Home health care is a way to make like easier for the elderly to be able to continue living at home instead of a retirement home. But what does that mean exactly? What services can you expect? While all service providers are different and the quality of each varies, here are a few things many of them offer to help you with your decision making:
Companionship - The best trained care givers can do double-duty as a health care professional and a friend to the elderly patient. These people enjoy working with seniors and will engage in conversation, take the patient out on errands or will just sit a play a game of Scrabble with them.
Meal Planning - While not found with all agencies, some will not only help plan special meals for special needs, but they will shop for groceries, prepare dinners and clean up afterward as well.
Errand Running - Just like the rest of us, seniors have errands to run too and sometimes it is just nice to get out of the house. Thankfully, many agencies include affordable transportation to and from doctor visits, trips to the drug store and other necessary stops.
Medication - Qualified home care personnel will keep track of your loved one's medications by sorting the pills and making a log that explains which medicine gets administered at what time. This helps everyone; patients, family members and care givers, know when and what their loved one received so that the patient does not get over-medicated.
Bathing - Home health care professionals should assist the elderly with their daily grooming activities including bathing, combing their hair and ease in and out of the bathtub. Some will even assist with make up if needed. There is one of those areas where keeping the client's dignity is important.
Paying Bills - Keeping on top your finances is difficult for everyone not just seniors. Some health care providers will help the patient keep their bills organized and paid in a timely manner.
Special Needs - Some agencies are well prepared to take care of patients dealing with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Dementia care. These diseases can be troubling and tiresome for family care givers, so let the agency take some of the slack. Some agencies even provide Hospice Care when needed who not only care for the client, but for you too. Be sure that the agency you choose specializes in these if needed.
Finally, be sure to see if the agency you want is able to provide the right nurse to do the job well regarding wound care, insulin shots and direct medication administration. Don't settle for less when it comes to home health care. If the agency you want can't provide what is needed, walk away.