First Home Health Care in Charlotte, NC
What is Home Health Care?
The term home health care covers a wide range of health care services that can be given in a person’s home. A requirement for care usually occurs because of an illness or injury and then a Doctor orders the care to take place. Health care rendered in the home is less expensive, more convenient, and can be just as effective, sometimes even better, than the care you would get in a hospital.
Some examples of home health services:
- Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound
- Support care for Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Intravenous or nutrition therapy
- Respite Care
- Monitoring a serious illness
- Patient education
The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.
If your doctor or referring health care provider decides you need further care after leaving the hospital, they should give you a list of home health care agencies that serve your area. They also must tell you whether their organization has a financial interest in any agency they suggest.
How do I pay for the cost of home care services?
Insurance companies would much rather pay the cost of home care vs. the much higher costs of a hospital stay. Medicare and Medicaid covers home health and respite care as well. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) specifically addressed the issue of the need for more home care after a hospital stay because the fact is nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from a hospital are readmitted within 30 days.
What should you expect from a home health care agency?
- Doctor’s orders are needed to start care. Once your doctor refers you for home health services, the home health agency will schedule an appointment and come to your home to talk to you about your needs and ask you some questions about your health.
- The home health agency staff will also talk to your doctor about your care and keep your doctor updated about your progress.
- It’s important that home health staff see you as often as the doctor ordered.
Some examples of what home health caregivers should do:
- Check what you’re eating and drinking.
- Check your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing.
- Check that you’re taking your prescription and other drugs and any treatments correctly.
- Ask if you’re having pain.
- Check your safety in the home.
- Teach you about your care so you can take care of yourself.
- Coordinate your care. This means they must communicate regularly with you, your doctor, and anyone else who gives you care.
Understanding Your Home Care Options
As people age, the desire to remain in their homes, close to family, friends and familiar surroundings, deepens. The ability to remain totally independent within one’s own environment often diminishes.
Millions of Americans spend part or all of their day caring and assisting for family members or friends who need help to stay in their homes. Often, however, paid outside help is needed to supplement this care because of the caregiver’s responsibilities for children or work outside the home. Americans presently spend over $40 billion annually on home care, allowing loved ones to remain at home and “age in place.”
If you or someone you know is looking into home care for a relative, or may soon be in that position, here is some information that may help make the process more manageable:
Determining the individual’s care requirements. Will there be a need for hands-on care such as bathing, toileting and dressing? Are there cognitive issues that will require a different type of care? Are there financial restrictions? Is the individual willing to receive help? Write down the answers to these questions, along with the estimated amount of time and number of days that a caregiver will be needed. You will want to have this information at hand when you call a home care agency. If you require help making these assessments, check with a nearby senior. They often have social workers who can perform assessments or direct you to someone who can, such as a geriatric care manager. This is a professional who specializes in assisting older people and their families in making long-term care arrangements. They can do in-home assessments, develop care plans and monitor services.
Identifying the type of care that is required. Supportive or custodial care is usually provided by paraprofessionals– home health aides, home care aides and nursing assistants who provide hands-on care to people in their homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Custodial care includes assistance with bathing, dressing and mobility, as well as transportation, light housekeeping and similar tasks.
Skilled care is usually provided by health care professionals, such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses or therapists, under the direction of a physician. Most often, skilled care is needed after a person has been hospitalized due to a fall or other medical condition. Discharge planners and social workers assist in the coordination and arrangement of these services, which may include some care from certified nursing assistants if they are included as part of a skilled plan of care.
Contacting an agency. Every state has the authority to license and regulate its home care agency system. As a result, there are often variations in licensure requirements and regulations from state to state. The exception is Medicare-certified agencies, which must also comply with federal regulations. If care is to be covered under Medicare, it must come from a Medicare-certified agency.
Paying for care. While many older adults count on Medicare to cover their home care needs, the reality is that Medicare will only cover home care costs if an individual has a skilled need and meets specific Medicare criteria. It will not cover ongoing long-term care services. It is important to know that custodial care is not typically covered by Medicare or most private health insurance. Funding for custodial care must often come from personal resources. The local Area Agency on Aging is a good place to check for programs or services for which an individual might qualify.
Call us at 980-201-8228 for more information.
First Home Health Care, 9911 Rose Commons Dr. Suite E, Huntersville, NC 28078
Cities We Service…
Charlotte, Fort Mill