Recognizing the variation between home care and home health care can be complex at the start.
What is home health care?
Home health care is provided to the elderly people for their medical needs which may be injury or disease or old age complications. It is aimed at taking personal care of the elderly so that they can live peacefully and comfortably.
What activities are included in home health care?
Home health care may include occupational and physical therapy, speech therapy, and even skilled nursing. It may involve helping the elderly with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Or it may include assistance with cooking, cleaning, other housekeeping jobs, and monitoring one’s daily regimen of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Who is a home health care practitioner?
The home health care practitioner is usually an individual on private engagement or is hired through some agency like nursing home, hospital or health agencies or public health departments that are licensed by the state. In both cases the practitioner is hired on payment basis
How homes care different from home health care?
While home care typically includes chore and housecleaning services, home health care usually involves helping seniors recover from an illness or injury.
What factors are needed to be taken care of while hiring the home health care?
It is advised to study the following factors before going for hiring the home health care.
- Duration of agency operation in the community?
- Printed material of the agency if there are any.
- Is the agency an approved Medicare provider?
- Is the quality of care certified by a national accrediting body such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations?
- Does the agency have a current license to practice (if required in the state where you live)?
- Does the agency offer seniors a “Patients’ Bill of Rights” that describes the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and the senior being cared for?
- Does the agency write a plan of care for the patient (with input from the patient, his or her doctor and family), and update the plan as necessary?
- How closely do supervisors oversee care to ensure quality?
- Are agency staff members available around the clock, seven days a week, if necessary?
- Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available to provide on-call assistance 24 hours a day?
- How does the agency ensure patient confidentiality?
- How are agency caregivers hired and trained?
- What is the procedure for resolving problems when they occur, and who can I call with questions or complaints?
- Is there a sliding fee schedule based on ability to pay, and is financial assistance available to pay for services?
- Will the agency provide a list of references for its caregivers?
- Who does the agency call if the home health care worker cannot come when scheduled?
- What type of employee screening is done?
In case of the purchasing home health care directly from an individual provider:
- An interview with the home health caregiver to check his ability for the job.
- Request references preferably.
- Enlist any special needs the senior might have. For example, wheelchair assistance needed or not?
Following services are the most sought after for the elders therefore check the vailability of these services with the agency or with the practitioner.
- Illnesses/injuries, and signs of an emergency medical situation
- Likes and dislikes
- Medications, and how and when they should be taken
- Need for dentures, eyeglasses, canes, walkers, etc.
- Possible behavior problems and how best to deal with them
- Problems getting around (in or out of a wheelchair, for example, or trouble walking)
- Special diets or nutritional needs
- Therapeutic exercises.
Home care services can be paid for directly by the patient and his or her family members, or through a variety of public and private sources. Sources for home health care funding include Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, the Veterans’ Administration, and private insurance.
Study the law applicable on the land and also do not forget to ask for a criminal background check of the agency or the individual.