What is Home Care and Who Provides it?
Most people still mistakenly associate long-term care and long-term care insurance with nursing homes. In fact, just the opposite is true.
According to the LTCi Sourcebook, published by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, some 7.6 million individuals currently receive care at home because of acute illnesses, long-term health conditions, permanent disability or terminal illness. By comparison, there are just over 1.8 million individuals in nursing homes. Home Care is a viable option for most long-term care situations and most people would make the choice of living independently in their own home as long as they can.
Home Care Defined
Most people are most comfortable in their own environment where they feel safe and close to the things they love. Home care is the long-term care option that promotes an individual’s independence. It allows for the ability to continue with the normal, daily routines that individuals want to enjoy as long as possible. The goal of home care is to provide in-home care for those who need it, and to allow an individual to remain living at home as long as possible, regardless of age or disability.
Home care services cover a wide range of services, homemaking and companionship along with meal home and medication reminders. Services may also include personal care services, or those that help with the activities of daily living, including; bathing, dressing, and grooming. Home care services promote a safe and functional lifestyle. Caregivers can help with all sorts of daily living tasks; brushing teeth, securing the buttons on your shirt, or stand-by while you bathe to make sure you do not fall. Laundry assist and house chores are all components of services which can be offered to assist in an individual’s decision to remain living in their own home environment.
Another added element of Home care is skilled services. These services utilize the expertise of a nurse may also be grouped within the home care category. Services include checking vital signs, coordinating with doctors and other healthcare professionals working with the individual, and performing comprehensive evaluations of health and community needs to keep individuals safe at home.
Most often, skilled nursing services are provided by home health gencies; often your home care agency will be associated with home health agencies in your area that can provide a higher level of care through nursing in the home when those services become necessary. It is important that you work closely with your Home Care provider and ask questions specifically surrounding the services which need to be performed. Partnering with the right agency can make all the difference in the world surrounding continuity of care and making sure that you or your loved ones is in the right hands at the right time of need in their lives. Through-out the process and as the needs for care change Home care can be a highly effective interim solution for individuals who are not sick enough to need nursing services but just need a little help to stay safe and independent in their homes.
Who Provides Home Care
Not all home care services offer the same peace of mind, and there are some important, but often unrecognized, issues to consider when hiring a caregiver. Home care services are best when provided through an agency that employs, trains, provides continual caregiver supervisory oversight, insures and background checks its caregivers. This allows to you have peace of mind knowing that you are bringing someone into your home that you can trust. In addition, the agency will take care of any legal issues that occur should the caregiver or client be injured on the job.
On the other hand, a home care registry is an organization that helps you locate a caregiver and places one in your home on an independent contractor basis. Registries do not employ caregivers, nor do they take responsibility for their training and supervision. A private caregiver or an independent contractor with a home care registry may be highly compassionate, lower in cost, and an overall good fit with the client, but remember you will be liable for the payroll taxes and possible work related injuries of the caregiver.
Hiring a caregiver that is not continuously trained by an agency that employs him or her creates a situation where you don’t know if the caregiver has the skills to perform the needed tasks, especially as cares with the individual change and without a skilled team involved subtle changes to a individuals abilities to do things for themselves can be missed. This oversight could result in injury or an individual’s ability to remain in their home living independently.
Long-term care insurance will reimburse you for whatever home care you choose, and of course you want your benefits to last as long as possible; just keep in mind the hidden costs of a private caregiver or an independent contractor and remember the benefits of using a trusted, professional caregiver from an agency to keep you safe and independent in your home, who can provide long-term home care, and a continued trustworthy relationship.
12 Questions to Ask before Hiring a Home Care Provider – Click here for these important details surrounding your choice in deciding the best agency to fit your personal needs.
Helping Hands Caregivers thanks The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance for providing the information detailed in this article regarding Long-Term Care Insurance.
For more information regarding Long Term Care insurance:
American Association of Long Term Care Insurance – http://www.aaltci.org
Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program – www.ltcfeds.com