life

The idea behind an assessment is to figure out what your loved one requires on a basic health and safety level, while maintaining a high quality of life.

Care Plan

The assessment provides the basis for a care plan. A care plan is a document that explains the client's needs, and how to meet them. A care plan should be reassessed by an agency on a monthly basis and as needed. A care plan:

* Increases consistency of care (this is exceptionally important when multiple caregivers must interact with each other)
* Sets priorities and goals for an individual's care
* Acts as a reference to aid in measuring an individual's progress


Home health care agencies will have you sign a contract. These contracts can be changed and amended, so before signing it, think about whether there are certain verbal promises that should be written into the contract. For example, if an agency promises you that a replacement caregiver will be provided within a certain time-frame if the primary caregiver is sick or must be absent for a day, you may want to have the agency add that detail to the contract.