What you need to know about home care

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Sooner or later, someone you know may become one of the millions of Americans who rely on home care to stay out of a hospital, nursing home or some other institution.

Learning more about what’s involved can help you get the best care possible. Here are some frequently asked questions with answers provided by the experts at Interim HealthCare.

Q: What is home care?

A: There are two categories. Home health care typically describes skilled nursing and therapy services while home care describes nonmedical services that address functional needs of everyday living, such as meals and grooming. In both cases, home care can reduce the anxiety associated with most forms of institutional health care and result in significant savings. There’s also evidence that patients frequently heal more quickly at home.

Q: Who provides home care?

A: There are basically two types of people who provide home care. There are informal caregivers such as family and friends. There are also paid caregivers, some of whom are licensed professionals such as nurses and therapists, and others who are nonmedical personnel such as aides, homemakers and companions.

Q: How can I access home care services?

A: To access home care services, patients or family members can contact home health agencies. Physicians, case managers and social workers may also make recommendations. When a hospital discharges a patient, it may provide a list of both hospital-sponsored and private home care agencies.

Q: Who pays for home care services?

A: Many home care services are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, private or group health insurance, HMOs, veteran and military grants or through other special funds such as block grants. Also, private payment may be arranged on an individual basis.

Q: How should I select a home care provider?

A: To make an informed selection, ask how long the provider has been serving the community. Find out if the provider selects and trains employees and if they are background checked and insured. Does the provider include the patient and his or her family members in developing the plan of care? Are they involved in making care plan changes?

For more information, visit www.interimhealthcare.com. To find an office near you, call 800-944-8888.

“Home care” is a broad term that describes a variety of health and health-related services provided in a home setting.


woman-nurse.jpgEducating yourself about home care and how it can benefit you or your loved ones can help alleviate anxiety about future care issues.