If you’ve been looking for home health care information, you’ve come to the right place. Understanding home health care will help you make an informed decision about your aging loved one’s care.
As your parents age, their ability to perform daily activities will become more difficult. First, they may need help around the house or want company if they live alone. But as they age, their needs may require increasingly higher levels of care.
In this blog, we answer some common questions to give you a better understanding of home health care. Here’s what you can expect to learn:
- What is home health care for seniors?
- What are home health services?
- How to get home health care services
- Home care vs. Home health care
- How does home care work?
- What is included in home care?
- How to get home care
Home Health Care Explained
Understanding home health care as the child of an aging parent will help you decide if it’s the right type of care for them. Here’s everything you need to know about home health care.
What Is Home Health Care for Seniors?
Home health care is also known as “home health.” It’s a form of skilled care delivered to seniors in their place of residence. This service is provided by licensed medical professionals such as registered nurses (RN), therapists, and home health aides.
What Are Home Health Services?
Home health care primarily administers medical services, including, but not limited to:
- Medication management
- Nursing care
- Nutrition services
- Pain management
- Psychiatric services
- Therapy (physical, occupational, speech)
Home health aides may also provide non-medical services like helping seniors with activities of daily living (ADLs), including, but not limited to: bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, etc.
Everyone is different, so aides tailor their care to a senior’s individual needs. Home health care for the elderly is particularly beneficial for those who have acute and chronic conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, which require specialized care.
In addition to providing medically necessary services, home health aides act as a liaison between families, patients, and the patient’s doctor. Home health care professionals keep a log for each visit, updating the patient’s doctor as needed to ensure continuity of care.
How to Get Home Health Care Services Through Medicare
In this section, we explain how to get a home health aide paid for by Medicare. According to the Medicare & Home Health Care booklet, the following requirements must be met in order to be eligible for home health care services:
- You’re under the care of a doctor and are currently getting services under a care plan that your doctor established and reviews regularly.
- A doctor certifies that you need, one or more of these:
- Intermittent skilled nursing care other than blood draws
- Physical therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Continued occupational therapy
- The home health agency you choose to use is approved by Medicare.
- Your doctor certifies that you’re homebound, meaning:
- You have trouble leaving your home without assistance (i.e., you use a cane, wheelchair, walker, or crutches; require special transportation or help from another person) due to an illness or injury, or leaving your home isn’t recommended because of your condition.
- You’re normally unable to leave your home, or if you do it requires a major effort.
- As part of your certification of eligibility, a doctor, or specific health care aides working with a doctor (e.g., a nurse practitioner), must document that they’ve had a face-to-face interaction with you within the required time frames related to the reason you need home health care.
How to get home health care started: If your elderly loved one qualifies under these conditions, you may contact a home health care agency to request home health care services paid for by Medicare.
Home Care vs. Home Health Care
Home health care is a step above home care. When you request home care for a loved one, an in-home caregiver will come to their house and support them with non-medical services such as grocery shopping, transportation, housekeeping, and personal care. In contrast, home health professionals support seniors with non-medical and medical needs.
How Does Home Care Work?
Home care, also known as in-home care and private duty home care, is provided by professional caregivers or companions in your loved one’s place of residence. In-home caregivers ensure that older adults experience a higher quality of life than they would without assistance. The specific kinds and amount of care your elderly parent receives depends on their health.
What Is Included in Home Care?
In-home care provides a range of services that cater to your loved one’s unique needs. Here’s an extensive list of home care services provided by in-home caregivers and companions. Although long, this is not a comprehensive list:
- Meal prep and nutrition
- Social activities
- Light housekeeping
- Bill pay
- Bathing and grooming
- Incontinence support
- Respite care
- Specialized care
- Overnight care
- Live-in care
- Medication reminders
If your loved one needs help caring for themselves, managing their house, or getting around, Stowell partners with TheKey to provide seniors with both in-home care and health care services. Now that you have a thorough understanding of home health care for seniors, we’re going to explain how we can serve you as a concerned family member or current caregiver.
Geriatric Care Management for Families and Elderly Loved Ones
If you’re the child of an aging parent researching in-home care and home health care, things can get tricky and confusing. At Stowell Associates, we’re geriatric home care specialists who create tailored care solutions for older adults. Not only do we assess and find care for your aging loved one, but we resource and support you as their child or family caregiver.
As geriatric care managers, we create long- and short-term elder care plans, adapting them as your loved one’s healthcare needs change. If you’d like help navigating elder care for an aging parent and getting a better understanding of home health care, we’ve partnered with TheKey—a home care agency offering exceptional care to older adults.
Get in touch with Stowell today to learn more about how we can serve you and your family.