How to Choose In-Home Care
It’s time! Your aging parent needs too much care for you to handle it yourself! You don’t like to admit it, but you know you have to take care of yourself, too, and you won’t be able to without some outside help. Friends and family are doing what they can, but even when they have the time, they don’t have the medical expertise. Some of the services you need require a professional.
Seniors are just one example of those who might need in-home healthcare services. Others could include newborns, post-surgical patients, dementia sufferers, diabetics, the chronically ill and more.
Benefits of in-home care:
“I want to go home!” We’ve all heard people who are being cared for in institutions say that. Besides being what most people prefer, the benefits of being cared for at home include:
- A decrease in the risk of infection compared to care in hospitals or care centers.
- Care tailored to the needs of the individual.
- Faster and more successful recuperation from illness, injury, or surgical procedures.
- Better emotional health in familiar surroundings with family and friends nearby.
Now you’ve decided that it is best for your loved one to have in-home care, you want to choose the best provider for the type of care required. What services are available? Where do you start? Ask whoever you call what services they provide. Then schedule a free, in-home consultation to help determine the needs of your loved one and of family and friends, who will be assisting with care.
Services offered by in-home care providers:
- Skilled care: for someone who wants to come home from the hospital or rehab, but who needs help with certain therapies or complex medical monitoring, provided by a licensed health professional and ordered by a physician.
- Live-in care: for someone who needs a trained aide or nurse in the house 24/7.
- Personal care: for those who need assistance with the activities of daily living, like bathing and hygiene, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising or administering medication.
- Housekeeping: for fairly self-sufficient people who need help with everyday tasks like cleaning, shopping, errands, paying bills or meal preparation.
- Companionship: for lonely people who need safety supervision, recreational activities or simply someone to visit with them.
- Respite care: for a family caregiver in need of short breaks or even a week off for a vacation.
Questions to ask:
When you’ve determined the services you need and who offers them, make a list of questions to ask during your interviews with in-home care providers.
- Are you licensed by the ND Dept. of Health? Are your home health aides licensed CNAs? Are you locally owned and managed by credentialed professionals experienced in healthcare?
- Will I receive an individualized care plan? Does it include details about medical equipment, specific care needs and input from the doctor or other specialists? Will it be reviewed and updated regularly with input from the family? Do you make periodic visits to ensure quality care is given and the plan is being followed?
- What emergency procedures are in place? Is a qualified staff member available 24/7 for questions? What happens if a caregiver cannot make it to work? Is there a backup plan?
- Do you provide affordable hourly, daily and monthly rates? What is the minimum number of hours I can be billed for? Are your services covered by insurance and/or Medicare? How do you handle expenses and billing? Is there a payment plan?
- Do you carry liability insurance? Are caregivers bonded and insured for theft? Are criminal and driving background checks and professional references required for caregivers?
- Do you and/or your aides have references from current or previous clients, doctors or discharge planners that you can share? How do you ensure patient confidentiality?
Quality nursing care in the comfort of home is provided by Dakota Travel Nurse Home Care. Skilled nursing service is our specialty. Your loved one’s comfort, safety and health are our top priorities. Our Nurses and CNAs provide reliable quality care, from four to 24-hours-a-day. DTN Home Care is licensed by the ND Dept. of Health. To Keep Home an Option, schedule a free consultation by calling 701.663.5373 today.
Previously published on 9/10/14 in the Bismarck Tribune, “How to Choose…” section