When a loved one is faced with a serious injury or disability, or just needs somebody around to help provide for their needs, the services of a home care agency can be the best option. This kind of agency can operate as either private duty home care or Medicare certified home health, depending on your circumstances, and can be an excellent solution to personal care issues.
Before you can qualify for home care, particularly if you’re hoping for a Medicare certified agency, you’ll need a doctor’s referral to prove that you do, in fact, need a certain level of care. In this recommendation, the doctor will detail exactly what kind of caregiver is called for and what degree of care the patient will need. Generally speaking, your care plan can call for a nurse, a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a physical therapist, or a personal care aide or homemaker. Which you get, and the type of services you qualify for, all depend on your reasons for seeking aid.
The following are all examples of times when you may seek the services of a home care agency, and some details as to what one can expect.
1. Debilitating Injury or Illness – Many of the people who begin receiving home health care have simply sustained some type of serious, but non-life threatening, injury, or have fallen temporarily ill. If you’re in this situation and have trouble doing normal day-to-day things at home, you can likely get a doctor’s referral. A home care aid will help you to maintain your bedding, stay clean, perform routine wound care, dispense medications, and generally monitor your condition. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely need to receive regular checkups to ensure that you still need the help. Standards may vary from state to state.
2. Long-term Disability – In cases of long-term disability, more detailed and consistent care is very often necessary. It’s difficult to say exactly what a given case will need until it’s been examined, but often times an aid will be needed to manage general hygiene, physical therapy, housekeeping, prevention of further injury, assistance getting around the house and taking medication, and oftentimes teaching other residents of the home how to care for the patient. A doctor will give you more direct information on the care that’s right for you.
3. Elderly Care – Though we often like to believe that one day our elderly relatives will be in a nursing home or assisted living center, it’s often the case that they don’t need that form of constant or near-constant care. In these situations, it may be possible to get a home care agency to assist with hygiene, exercise, and housekeeping, as well as medication and any other basic medical needs. Old age brings with it some special care requirements, so make sure you find an agency that caters to the elderly.