Tuesday, July 03, 2018

How Home Health Care can Help Your Elderly Parent and You

Are you the main caregiver for your parent? If so, do you have a lot of concerns about their home life and ability to care for themselves when you’re not there? In most cases, you can’t be with your loved one around the clock. In order for them to retain their independence, they’re going to need some assistance. A home health care agency can help with that as well as put your mind at ease while you’re away. Here are a few ways a home health care agency may be able to help you and your parent.

Obtaining the Right Equipment

Starting with your doctor, talk about which specific needs your parent has that are not being met.
From there, ask if a referral to a home health agency would be beneficial. If you all agree, you can set up an appointment for a consultation. When the agency's representative comes out, they will do a complete evaluation of the home and learn what your loved one’s needs are. One thing they will look at specifically is whether or not there is a need for any specific DME or durable medical equipment.

This may include the need for:
  • Bedside commodes or shower chairs
  • Canes or walkers
  • Hospital beds
Other items, such as medical supplies, can either be ordered through your home health care agency or a company like USAMedicalSurgical.com. These orders may include diapers, wipes, ostomy supplies, catheter care supplies and blood glucose monitors. Depending on what the patient’s personal and medical needs are, equipment that is designed to make life at home a little easier will also be considered. Instead of having to deal with a home medical supply company on your own and getting frustrated figuring out what to order and whether or not what you need to order is covered by insurance, ask your nurse to handle your initial and ongoing orders.

Getting the Proper Plan of Care in Place

Another advantage of hiring a home health care agency is that they often work in unison with your medical team to make sure your loved one gets the best continuous medical care while they are at home. Most agencies get together on a weekly basis or more frequently to talk about your loved one's care and to address any medical or interpersonal needs. From there they can adjust the home care visit schedule or incorporate visits from other pros like social workers, spiritual care advisors, and specialty nurses. The convenience here is that these professionals go directly to the patient’s home. This eliminates the need for the patient having to leave their home and travel to multiple doctors.

Fast Medical Care

Having a home care agency at your fingertips means you get fast medical care. Most agencies offer an on-call service so you don’t have to wait until morning to set up an appointment with your loved one's healthcare provider. If you have a medical concern, they will come out to your house and do a complete evaluation. This includes taking vital signs and looking directly at the health problem or concern. The other advantage is that the patient will not have to leave the home while feeling ill. Home health nurses also consult directly with a medical director who can make changes to the plan of care or prescribe a new medication without anybody having to go in and do a clinical office visit.

Peace of Mind

As the child or caregiver, knowing that your loved one can stay in the comfort of their own home is important. It brings you the peace of mind you need. You won't have to worry about your parent falling while out in public or when traveling to a doctor appointment. Some agencies also offer home services that help with ADLs or activities of daily living. They can assist with light housekeeping, bathing, dressing, and medication management. This gives your loved one a sense of independence without having to rely on family and friends for help with their personal care. Some agencies will also help with meal prep and make sure that your loved one eats and takes their meds on time.

If you have a concern for your loved one's overall care, talk to your doctor about home health care. You can also inquire directly through the home agency. From there, they will make the proper phone calls and contact your doctor about setting up a referral.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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