Understanding Home Care Services
What are home care services?
These are home care services to a person in their home; it is home care services where you live.
Home care services include routine daily care activities and more skilled care services such as nursing, physical therapy, occupation therapy, speech-language pathology, and social services.
Searching for home care services may require searching for professional and competent, and licensed companies. Hundreds of agencies offer these services, and it becomes impossible to determine which one to entrust.
- Agency Licensing
Licensing ensures that the agency is authentic and meets the particular standards set by the government agencies for determining quality home care. The first consideration searching for a good home care service provider is licensing.
Every state has licensing requirements, which the agency must comply. External accreditation agencies like Medicare, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). These agencies survey the service providers to assess the authenticity and professional expertise of home care service providers.
Employee Licensing And Background Check
Home care staff must visit to help someone in need is licensed. It is essential because licensing ensures the healthcare professional is knowledgeable and knows their job. Every state has qualifications for getting a homecare license, which an employee must meet. The agency must do a background check of their homecare staff.
Having access to patient information is vital, especially when arranging for home care services and you do not live near your family or friend who needs care.
It is helpful to know the communication policies of the agency that you want to hire for your home care services.
You want to avoid having different agencies for multiple services. One company for nursing care, another for physical therapy. It is possible that instructions and information between various service providers will become confused.
It is recommended to choose a full-service agency, which offers the home care services you will need. Professionals from a single agency working to provide quality care mean that there will be no disruption in information flow. The professionals will be working collaboratively to provide the best care.
Continuity of Services
In many cases, patients who require home care services are frail, confused, and in an anxious state of mind. To ensure that they don’t feel scared or confused with home care services, it is always good to discuss that the same person will continually visit the patient with the agency. Familiar faces make people less anxious.
Familiarity also gives the caregiver an understanding of what behavior is normal for the patient and not. This plays a role in comprehensive care to help families and those who need caregiving.
What if there’s an emergency?
Don’t forget to inquire about the process if the caregiver falls sick or has an emergency? How will the agency handle that situation? Will they offer a substitute/replacement for the day, or will the patient have to wait without assistance?
Reliable agencies offer 24/7 care assistance or have someone on call available for such scenarios. A slight delay could lead to a life and death situation.
Care Services Insurance and other financial terms
A good home care service agency will always provide you with the financial terms and conditions to know what is covered with your insurance and which expenses you or your family will be responsible. Assuming that all home care service expenses will be covered by Medicare or insurance is a mistake.
Medicare covers expenses only after acute care or recovery care. It is not intended for long-term care, which is then paid by your assets, family Medicaid, or long-term care insurance.
It is often said, “but I am in good health; I don’t need to have a care plan.” Waiting for your health to change before having a plan is where those who need caregiving and people responsible for your care are most anxious and make caregiving and financial mistakes. You don’t wait to retire or have an estate plan when you retire or die. You plan for the future, and the future will eventually become the present.
Ask friends and family members for references
It’s always a good idea to start searching for quality home care services by seeking references from friends, family members, and people in your social circle. View (1) for home care or care center companies.
Long before you may need caregiving services, talk about your transition from an Active Lifestyle to Activities of Daily Living.
Having the conversation before you need caregiving and having a long-term care plan in place will be of value to those who will need caregiving, family, and friends responsible for your caregiving, your estate plan, and your money.
Few of us are trained in advance on how to be caregivers. Most families are not prepared to postpone careers, employment opportunities, and family life to help for a few months or many years family and friends who need care. If unsure, ask people who have been in caregiving situations about their experiences.