In Home Care - What to Look For

In Home Care: What To Look For

Children of elderly parents or designated caretakers of elderly family members need to carefully assess options when elderly help is needed in the care of a loved one.

Determining the needs of an elderly parent or parents as well as the type of care available to meet a variety of circumstances and needs will help caregivers make wise, educated decisions regarding that care.

Various forms of care are available for elderly help, including in home care, independent living, assisted living and nursing home or long-term facility care.

What to Look For

Home Health Care offers a variety of aid to children of aging parents as well as caregivers in the form of nurses, aides, therapists, and even a respite care. Home health care is generally classified under two specific categories: custodial care and skilled care. Skilled care is defined by Medicare as such care that requires supervision by nurses or professional health care experts including physical, speech and occupational therapists. Skilled care requires moderate to intensive medical care or supervision generally not performed by non- medical personnel.

in home care for the elderly

Custodial care is non-medical care that an elderly person may need in the home, such as help with shopping, bathing, dressing and cooking.

A variety of questions need to be asked regarding in home care, including:

  • What are the special needs of my parent?
  • Can I get financial help from Medicare or Medicaid Services?
  • Who provides in home care?
  • How do I find a qualified provider?

Qualifying Providers

At home care may be offered by trained and certified home health aides, nurses, and professionally trained and certified therapists and respite care services. Nurse's aides provide custodial care such as help with bathing and dressing and may be certified to provide a minimum of medical care, such as changing bandages, cleaning or switching out catheters, and ensuring that medications are taken. The cost of Home Health aides are generally covered by Medicare.

What In Home Care are you Considering for Mom and Dad? Click here to see what others are saying and to share your experience.

Nurses provide medical care supervision offered in a home environment, but their services are not typically covered by Medicare, although they may be covered by Medicaid under certain circumstances. Caregivers are encouraged to contact Medicaid or Medicare Services for a determination of exactly which services are covered and which aren't, depending on independent scenarios.

Services provided by other health care providers such as occupational, physical or speech therapists are very rarely covered by Medicare Services, though may be covered by Medicaid under certain circumstances, much like nursing supervision. Determine whether a not Medicare or Medicaid will cover such services, as the average cost of nursing and therapy care may range from $20.00 to $90.00 an hour.

Medicare and Medicaid Services may be accessed at the link below:

Medicare Services

in home care, caregiver for elderly

Questions to Ask

When hiring in home care Services for elderly help, caregivers should ask some basic questions that include but are not limited to:

  • What services does your agency provide?
  • What are the costs of various services?
  • Is the agency certified or accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization?
  • Will the agency except Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement? Is the agency certified to receive payments from Medicare or Medicaid?
  • Will the agency work with me to provide necessary services for my aging parent?
  • Is care available 24/7?
  • Will my parent receive care from a specific person or a variety of individuals?
  • Will I have input into my parent's care? Will I be included in decisions or plans of care?

Double Checking

When it comes time to choose a specific in home care agency to help ease the burden of elderly care for children or other family members, take the time to carefully research the agency and determine that certification and accreditation is current,

that they have no complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and don't hesitate to engage in background or crime checks regarding the company or its employees.

Take the time to monitor the care provided to your parent and discuss issues or concerns as they arise. Communication is essential, between caregiver and parent as well as between service providers to ensure continuity and quality of care.

Housing Options for Elderly Parents

In Home Care - What Choices are you Making?

What questions or solutions have you found for care for your parents?

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