When a parent needs some type of assistance and medical monitoring after an illness or injury and also wishes to remain at home, a good solution may be in-home health care. In-home health care consists of tending to medical needs such as physical or occupational therapy, monitoring of conditions such as blood pressure and other vital signs or wound care.
It is usually prescribed for people who are in need of some attention for a medical condition, but do not need a nursing home or hospital. While these services can be combined with daily needs such as dressing and bathing, they are not to be confused with home care, which helps seniors with at-home tasks such as cooking, chores and housekeeping.
When a person needs in-home health care, finding the right agency or person to provide these services is vitally important. A great place to start is to ask friends and family who have used these types of services in recent months. A physician or hospital often has references for in-home health care providers who work with the office. An interview of several providers of these services is a good place to start so some comparison can be made. Several important questions should be asked at the interview.
Some examples of questions to ask include:
Is there some type of “Patient Bill of Rights” which includes a pledge of confidentiality, a way to file a compliment or complaint? This should also state the rights and responsibilities of both the patient and the caregiver.
Are there references who can be contacted for an unbiased evaluation of the services?
How is payment submitted and paid? You should have a clear understanding of payment and financial obligations. Is there an income-based scale of costs?
Is the agency Medicare approved? Are they certified by state and federal agencies?
Who does the screening of the caregivers and how are they supervised?
After a preliminary decision is made, a visit with the proposed caregiver and your parent is a good next step. See how they get along and after the visit, ask your parent what she thought. If both you and your parent feel confident that the agency and caregiver will fit your needs for in home health care, you’re on your way to helping your parent get back to full health!