It’s never easy watching the ones you love become unable to care for themselves. They may become forgetful or clumsy, putting themselves at risk of falls and other injuries. The stress and time that needs to be spent looking after an elderly relative can really take its toll, especially if there are health problems to take into consideration. Home health care could be a solution that lets your loved one stay independent at home for much longer, and bring you the peace of mind that you need.
No one wants to put a loved one in a nursing or care home, and no one wants to be uprooted and placed in an unfamiliar place to be “forgotten.” Thankfully there are alternatives, including in-home care by trained professionals, that will keep you or a loved one at home safely for longer. Home health aides provide services such as occupational and physical therapies, speech therapy, and skilled nursing.
The aides can monitor the elderly patients for changes in health that can be treated at home immediately, or have them seen by a doctor. Having your loved one’s health constantly monitored means that problems can be detected early and treated promptly, making them less likely to escalate into more serious conditions.
What a Home Health Aide Does
Home health care primarily addresses a person’s medical and health needs in order to keep them living independently in their own home for as long as possible. Not every patient will be able to stay at home for the same length of time, but those who have home health services are usually able to remain there for longer than those who don’t and are simply put into a nursing home or other facility.
The types of people who work as home health aides are usually registered nurses and therapists, but they may work for an independent agency rather than a hospital or doctor’s office. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the best caregivers for your loved one at home.
·Check references. Ask for referrals from people you know who have used the company personally.
·Check for a “Patient’s Bill of Rights” or other document that makes clear exactly what rights your loved one has and the agency’s responsibility to you and your loved one.
·Find out what screening and background checks are used on employees and what will happen should your designated caregiver be unable to provide care for any reason.
·Know what the costs are going to be, whether insurance plans or Medicare are accepted, and whether they are an approved Medicare provider. Do they offer payment assistance or sliding scale fees?
·Can the agency be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Take the time to find home health care that you and your loved one feel comfortable with. After all, it could make all the difference in keeping them happy, and safely, at home for longer.
Joshua Vincent writes on health care, medical science, nutrition, fitness, wellness and other closely related topics; he is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.
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