When a family member needs in-home healthcare because of an injury, a debilitating health condition, or aging problems, it is important to take the time to choose the right solution and the best care provider. In-home health care can be a blessing to a person with chronic conditions that limit their mobility. It can mean the difference between staying in the family home or moving to a care facility. Staying in the family home is important to many people because it allows them to keep their independence and stay in familiar surroundings. The Western North Carolina area has several in-home care providers to consider.
Decide What Services Are Needed
This is the process of narrowing down what services the person needs. Do they need a little help with cleaning and meal planning? Or, do they need nursing services or help to get out of bed and dressed for the day? The level of services needed will affect the cost of the service and the type of home care workers that are needed. It may be necessary to consult with the loved one’s doctor, care manager, or hospital discharge planner for advice on the services needed and to get a list of agencies to consider.
Agencies such as bestcarehc.org serve the Western North Carolina area. They will work with the patient and the family to customize in-home care plans. These care providers offer services such as personal care, meal preparation, transportation, basic house cleaning, mobility help, and medication reminders. They also offer different types of care such as companion care, respite care, dementia care, and specialized types of care. During these difficult times, bestcarehc.org offers safe, professional care for COVID, COPD, Diabetes, and Seizure prevention.
The best home care agencies will meet with the family to perform an assessment of the needs of the patient. they will describe the different service levels and the cost of each. they may also help the family find the financial help to pay for their services.
Choose the Care Agency
When choosing a care agency, it is important to take the time to research each possible agency. Are they reputable, do they have references, and are their caregivers trained adequately?
- Get help in determining the type and amount of care the patient will need.
- Work with a well-vetted agency to get the best trained, supervised, and vetted caregivers. It is tempting to hire an independent caregiver to save money but that can cause a whole collection of problems. How can you check out an individual for training, honesty, dependability, and other aspects? You would be the employer and responsible to check out all these important things, hiring, firing if necessary, and checking certifications.
- A reputable agency does all the vetting and training of caregivers for you. They guarantee the quality and honesty of the caregivers they send to your loved one’s home.
- When you are interviewing the agency representative, ask for evidence of the agency’s employee background checks. What process do they use? If you are not satisfied with their employee vetting process, move on to the next agency on your list.
- Next, inquire about the agency’s program for caregiver training. What training and certification do they require of their employees? They should have basic certifications such as CPR and first aid are a must. Then, there should be other training certificates for the specific care needs of your loved one.
- Ask for proof that this agency meets all local and state certification and licensing requirements. Each state has its own requirements for this, so check with the local Area Agency on Aging or the local department for senior services. Ask for proof.
- What is the agency’s supervision protocol for their caregivers? Make sure to inquire about employee supervision, drop-in visits, and home-care computer software for clock-ins and shift care plans.
- Will your loved ones have a choice for their caregivers. Can the family meet several potential caregivers to interview? Ask about the methods used by the agency to match caregivers to clients. Is there a process to change caregivers if the first one is not a good fit?
- At the meeting with the agency, ask for detailed billing details and what the actual charges will be. Don’t accept the possibility of hidden charges that will inflate the care bill. Be clear on the agency’s billing practices and rates for each service. Ask for help qualifying the care cost to be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or long-term care coverage on a health insurance policy.
- Don’t be shy about asking for references from past and current clients. Reputable agencies will not have a problem with this. You can also go to their website to look for references.
- Finally, discuss a detailed plan of care and make sure the agency tracks this service and client progress. Knowing in advance what services will be given is the beginning of a good in-home care plan. Don’t rely on the word and reports of the agency. Make unannounced visits often to check on the care level and the happiness and well-being of your loved one. Carry a checklist of services you have contracted to be performed. If you have concerns, call the agency immediately to resolve the issue.
Understanding the Types of Care
It is important to understand and ask for the right types of care for a loved one seeking in-home care.
- Companion care includes basic tasks for caregiving such as light housekeeping, meal prep, transportation, and socialization.
- Respite care is temporary care offered to people who have been in the hospital and need care while they recover at home.
- Personal care involves more advanced caregiving jobs such as housekeeping, meal preparation, socialization, transportation, medication reminders, mobility help, and help with deeper medical problems such as diabetes, COPD, Parkinson’s, and other health issues.
- Specialized care is a targeted program for specific diseases such as diabetes, COPD, COVID, Seizure prevention, and other serious chronic conditions.
- Dementia care requires targeted training and experience in a caregiver to aid clients with dementia in a kind and caring way.
- Personal care needs to be customized for each client and may involve help with bathing or showering, getting dressed, toileting, brushing teeth, fixing hair, shaving, and another day to day personal care as needed. This may also include fall prevention.
Tailoring the amount and type of care to the client is a mark of a good in-home health care agency. When the care fits the client, everyone is happier.