- Aging & Longevity
Home Care Services
Baby Boomers Aging and Home Care Services
As baby boomers age, home health agencies are a growing business. Many seniors have health problems that require qualified care givers but they are not ill enough to be in the hospital and do not want to live in a nursing home. Families quite often take over this responsibility, but when family members work this can become quite a burden. Plus, not everyone has a family member or they may be located in another state. Therefore, home health agencies are filling in the gap in many situations.
Types of Home Care Services
Types of skilled in home care services:
- · Occupational therapy
- · Speech and language therapist
- · Wound care, which can be for surgical wounds or pressure sores
- · Intravenous therapy, typically for antibiotics, or injections
- · Physical therapy
- · Respiratory therapist
- · Wound care therapist
- · Home care nursing care to monitor unstable health status
Goal for Home Health Care Agencies
The whole goal of home health care services is to allow a patient to remain at home after a surgery or hospitalization and still receive excellent care. The types of care a patient can receive range from medical care to cooking and cleaning. Some patients may require home health aides to help them with their activities of daily living. Patients may receive medical, dental or nursing care all in their homes. Additionally, home care services are not just for adults. Pediatric care is also available when needed.
Ill in Bed
Overview of Services
Some of the things a home health aide can do include bathing, dressing, eating, and using the bathroom and other personal needs. In addition, aides will do laundry, lighthouse work, shopping, taking the patient to the doctor and cooking. A patient must be homebound to receive this care.
Patient records are kept in the home for the patient and family, plus most home care agencies keep electronic records in order to communicate the patient’s progress with the ordering doctor. Medical equipment and supplies are ordered as needed.
Accreditation and Cost
Home health care agencies are typically accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). They provide around the clock care seven days a week as necessary. All staff is state licensed according to their credentials. Good home health care agencies are very aware of the importance of continuity of care. This is particularly important for an elderly, confused patient or even a child. Seeing the same staff repeatedly so a good working relationship can be established is comforting.
By receiving health care in the home, overall healthcare cost is reduced as compared to being in the hospital or nursing home. Some health insurance policies will pay for this care, but other times the patient has to pay, which can be costly. The third party payers that cover home health care are Medicaid, Medicare, the Veteran’s Administration, some private insurance companies and some Social Service block grant programs.
As a Caregiver
As a care giver for my mother, who is 91 years of age, I am aware of some of the problems that are faced by families. I am fortunate that my mother has no signs of dementia, but there are certainly other physical problems to consider. My mother has lived in our home for the past 10 years.
We have been in the position of using home health care services when she fell and broke her hip last year, and on other occasions. They have made my life much easier during those times, which is why I decided to write about this topic. My mother has a prosthetic leg due to a botched surgery a few years ago. Physical therapists have worked with her and she is walking with a walker quite well. She had this experience after losing her leg and again after breaking her hip.
I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of physical therapy. They can treat numerous problems in the body, and they also can sometimes prevent surgery. They can also lessen pain over the course of your treatment.
Tips for Caring for Seniors
With an aging population, many people have to make choices concerning their parents. Some of the considerations are certainly their financial situation, having a living will and a power of attorney, and most importantly their wishes as to how they would like to live the last years of their lives. These family decisions face many people today and it is good to be well informed as to your options.
© 2012 Pamela Oglesby