Home Care refers to supportive care provided at home. It is also referred to as elderly care at home, or in-home elderly care and may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical care needs or by professional caregivers who provide daily care to help ensure that the activities of daily living (ADL’s) are met.  If you or your family is in need of supportive home care in Melbourne, or Central Florida, the following tips may help.

Do You Need Home Care?

According to the AARP, more than 90 percent of older adults report that they would like to stay in their homes. Yet as people age, staying at home can become a challenge, so families often need to hire outsiders to help a loved one remain comfortable and independent, as well as maintain quality of life. If you need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals or taking your medications, are recovering from surgery or are limited by another medical ailment, or are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, you might be in need of in-home elderly care.

The AARP lists the following in-home caregivers that you may want to consider:

•    Medical Professionals. If you’re recovering from surgery or have another medical condition, you can arrange for a registered nurse (RN), physical therapist or a doctor to visit you at home. They provide skilled caregiving, therapy and medical services. If your doctor orders in-home health care, Medicare may cover part of the cost. A long-term care insurance policy can also cover costs when Medicare runs out.

•    Home Health Aides. Formally trained and competency tested, these people may be certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or personal care aides. These skilled professionals generally work for Medicare-certified home health or hospice agencies that are regulated by state and federal laws. Aides provide basic health services such as administering medications, changing wound dressings, checking your pulse and temperature, and helping with prescribed exercises. They can also assist with medical equipment.

•    Home Care Aides. If you simply need assistance with household chores and personal care, you may want to consider a home care aide, also called a homemaker or a personal care aide. No certifications are required for this position, but many of them are employed by agencies and supervised by a licensed nurse or social worker. Medicare will not cover homemaker services or personal care services such as bathing and dressing. Medicaid may pay for some of the services not covered by Medicare, but you should visit the Medicaid website to confirm this.

The best way to hire a home care worker is through an agency. There are various kinds, which include:

•    Medicare-Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) – provides skilled services by Medicare and Medicaid and is licensed by the state.
•    Licensed Home Care Agency – licensed by the sate and can provide nursing and personal care services.
•    Non-Medical or Companion Agency – not licensed and not covered by insurance, but services include companionship and doing chores like picking up prescriptions.
•    Employment or Registry Agency – provides names of available nurses and aides.

Regardless of what type of agency you choose, you should ask for references both for the agency and for specific workers within the agency. You should also ask the following questions:

•    What credentials do staff members have?
•    What training does the agency offer to staff?
•    What are the costs?
•    What are the coverage options?
•    Does this agency offer Medicare or Medicaid payment?
•    What emergency procedures are in place?
•    Do you offer hospice services?

One of the best ways to ensure that you choose the best home care option for you or a loved one is to do your homework beforehand and not once a crisis occurs such as a fall or short hospital stay. In order to create a good working relationship once a home care provider is chosen, you should also establish a set of house rules that respect both your own privacy and your home care worker’s needs.

In the end, bringing a caregiver into your home represents a major life decision, and you should use all the resources at your disposal to ensure that you choose the home care agency that you are most comfortable with and that meets your specific needs.

At Senior Partner In-Home Care, we have been providing clients in the Central Florida region with a reliable and affordable source of high-quality, non-medical home care and understand how to assist seniors with daily living activities. Our team is here to support any assisted living questions or needs you may have, and we also offer free in-home consultations.

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Senior Partner In-Home Care is locally owned and operated and has helped thousands of Central Florida seniors live safely and independently at home for over 16 years. Care is available wherever the client is residing 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is surprisingly affordable, with no extra charge for nights or weekends. It is licensed by the state of Florida and has been providing a better quality of life for seniors in Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole Counties since 1998. Call 800.878.1928 for more information.