Monday, June 14, 2021

In-Home Care for Sick or Disabled Adults - What to Expect

 At some point in our lives, it is not unusual for many adults to need some type of in-home care.  It could be because of a chronic illness, or a few weeks of temporary assistance after major surgery.  Often, the recipient of this service does not know how to hire the right service, or what to expect from them. This week we are pleased to have a guest post from Illuminated Hearts, a home-care agency in Philadelphia.  While you may not live in their service area, the information they provide will help families all over the country. 

In addition to getting a home-care aide for yourself or your loved one, you may also want to get them a medical alert device (Ad) so they can call someone for help whenever they are alone.  There are several to choose from, and they can bring you peace-of-mind.

This guest article will also help families know more about the typical cost of a home-care agency, which can vary somewhat depending on where you live, as well as the level of care the patient needs.  Below is the helpful post from Illuminated Hearts. 

What Does It Mean to Receive In-Home Care?

From Illuminated Hearts

We all want to maintain our independence. However, several underlying factors may hinder this. It gets even more complex when you need a great deal of care, and you rely on your relatives to get things done for you, since most family members may already be very busy with their own daily activities. This is where in-home care workers come in, because they can provide assistance whenever the family is unable to. 

In-home care refers to skilled home health care services which are delivered directly to a client in the comfort of their homes. The specific services offered depend on the client’s needs. The clientele for these services include:

     Disabled people

     Chronically ill patients

     People recovering from surgery or illness

     Aging adults, including those who are frail or experiencing dementia


Benefits of In-Home Care Services

You can reap many benefits by hiring someone from an in-home care service. These benefits range from:

     Personalized care at home with a broad range of services

     Affordability - typically less expensive than skilled nursing home care

     Retaining your independence

     Staying close to your friends and family

     Faster recovery from illness or injury


The Cost of In-Home Care Services

The first step in setting up an in-home care plan is knowing the costs involved. The prices vary due to different factors such as:

     Geographical location

     Client’s health

     Amount of time required to care for the patient - from a few hours a day to 24-hour a day care in extreme situations

     Level of care required


According to Genworth’s survey, in the US the average cost of in-home care ranges from $4,290 to $4481 per month. The survey was based on an 8-hour day care schedule, which is equated to approximately $19 per hour and $149 per day.  Your cost may be lower if you only need assistance part of the day, depending on the amount of care the patient needs. Typically, the home-aide companies require a four-hour daily minimum.  Even a few hours a day may be sufficient for the caregiver to help your loved one with personal care, make sure their meals are prepared, do a little light housekeeping, and set up their medications for the day.  This could take a tremendous burden off family members.


Types of In-Home Care Services

Each in-home care service is unique and is based on the client’s preferences and needs, as well as the individual caregiver’s ability and training. Professionals who offer home care services in Philadelphia will always ensure that you hire the right caregiver or medical aide who is capable of matching the patient's specific needs.

1.   Personal Caregiver

This is perhaps the most common type of in-home care service provided. It is also known as non-medical care, and it is meant to help the elderly or someone with a disability participate in their normal daily activities. 

Non-medical care does not need to be recommended by a doctor. However, if your loved one requires a long-term service which runs in shifts of up to 24 hours, throughout the week, you may require a live-in type of service. 

Duties Performed by Non-Medical Caregivers

     Close supervision of patients suffering from memory-loss conditions

     Personal self-care: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, and helping the client take their medications on time

     Companionship at home, and transportation to and from doctor appointments

     Engaging clients in hobbies and other activities to keep them active

     House-keeping activities such as buying groceries, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping and running small errands

     Mobility assistance including transfer between a wheelchair and bed 

     Enhanced home safety, including prevention from falls


2.   Private Nurse Care

This kind of service requires a registered nurse who can work either in or outside of a hospital setting. It is also known as home-based skilled nursing, and it is intended for clients who have a chronic illness, injury, or who have undergone surgery. 

A doctor must recommend a private nurse. Nursing care is sometimes needed long-term, and may run in shifts of up to 24 hours throughout the week.

Duties Involved

     Post-treatment care and monitoring of chronic conditions such as spinal injury or traumatic brain injury

     Post-surgery care or gastrostomy care

     Administering medications, including injections or IV therapy

     Maintaining feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, a catheter, and other medical devices


3.   Home Health Care - Medic Certified Therapists

This kind of service requires a licensed health practitioner such as a physical, occupational or speech therapist. It is also known as medic-certified home health care, and is meant to provide skilled medical care for patients recovering from an illness, injury, or after a hospital admission. 

These types of therapies must also must be recommended by a doctor. This type of care is also short-term.  The health practitioner makes visits to the home, which typically last up to one hour. These visits will continue until individual expectations and goals are met.

Duties Involved

     Physical therapy: help with strength building exercises and doing stretches meant to ease muscle pain

     Occupational therapy: help patients maintain the skills needed to go back to their daily activities

     Speech-language therapy: help improve speech or communication disorders

     Medical social work: provide the required necessary counseling for patients

Choosing the Best In-Home Care Service

1.   Get References From Your Physician

Most physicians know the best caregivers in their area, and they can advise you accordingly on the in-home care agency or agencies to use.

2.   Have a Budget and an Affordable Payment Plan

It is essential to know how much you can afford and explore all possible options if you need a caregiving service. Also, ensure that you thoroughly discuss your payment plan to avoid unexpected additional charges which may come up in the future.  If the patient has long-term care insurance, you can use that.  If they have a very low income and few assets, their care may be covered by Medicaid. Some types of temporary care, such as physical therapy or short-time care after surgery, may be covered by Medicare or their health insurance.  Explore all your options with your insurance company and with the caregiving agency. They may be able to help you guide you and assist you in completing the necessary forms.

3.   Clearly Define the Responsibilities

Ensure that the caregiver you choose knows everything that is involved and is comfortable handling the necessary care, as stated.

4.   Conduct a Background Check

This has become easier because of the online resources which are available. You may use a company which specializes in conducting background checks.  This will help you know more about the agency and caregivers you will be dealing with.

5.   Know the Caregivers’ Qualifications

This information includes learning about the the training and certifications the caregiver has. Basic First Aid skills are essential for all caregivers, in the event of a health emergency or minor accidents in the home. 

It may take some research before you trust a stranger in your home. Although an in-home caregiver is an excellent option for most patients, be sure to do your homework and hire the best in-home care service to assist your loved one.

About Our Company

Illuminated Hearts is an agency that provides affordable home care services in Philadelphia. We are a home care agency in Philadelphia which accepts Medicaid, allowing us to provide affordable home care for seniors, the disabled, and the intellectually disabled. Schedule your free assessment today by calling 215-921-6624.

You may also learn more about what to expect from a home care aide by reading "Providing Home Care: A Textbook for Home Health Aides."  (Ad) 

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