When shopping for home care, you’re sure to have plenty of questions and likely a few concerns. The care of your loved one is number one in guiding this process. You may be asking yourself “How do I find the home care services that meet my loved one’s needs?” How can I ensure that he or she receives the best attention possible?” In this blog post, you’ll find answers to these questions, and more as we go over what to keep in mind when shopping for home care.
About Home Health Care Services
First, it is important to understand what home health care is and the services it provides. Home health care centers on the client’s needs in a home-based setting. Therefore home care services can be provided wherever a person lives including a single family home, a senior apartment setting, an assisted living facility, a skilled care center or any number of residence options.
There are many types of care providers in the home care industry and they vary in roles and responsibilities depending upon the type of home care services needed what the payment source is and whether services are needed in an intermittent or a continuous and long-term fashion. Care providers may include Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Physical Therapists (PT), Occupational Therapists (OT), Speech Therapist ST, Certified Nursing Aides (CNA), Home Health Aides (HHA), Personal Care Attendants (PCA), and more. Care may be provided intermittently according to established guidelines or it may be provided as desired and arranged by the client, their family or other decision makers.
Always be sure to understand whether your loved one will need more than one provider over time to meet their changing needs and does a provider work hand in hand with other providers to assure your loved one’s care is well coordinated.
Types of Home Health Care
There are a variety of types of home health care and within that variety there are multiple levels of care as well as specifics about the populations served by any given home health care agency. All reputable agencies will provide a transparent description of the service they offer, who provides the service and what the costs for services are.
- In home health care ordered by a physician for rehabilitation and recovery. This care is intermittent and often covered by private insurance, or Medicare determined by each individual situation. It is generally a short-term process provided until there is improvement or a return to the prior level of functioning.
- Government subsidized home health care provided to those with defined disabilities and needs that require the assistance of another person to meet their basic daily needs often for an extended period of time.
- Private pay home health care is care arranged by a client, their family or other decision makers. It may or may not be at the direction of a physician and is most often determined by preference and need for assistance and safety. Private pay home care can be intermittent or regular ranging from one hour at a time to 24 / 7 care.
- Hospice home health care is care provided to those people meeting specific criteria related to a deteriorating condition which will eventually result in death. Hospice home care is an intermittent service that provides nursing and supportive services to clients nearing the end of life and their families. Hospice home care is not a continuous hands-on care option but a supplement to other care arrangements which specializes in promoting comfort and quality of life.
When looking for Home Health Care Services, ask for information about the following:
- Licensing and levels of care provided
- Insurance coverage of caregiving staff / agency
- Training and skill levels
- Background checks, drug testing and oversight
- Use of best care practices and standards of care
- System for developing a plan of care
- How communication is managed and by whom
- Billing and financial procedures
- Experience and reputation in the community
- How concerns or complaints are handled
Finally, take a look at this useful reference for choosing a home health care provider and keep it on hand as you review Minnesota home care services