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Home health care

Home health care

What is home health care?

There are times when medical problems require extended treatment. This can happen to anyone at any time, but it is particularly applicable to elderly people and is usually known as senior home care. Basically, home care allows for continued medical treatment and therapies in the comfort of a patient’s home.

Advantages of home health care

The main advantage of elderly home health care is that it keeps people in their own homes and all the dignity it provides for the patient rather than the impersonal feel of hospitals and nursing homes. Dedicated health care professionals visit the patient and manage the care plan which is dedicated to meeting the patient’s health care needs.

Examples of services offered for elderly home care

Home health care provides in-home assistance to patients. These services may include:

  • Carers to help with personal care and hygiene needs and light household chores such as light cleaning, laundry cooking simple meals
  • Shopping
  • Skilled, specialist nursing services
  • Provision of medical supplies and equipment
  • Minor home modifications to assist with disability
  • Bathing and help getting dressed
  • Help using the toilet and other aspects of personal hygiene
  • Assistance with incontinence care
  • Help with medication
  • Cleaning and laundry
  • Cooking light meals
  • Shopping and other errands such as posting letters
  • Respite care
  • Hourly and 24 hour care as required
  • Emergency response systems

How can I access senior home care services?

To access home care services, patients or family members can contact the local Primary Care Trust or home health agencies direct. Doctors, nurses, case managers and social workers may also make suggestions. For patients who have been in hospital, the hospital itself will supply lists of home care agencies.

Who pays for senior home care services?

Some people fund this sort of care themselves. However, it is quite usual for the costs of home health care to be reimbursed by sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, employee compensation, private or company health insurance, HMOs, veteran and military funding or through other special funds and grants.

How should I select a senior home care provider?

Thorough research is the key. Here are some questions to ask
How long have you been a home care provider?
How many clients do you have?
How do you select and train health care professionals such as care assistants?
What indemnity insurance do you have?
How do you manage health care plans?

Screening of care assistants for senior home care

Obviously, home care heath services requires that strangers are permitted into the house of a vulnerable person.  It is therefore very important that all carers are carefully screened, trained and supervised. Checks must be carried out and references followed up prior to employment.

Other articles of interest:

Home care

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