How do you know when you need home health care?

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Do you or a loved one need home health care? Making the decision to sign up for home health care can be incredibly impactful for senior citizens that want to hold onto their independence. Before you make any big decisions, learn more about what you are signing up for.

What is home health care?

As the name indicates, it means that medical care is provided at home. When an individual needs care regularly, home care is an optimal solution. It enables people who have specialized requirements to recover from illness/injury or promote a sense of independence. Skilled professionals provide it under the direction of a physician. 

Home health care includes a wide range of services, from personal care assistance (such as getting dressed, cooking, cleaning, etc.) to health care (such as medication, intravenous line maintenance, wound care, positioning, health education, etc.). Payment highly depends on the type of services being received. Medical services are covered through health insurance plans, whereas domestic chores are paid for out of pocket.

What does it Offer Me?

Home health care focuses on various services, but its first plan is to treat the client’s illnesses and injuries. The clinical assistance includes vital signs assessment, medication administration, offering advice to the client and family, nutrition therapy, etc.

Besides that, home healthcare providers also do light chores such as cleaning dishes, laundry, cleaning the house, etc. They also provide assistance in transportation for visiting family or friends, running errands, or going for physician’s appointments. In addition, they also perform meal planning and preparation for their clients.

One of their priority tasks is to provide personal and hygiene care to their clients. This is to ensure an optimal quality of life and healthcare. They should also communicate, and coordinate with their patients and their physicians to provide high quality and integrated care.

Caregivers become close family members or friends to their clients. Therefore, hiring a qualified, trained, and ethical professional who possesses the right personality trait for your family is crucial. Choosing to receive care at home gives you the ability to choose your own provider. In comparison to nursing homes with already hired staff.

Is there a difference between home care and home health care?

It is not uncommon to use the two terminologies’ interchangeably; however, there is a fine line between the two that distinguishes them from one another.

Home health care precisely refers to the healthcare or services provided at home that usually is provided by certified health professionals such as home health nurses etc. On the contrary, home care involves the services that are mostly provided by private duty providers that are non-medical professionals. 

According to the Private Duty Homecare Association, private duty home care includes a range of clinical and non-clinical services provided at home. This helps promote the optimum level of independence and maintain safety. Additionally, this form of care fosters a sense of empowerment to the clients. Learn more about the benefits of private duty home care.

In contrast, home health care involves medical care provided to clients with injury or illness. It is as effective as the care provided at a nursing care facility or hospital, and it is also cost-effective and convenient to the clients and their families. This form of care involves wound management, medication administration, providing caregiver education, physical therapy, etc.

What is the cost of care?

Many of you might be curious to know how much it costs? When you hire a home health staff, you only pay him or her for the services you need or for the services they provide. As we know that the world is grappling with increased demand and cost for health care, in-home care has proven to be less expensive and high quality. This has provided us with an alternative to circumvent the issue of expensive health care services.

Usually, home health services charges are paid by the patients and their families; however, certain public organizations such as Medicare and Medicaid cover several home care services. Home health providers who do not meet these public services are needed to be paid out of pocket.

What are the state regulations regarding home health services?

It is necessary for clients and families who are acquiring home health services to understand statutory laws and guidelines. Every state varies in terms of home health laws and regulation; for example, Delaware requires home health agencies to perform FBI and statewide background check for all home care service providers, whereas Maryland only requires a statewide background check, thus it is essential to verify the home care regulations of the state where the care is provided.

State regulations have a complete set of guidelines ranging from the nurse certification process to the license requirements such as some states, agencies need to perform careful background checks and screening of their staff members while other states do not need it. By understanding the laws, clients and families can make the best decisions regarding the most appropriate location for their loved ones who need the services. 

To learn more, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice is an amazing and informative resource that will help you understand the regulatory requirements. The transition from one phase of life to another is quite challenging, but home health care services can contribute to making it easier for their clients and families. 

Use our Resource Guide to learn more about Home Health Aides. 

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