Choosing a home health care agency for your loved one can be overwhelming. Shopping for one there are certain factors I recommend as a health care professional. You want your loved ones to feel safe and cared for in your absence.
What is home health care? Home health care is started when some one is no longer able to care for themselves in their own home due to recent falling or failing health issues.
The term home care is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, whereas the term home health care, refers to care that is provided by licensed personnel.
Licensed personnel consist of nurses, LPN’s (Licensed Practical Nurse), Respiratory Therapist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist.
1. Talk to the doctors and case managers to find out what your loved one’s insurance will cover. Most agencies accept Medicare and Private Pay, some accept Medicaid.
2. Call at least three home health companies and do a comparison of services and how friendly they were to you on the phone. (I am a big believer in phone edicate and how a person treats me from a company is how they will treat my loved one).
3. Research the Medicare site for their input. Medicare holds the standards for all home care companies and they must adhere to them or face penalties and fines for not abiding by the rules.
4. Types of Services They Offer Not all agencies are the same. Some offer skilled nursing care, certified nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and respiratory therapy. While other agencies might offer specialized care such as
Argus Home Health Care in Denver, Pueblo, Canyon City, La Junta (Ark Valley) in Colorado.
For example they offer the following services:
- Medical Services
- Brain Injury Services
- Non Medical Services
- Electronic Monitoring
Okay I am a little bias about Argus Home Health because I recently accepted a job with them as their Quality Assurance Manger.
I would encourage you to choose the company that is the right fit for you and your loved one.
5. Interview the top three sites that you liked from the phone calls. A great resource AgingInPlace provides questions to ask:
Do they do a guaranteed background checks for in-home care candidates they employed?
What level of training and experience do their caregivers offer?
Medical training and licensed candidates if you require medically qualified assistance?
Availability of caregiver staff (days of the week, holiday coverage, backup staff if needed, live-in services if needed)?
Do they take your or your loved ones insurance?
The AARP has an amazing questionnaire to use as a tool when asking questions.
I suggest using the PDF version which I have here for you to download AARP Caregiving Checklist Download.
Facing the decision to have a stranger come into your home to help care for your loved one can be a scary thought. By providing a resource of information my hope is to help make this decision a little easier.
I am a licensed and Certified respiratory therapist here in Denver, CO. I have over twenty-six years experience.
Should you have questions please reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment and I will reply back to you.
Gain The Advantage,
Alicia Osmera, CRT, LRT