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Home Health Care FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Home Health Care

What is Home Health Care?
Home health care agencies provide caregivers who assist individuals of all ages recuperating at home after illness or hospitalization. Agencies also provide caregiver who help aging adults manage daily life. Home care services are flexible and responsive to your needs such as changing wound dressings, checking vital signs, providing catheter care and tube feeding. RN's are available to visit you for a personalized health consultation and to coordinate your health care needs with your physician, family and caregivers. This care requires a doctor's order. Services are paid for by insurance if they are deemed medically necessary. There is a limit to the number of visits and the type of care that is provided

There is also non medical home health care services that provide support with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and cooking. Other services may include a full range of residence services including light housekeeping, laundry, organizing and tidying of your home. A companion is a person who provides company and/or supervises the homebound aging adult

Who benefits from home health care?
Home health care is useful to individuals who feel they need some assistance with daily living activities. For example, an individual who has difficulty shopping and preparing his or her own meals or bathing independently may benefit from the services of a caregiver. Family members, and friends may also benefit from home care assistance because it can provide respite from care giving as well as the reassurance that their loved one's needs are being met.

How much does home care cost?
The cost of home health care is dependent on a doctor's order and determined by insurance to fall under the guideline of skilled care requirements.

If the care provided is to maintain safety and care for daily living activities, it is considered custodial care. The cost of hiring a caregiver will depend upon the types of services provided. Home care services can be provided on an hourly (4 to 24 hours a day) or on a live-in basis. Depending upon the individual's needs, home healthcare is often the least expensive approach. Some Long Term Care insurance policies cover home care services.

Does Long Term Care insurance pay for home care?
Yes, many Long Term Care insurance policies include home care if certain requirements are met. You will have to review your policy and review waiting periods, cost of living benefits, and coverage for home care.

Does Medicaid pay for home health care?
This will vary from state to state. Nearly all states have worked to make sure low-income Medicaid recipients have the option of receiving long-term care in their homes, rather than entering the more costly and confining nursing homes.

How will I know if remaining at home as I age will work for me?
If you want to stay in your home as you age, it is of primary importance to ensure that your home is safe, comfortable and will fit your needs in the future. That means you must consider your needs will change as you age. If you have a chronic condition, your physical abilities will change as you age.

Assess your home environment and make necessary changes to support your quest to age at home. If your goal is to age in familiar surroundings, you may have to consider moving to a more suitable environment in your community. Living in a deteriorating neighborhood or being far from family and friends may also require a change in living quarters

My family works during the day and they feel I should not be home alone. What do we do so that I can remain in my home?
There are many options available to you. Hiring a companion or a home health aide to assist you with activities with daily living is always an option. Adult day care centers offer social, recreational, and health related services in a protective environment. This is an alternative during the day for those that cannot be left alone because of health, social needs, confusion or disability.

What resources do I have to help me stay at home?
There are challenges to aging at home. Planning ahead for your future will allow for successful aging at home. There are four sources of help you need to consider:

  • support from family and friends
  • personal income and assets
  • equity in your home
  • community programs and services available to you.

It is important to me to leave an inheritance for my children. I do not want to use the equity in my home to help me age at home if it means not leaving anything for my children. What can I do?
Tapping into your home equity can be a very emotional decision. Preserving the equity in your home must be carefully considered against not having the funds to continue to stay at home. Being penny wise and pound foolish can lead to poor nutrition, health complications, or a serious accident that could put you in a nursing home. Consult an elder law attorney to learn how to protect your assets.

Where do I turn for help in caring for my aging parents? They go to different specialists, and end up going for tests and treatments just because that doctor told them to. They do not ask questions and I am concerned.
If you can't go to their doctor's appointments with them, you should ask your parents to take a notebook with them. Feel free to write questions for the doctor or ask the doctor to call you during or after the visit. Your parents can also ask the nurse in the office to write down any information that would be important for you to understand.

My parents need to do something now before something terrible happens. Is a long term solution really necessary?
Plan ahead and anticipating future needs. You can then take steps to understand and become aware of a range of options available, when they're needed and avoid costly temporary solutions. In addition, by thinking long-term you can make financial arrangements that make the most of your current assets while ensuring you will have the financial resources you need for the future. The best long term solution will ultimately save you vast amounts of time, money, and anxiety. You may consider having a care manager or facilitator involved to assist with the issues you are experiencing in the short term as well as have a long term solution proposed and set in motion.

My siblings are my biggest obstacle to helping my parents. Can you help with them?
Yes! When families are facing difficult and emotional issues, especially those involving "mom and dad", this is often the case! If siblings, extended family, friends, or other caregivers are hindering the process or not providing needed assistance, we will determine what assistance is needed and craft how to present and obtain their cooperation.

Planning for Your Home Health Care Needs Now
Will Give You Peace of Mind and Act as a Valuable Guide
For Your Caregiver and Family Members...

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