Home Care FAQ
What is Home Care?
Home care is supportive care that is provided wherever an individual lives, whether that is in their home, a retirement community or a care facility. It is a helpful service that can be provided for seniors, chronically ill children or adults, and those who are recovering from surgery or are disabled. Please see our section under the heading “About” for more information.
What are the Advantages of Using Home Care?
There are so many great benefits of home care that it is considered one of the best solutions when it comes to caring for a loved one in need. Some of those benefits include:
- Seniors can maintain independence and enjoy a more convenient way to receive health care
- Removes or reduces the overwhelming burden of caring for a loved one
- The flexibility and customization of home care allows for more personalized care
- It is often less expensive than other options
- Patients often thrive in the comfort of their own home
- Prevents the typical issues that lead to hospital readmission, such as medication mistakes and misunderstandings, missed follow-up appointments, poor nutrition, dehydration and lack of safety preparation in the home
- Seniors with dementia may be less confused at home
- Continuous home care for patients who cannot be unattended is available
- Daily or weekly visits are available based on the needs of the patient
- Provides relief for families that need a break or are going on a vacation
- Family members can spend quality time with their loved ones instead of feeling the stress of caregiving
What are the Disadvantages of Using Home Care?
While home care is often the best solution, there are also a few times when home care is not the best option. Examples include:
- If frequent treatments or intravenous medications are needed and you can’t afford continuous round-the-clock care
- Not enough room for medical equipment
- Unsafe conditions inside the house that cannot be rectified
- Unsafe neighborhoods
If you are considering other options, here are some that you might want to look into:
Assisted Living Facilities
- Provide maximum independence
- For seniors who remain relatively active and healthy
- A healthy spouse can live with an impaired spouse
- Apartment-style living
- 24-hour security
- Transportation services available
- Recreational and social programs available
Residential Care Facilities
- For seniors who can no longer live alone and independently, but don’t require skilled nursing
- Assistance available for personal hygiene, grooming, bedside care and basic daily living
- Usually rooms, not apartments
- Some recreational and social services available
Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Otherwise known as nursing homes
- Seniors receive continuous nursing services
- More extensive care than other options, including intravenous fluids, blood pressure monitoring, medication injections and ventilators.
- Can provide recreational, rehabilitative and social programs
Special Care Centers
- For people with specific medical conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia
- For patients with violent or disruptive behaviors
What Services Are Covered in Home Care?
There are basically three different types of home care:
Companion Care – This is hands off care that involves mostly socializing with the client providing companionship that sometimes extends into meal preparation, medication reminders, errands/transportation, laundry, linen changes & light housekeeping. For more complete details about companion care, click here.
Personal Care – This type of care is more hands on, but it is still non-medical. The caregiver might provide assistance with bathing, grooming, toileting and incontinence changes. For more complete details about personal care, click here.
Medical Care – This type of care covers anything that would need to administered by a nurse or nurse’s aid. It can medication administration, wound management, diseases management and on call nursing. For more complete details about medical home care, click here.
What Should I Look for in a Home Care Company?
To choose the right home care provider for your loved one, make sure you keep the following four key points at the top of your decision-making process.
- Quality of care – It is essential that you feel comfortable with the care you are being provided. You should have Home Health Aides that you feel a connection with and can trust. You should be able to rest easy knowing that your caregivers have everything under control and that they will provide top notch care for your loved one.
- Flexibility and availability of services – You should be able to customize the care you need to fit your family’s lifestyle and your loved one’s personal needs. In addition, you should have access to all of the services your loved one needs.
- Personnel training and expertise – The only way you can rest assured that your loved one is getting the best possible care is to ensure that you use a home care company that hires Home Health Aides with the best expertise and provides their employees with top-of-the-line training.
- Payer coverage – Of course none of the above matters if you can’t afford the care to begin with. That’s why ensuring the home care company you work with has numerous solutions for coverage is important.
How Do I Go About Paying for Home Care? Is Financial Aid Available?
Some home care is self-financed, and some qualifies for financial assistance like Medicare and Medicaid. Not every home care agency accepts Medicare and Medicaid, however. The good news is that home care is often less expensive than assisted living facilities and other options because of the flexibility and customization of the care plans. To learn more about the affordability of home care, click here.