Home health care services provide medical care for your senior at home, lessening doctor visits and making staying home safer. Due to advancements in technology, home health care now attends to patients at home that previously required a doctor/hospital visit such as:
- Blood, Cancer and Cardiovascular disease
- Endocrine, Gastrointestinal and Neurological disorders
- Orthopedic issues
- Renal, Urological, Respiratory and Skin disorders
- For seniors in need of medical attention, different services are available:
- private duty nursing care provided round-the-clock
- intermittent care provides nurse visits of 30-60 minutes on a daily or weekly schedule
- physical or occupational therapists, dieticians, speech therapists, or social workers are supplemental to nursing care
Home care visits may be suggested by the doctor; or be a requirement to less visits to the caring physician and/or hospital. Safety at home comes first. Stay under the advise and counsel of the Geriatric Care Physician/ MD/Specialists that are caring for your loved one.
Most home health care services employ Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs). An additional year of training after high school is required to become an LPN/LVN.
Registered nurses (RNs) complete two to four years of a nursing program, and must pass a comprehensive test.
Nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists have completed at least two to three years of graduate school after nursing school, and are the most highly trained.
- Check Medicare/Medicaid/Other insurance for intermittent home health services.
- Insurance may limit the number of home health visits.
- If medical conditions are severe and would otherwise require hospitalization, home health care coverage may be extended.
- Private duty nursing care is usually not covered or only partially covered by insurance.
- Know medical conditions which are prevalent and clearly be able to describe.
- Check with the doctor for a referral for this type of service.
- Long-term care insurance, if available, may cover some of the costs.
- Check for Medicaid certified status and determine if licensed by the state.
- What are the minimum qualifications of your nurses?
- Understand the minimum qualification for nurses, the screening process, and if they are bonded and insured.
- LVN/LPNs may provide most of the care. Will they be supervised by RNs?
- What other specialists are available?
- Getting comfortable with a nurse for repetitive visits is key to your loved ones emotional comfort. Describe how the nursing staff is dispersed to specific jobs and the turnover of staff in your company.
- Availability of nurses day/night, weekends, and for emergency appointments is key.
- What safeguards are in place that regular appointments are not missed?
- How much information is provided to family members regarding the visits? Will we be notified of all changes in care plan?