We can’t stress the importance of this topic enough. Selecting the right home health care agency will be one of the most important decisions you make for either yourself or a loved one, and there are several considerations when evaluating caregivers.
Many of you don’t know this, but over 7.6 million people utilize home health care and home health care providers, in contrast to only 1.8 million who live in a nursing home. The convenience of home health care, as well as the feeling of comfort of being at home and with loved ones can’t be matched. What is even more important is the need to the know the difference far enough in advance to prepare financially and with insurance for that time.
Home Health Care Nurses will work with patients in their homes. These nurses mainly work with the elderly, but sometimes work with younger children who have developmental or mobility issues. A Home Health Care Nurse is great for people that would rather work outside of a hospital.
Physical therapy for seniors may seem similar to more common sports physical therapy, or accident physical therapy, but due to age and circumstances, there can be stark differences. For example, some medical professionals believe that a majority of people at age 65 may have some arthritis in their spines. However, everyone’s body, no matter where they come from, has musculature as varied as their personality. Physical therapy can have an important role in health care outcomes and is connected with maximizing function, preventing decline, decreasing pain and increasing overall mobility.
Whether you’re someone that needs hospice care, or you have an older relative that needs healthcare assistance in the home, it’s important to understand that before you look into having a qualified healthcare provider come into your home, you should know that there are a number of ways to assess just how good a service might be and what the qualifications of home health providers should be.
Aside from determining if a home health care agency is properly qualified, you need to know what to look for in a provider. There may be services that do not get the job done. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re deciding what to look for in a home health care provider.
You may hear the term “Private Caregivers” thrown around quite a bit when Home Health Care is mentioned. By all rights, you should. SO.. what are private caregivers,what is their main function, what do they cost and are they right for for my loved one?
What is a Private Caregiver?
By definition, a private caregiver (home) is a person, or sometimes a nurse that tends to someone, generally the elderly who have now reached a point where daily functionality has become an task they cannot complete, and they need assistance to handle the day to days, such as:
- Personal care – bathing / dressing, hygiene, transfers, and ambulation
- Meal prep and cleaning
- Medication reminders
- Possibly transportation needs
Private caregivers can generally be found through a local Home Health Care Service and can sometimes be covered by full coverage medical insurance or possibly if planned for, a medicare supplement insurance plan which covers home care needs in the plan.
It’s important to always find your private home caregiver from a reputable service. these caregivers have been properly trained and vetted for you and your loved ones protection. As technology has increased, it has been easy for independent caregivers, to advertise themselves to those in need. Sometimes at fairly deep discounted rates. This is a usual practice to prey on those who may not have coverage or cannot afford the current rates. Be cautious if you were to go this route, crime and theft among the aging is rampant. Mainly because the victim has no idea it’s even happening, secondly it’s due to lack of follow up by loved ones. Checking bank accounts, phone bills and grocery receipts on a regular basis is a great first step in protecting your loved one from any criminal activity in the first place, but using a fully licensed service with vetted staff reduces these possibilities greatly.
Understanding Hospice Care
Understanding hospice care can be difficult and confusing. One of the most important questions you can ask when faced with a serious or fatal illness, is how to care for that loved one. It is a question that should be taken seriously and only answered after much due diligence. One of the biggest mistakes family’s make is lack of preparation due to magnitude of the scenario. Remember, you are not alone, and there are options.
It is important to have a plan of action when dealing with a loved ones illness. How can you increase the quality of life? Who will be the primary caregiver? What are the expectant cost, and who will cover them? these are all valid questions, that should be planned for as soon as possible.
One of the first decisions, is who will be the main point of contact and speak for the loved one in care. This helps cut the confusion when others become involved and have questions themselves.
These decisions can be made more thoughtfully and with less stress if they are made when the loved one can make those decisions with you, so try to plan accordingly.
Know When Hospice Is Needed
There may or may not be a perfect time for hospice care. National averages show that hospice care is generally needed for about 20 days. Once again those 20 days are focused on quality of life.
It’s important to make the decision in a timely fashion, once you come to the conclusion the care is needed. If deciding when that time has come is difficult for you, then consider a few of these signs:
The health of the loved one is declining, symptoms of the illness are increasing thus reducing quality of life, your doctor recommends it is time for hospice.
Who To Discuss Hospice With
The first thing you will want to do is find a Hospice Specialist in Tucson or call Arista at 520-333-0333. You will walked through all of the options available to you and your loved one. Remember, not all hospice is the same, and you must always make a decision based on what’s best for your loved ones.
In-home senior care is an alternative to care in a nursing home. However, hiring a caregiver, especially if a full-time caregiver is needed, can be expensive, so paying for In Home Health Care in Arizona can be difficult. Medical insurance often does not provide for non-medical caregiver assistance. In the state of Arizona, it costs an average of $19/hr. to hire a non-medical caregiver and $22/hr. to hire a medical caregiver. This ranks Arizona as the 32nd most affordable state, adjusted for per capita median income.
State-Sponsored Programs Providing In-Home Care Assistance
Arizona Non-Medical, Home and Community-Based Services (NMHCBS) is a state-funded program intended to assist with the cost of providing non-medical services to seniors. The major criterion for eligibility is that the senior needs assistance with several aspects of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, eating, dressing, using the bathroom or mobility (like walking or getting from a wheelchair to a bed). Seniors with Alzheimer’s or severe physical disabilities often qualify for this program. The program is intended to enable seniors to receive in-home care rather than entering a nursing home.
Although there are no income or asset restrictions per se for eligibility for NMHCBS, recipients cannot be qualified to receive Medicaid services.
For more information in the Tucson area, call the helpline at the Pima Council on Aging.
If you’re a home-bound older person or you live with a disability, you may be eligible to receive meals. PCOA and its dedicated community partners will perform an in-home evaluation. For more information, visit the Pima Council on Aging, call 520-790-7262, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Medicaid-Related Program Options
Many states have Medicaid “diversion programs” to use Medicaid funds to provide eligible seniors the option of in-home care rather than entering a nursing home. Since federal Medicaid money is used for such programs, recipients are generally required to meet federal Medicaid eligibility requirements.
The AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid administration unit, offers a Medicaid waiver program entitled “Arizona Long-Term Care System,” or ALTCS. The requirements are that the recipient be age 65 or older, have a disability, and require nursing home-level care. The program offers Medicaid-funded assistance to pay for in-home senior care as an alternative to a nursing home.
Paying for In Home Health Care in Arizona
There are many factors to consider when choosing in-home care for a senior. A major issue is cost, and to make the decision, it is important to know what state and federal funding help is available. Another important decision is whether in-home care or nursing home care is the best option for a given person. To discuss your home health care needs in the greater Tucson area, call our office at (520) 333-0333.