What Services Do Home Care Providers Offer?
If you are a senior or have loved ones who are aging, home care can be a wonderful way to provide care and companionship without the patient needing to leave the house or enter into a retirement or assisted-living community. There are many benefits to having care at home, including convenience and comfort, as well as a reduction in cost when compared to the rent and expense of full-time retirement homes. There are a number of different ways you can arrange for home care services. Here is a breakdown of the different types of offerings you can expect from home care providers.
Home Health Companies
Home health agencies provide quality medical care right at the patient’s home. Different agencies will have a specific list of services they offer, but in general, Medicare-certified home health companies provide the same standard range of services. They offer skilled nursing services by both RNs and LPNs and can perform a variety of tasks for a patient, including administering medicine, assisting with pain management and general observation. They also typically offer therapy services if a patient is in need of physical, occupational, speech or other types of therapy and can help patients improve stamina and mobility.
Staffing and Private-Duty Agencies
Private-duty or employee staffing agencies basically act as an employment service for a wide range of healthcare workers, including nurses, CNAs and HHA’s, and therapists. Different states have different regulations and requirements for these types of agencies. The agency matches an independent caregiver with the patient’s needs and then refers them to the client. After the initial referral, the caregiver is technically employed by the client. However, the client can be reimbursed for many of these services through Medicaid and private pay. It’s similar to finding a housekeeper or another type of assistant through a staffing agency.
You can find a wide range of healthcare providers, both professional and non-professional, through a staffing or private-duty agency. As with any type of personal care, it’s a good idea to research the agency beforehand to make sure they have good reviews and a history of working with and referring high-quality healthcare providers. Some agencies will also allow you to interview or speak with a provider before hiring them in order to make sure they will be a good fit.
Homemakers and Home Care Aide Agencies
Homemaker and home care aide agencies help with house chores and more general home care. They don’t typically provide medical services or nursing assistance. They help patients with things like preparing meals and assistance with daily needs like bathing, dressing and other simple housekeeping jobs that some patients aren’t able to do for themselves. They can also provide companionship or observation for patients who can’t safely be left alone. Again, different states have different standards and regulations for how these services are licensed and the exact types of care they provide. These agencies are most typically hired when a family caregiver needs help with a parent, or some time for themselves for respite.
Visiting Nurse Associations
Visiting Nurse Associations can provide a wide range of healthcare at home. They are usually large associations that work with experienced healthcare providers to offer 24-hour on-call care year-round. They can offer adult day services, such as meal preparation, personal care assistance, health monitoring, entertainment, therapy, exercise and more. They can also act as nurses and nurses’ aides to provide medical care for adults with acute needs or chronic, complex needs. They are often used at times of critical care, such as discharge from the hospital after an illness or surgery. They can draw blood, administer medicine, observe patients, help with post-surgery therapy and so on. Depending on the type of nursing service, they can also provide assistance with running errands, personal needs, telehealth home monitoring and IV therapy, as well as help with specific conditions.
Home Hospice Care
Hospice care at home is a type of skilled care for individuals who need pain management and caring end-of-life services. Patients of any age who have a life-threatening or terminal illness may be in need of hospice care. This can be cancer or non-cancer illnesses with a prognosis of six months or less to live and the care involves a team of experts who are skilled at this type of treatment. It involves all-around medical, mental health and spiritual care and guidance when a patient is no longer being treated with the hope of a cure. This can include help with managing chronic pain, palliative care, psychological treatment and support and religious or chaplain services for the patient and the family. Hospice care typically takes place at home so the family can play a large part in it and spend more time with the patient. The healthcare professionals are available 24 hours a day, and their goal is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. Guidelines differ by state, but most hospice agencies are licensed and certified for Medicare.
These are the different types of services that home care providers offer and each one has its own benefits. You can decide which type of care to choose based on the needs of the patient and his or her ability to perform various tasks or specific medical conditions.