Home care is specific care given to people who are aging in place, disabled, recovering from surgery, and chronically ill. Its main goal is to provide services to individuals who have special needs and require medical attention right in the comfort of their homes.
Research shows that patients heal faster at home than at any medical facility. Additionally, in-home care is usually less expensive than its other counterparts, such as hospitalization or assisted living.
In addition to healing benefits and cost-effective care, home care offers different services for every distinct need of each care recipient. These services include personal care, household chores, money management, and health care. Let’s talk more about these services here.
This type of home care service goes by different names. For example, people call it “personal care and companionship,” “homemaker care,” “home health aide services,” “senior care,” “companion care,” or “assistive care.”
While many home care recipients and providers call it differently, this home care type only does one specific thing: to accompany the care recipient—the caregiver services like how the family members will do.
In general, the service is associated with everyday activities, such as:
- Self-care assistance – such as using the toilet, bathing, or dressing
- Safety assistance – such as ambulation, fall prevention, wheelchair transfer (e.g., from wheelchair to bed or toilet bowl and vice versa)
- House chores assistance – such as planning or making meals, doing the laundry, light housekeeping
- Escort/companionship – such as escorting the recipients to pay bills, run errands, or hang out
- Round-the-clock supervision – especially for those who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Most of the caregiver’s tasks are to provide personal care to the recipient. Therefore, the service must be ongoing based on the schedule in favor of the care recipient’s needs. Depending on their status, the service can be 24/7 and live-in care. It’s necessary, especially for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia patients who need round-the-clock supervision.
Further, non-medical care service doesn’t have to be prescribed by a doctor. However, in terms of medication, the caregiver should know what the recipient’s attending physician has advised. Also, the caregiver should be aware of the recipient’s health care provider and insurance in case they need immediate medical care.
Private Duty or Nursing Care
Nursing care often needs to stay 24/7 in the recipient’s house as it will provide care for those with specific medical needs. Hence, they’re called private duty nurses. They’re going to provide medical-related services, so they have to follow a doctor’s prescription.
Like non-medical care, this type of home care also has different names, including catastrophic care, ventilator care, or catastrophic care. As these names imply, the private nurse has to provide services for people suffering from various diseases.
It may include giving service to those who have traumatic brain injury (TBI), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), and many more. These services may include the following:
- Administering medications
- Vital signs monitoring
- Catheter care
- Feeding tube care
- Ventilator care
- Tracheostomy care
- Ostomy/gastrostomy care
Everything mentioned above should be provided in a timely and extended period of time. That’s why most caregivers should give home-based skilled service, often hourly and long-term nursing care. Other caregivers, especially those who have their own families to take care of, can do shifting instead of doing in-home care, though.
Home Health Care
In contrast to nursing care, home health care provides short-term care primarily to prevent or recover from hospital stays, injuries, or illnesses. Sometimes, the doctor visits the patient themselves. This care offers the following services:
- Physical therapy
- Speech-language pathology
- Occupational therapy
- Home health aide services
- Short-term nursing services
- Medical social work
If the attending physician isn’t available, a medicare-certified home health caregiver can give the physician-directed service instead. However, unlike non-medical or nursing care, they aren’t going to stay in a recipient’s house for a long time. Hence, this care is commonly called visiting nurse services or intermittent skilled care.
The service given by specialized clinicians will mostly last for at least an hour, depending on what kind of consultation. The care will be on a short-term basis and will continue until the patient’s primary medical goal is achieved.
Does Insurance Cover Home Care Services?
In-home care services are typically free out of charity and community services. Some insurance coverages can also cover them, but not all. One sample exclusion is PPO meaning Preferred Provider Organization. It’s a health plan that contracts with medical providers who’ll provide services at reduced rates. However, these services are usually offered at a medical facility, not at home.
In choosing the best home care service, it’s best to undergo a professional consultation. Ask your patient and their attending physician about the medically best and safest arrangement for a home care service. There are many home care providers in almost every state nowadays, but not all provide excellent services. Hence, be sure to do your part in research to ensure the safety of your loved.
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