When it comes to caring for ailing loved ones in the home, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. This is especially the case if you have younger children to take care of, as well as a job outside of the home. That is why so many people are turning to home health care services for their loved ones. It enables them to make sure their loved ones are taken care of without the need to take them out of their home. Here are three things you need to consider when looking for home health care services.
1. Be certain about how much insurance will pay for home health care services.
If your loved one still has their own private health insurance, whether through work or not, you need to take a look at their policy to see how much they cover for home health services. This will vary, dependent on your loved one's insurance plan.
If you don't have access to their insurance documents and your loved one can't find out themselves, the representative at the home health care agency will be able to find out once they file the insurance paperwork.
If your loved one has Medicare, then you need to know that there are some home health services they won't pay for. These services include:
- 24-hour home health care
- Meal delivery
- Personal care
- Help around the house
Medicare will, however, cover home health expenses relating to part-time care. So, as long as you or someone else can be there to take care of them for a good portion of the day, Medicare will pay for skilled nursing care in the home on a part-time basis.
2. Make sure the home health care agency is licensed and has a good reputation.
Because in-home health care agencies provide medical treatment for patients, it is important that they be licensed to operate in the state where you live. You can find this out by performing a search online. If they are not licensed, then you should move on to another home health care agency that is.
One thing that is a little more difficult is finding out their reputation. If you don't know anyone who has used home health services before, then you could search for reviews of the agency online. However, if you do know people who have used home health services, don't be too shy to ask them how they felt about the agency they used.
You can get a lot of valuable information, such as particular nurses who treated their loved one very well or nurses you should avoid, etc. Never underestimate the value of knowing an agency's reputation before your hire them to care for your loved one in the home.
3. You will still need to be active in your loved one's care.
Even if you hire home health services that are there 24 hours a day, you still need to be active in your loved one's care. You need to make sure you regularly discuss your loved one's treatment plan with the home health care agency, and that you are aware of any changes that are made by doctors.
If you can only have part-time home health care for your loved one, then you especially need to make sure you are kept up-to-date about their treatment plan. That way you don't make any mistakes with their medication or treatment when you are the one there caring for them.