Healthcare at home includes a wide range of health services that help in delaying the need for continuing nursing home care. Some of the services included in healthcare at home are skilled nursing care, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Other services included with in home care are providing assistance to the elderly in activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, cooking, eating, cleaning, and monitoring of medications and treatment.
Although healthcare at home may sound the same as home care services (and it may even include some home care services), these terms refer to two different things. While home care normally includes housecleaning services, healthcare at home typically consists of services that aim to help seniors recover from an injury or illness. For this reason, those who provide health care at home are usually licensed nurses, home health aides, and therapists. Most of these individuals work for state licensed home health agencies, public health departments, or hospitals.
Quality Healthcare at Home
If you want to ensure that you’re getting quality healthcare at home, it is always a good idea to ask your friends, neighbors and aging experts about the best home health care agency in your area. Here are some of the important points you should consider to help you in your search for the best home health care agency:
-How long has it been serving in your area?
-Ask for printed brochures that define the health care services they offer as well as their costs.
-Make sure the agency is approved by Medicare.
-Ensure that the care quality they provide is certified by a national certifying body.
-If license to practice is required in your area, make sure that the agency’s license is updated.
-Because plan of care is an important aspect of home healthcare, it should be included in the services that an agency offers
-Check the availability of agency staff. It is always a good idea to hire an agency that can provide a staff round-the-clock as needed.
-The agency should know how to respect and honor patient confidentiality.
-Consider the process employed by the agency when hiring and training caregivers.
The agency should be willing to provide their clients a list of references for their caregivers to help you find out if you’re getting the right provider or not.
Even though in home care agencies are required to do a criminal background check on their providers and thoroughly screen their applicants, actual regulations will differ depending on your location. Hence, before communicating with a home health care agency, ask your local department of public health or local agency on aging about the specific laws implemented in your state.
If you don’t want to purchase healthcare at home through an agency, you can still have it by hiring an individual provider directly. In this case, it is even more crucial to screen the individual. Interviewing the home health caregiver can help you ensure that he’s the right person for the job. Prior to the interview, make a list of the particular needs that your senior might have. For instance, if the elderly patient needs help in getting in and out of bed, you might want to mention it during the interview and ask the home health caregiver you’re hiring whether or not he is able to provide that specific type of assistance. Also, request for references from the one you’re planning to hire.
Preparing Your Home Healthcare Provider
Whether you hire healthcare at home through an agency or an independent provider, it is important that you spend a considerable amount of time to prepare the person who will be working with your senior loved one. If at all possible, try to spend a day with him/her before they formally begin the job and talk to them about what’s to be expected in your senior’s daily routine. Make sure your health care provider knows some of the important things about your senior loved one, such as:
-His likes and dislikes
-His injuries or illnesses
-Signs of an emergency medical condition
-Schedule of medications
-Need for eyeglasses, dentures, walkers, canes, etc.
-Possible behavioral issues and the best ways to handle them
-Difficulties getting around (such as trouble walking or getting in or out of bed)
-Nutritional needs or special dietsArticle Source: Helpers – In Home Care Toms River NJ. Our Toms River New Jersey Senior Care professionals will develop a program based specifically on the personal care needs of your family