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Home Healthcare: Helping Older Adults Live at Home Longer
Home Healthcare Services Available
|Home Health Care Service Available||Category|
|Bathing, hair washing, dressing||Personal care|
|Housecleaning, yard work, shopping, laundry||Homemaking|
|Grocery shopping, meal preparation, meal delivery||Meals|
|Bill paying/check writing, account management||Money management|
|Medication management, administration of IVdrugs, dialysis, physical therapy, hospice care||Healthcare|
|To shop for food, clothes, necessities; to and from medical appointments, social engagements, church activities||Transportation|
|Daily/weekly visits, phone calls||Companionship|
Paying for Home Healthcare Services
- The Older Americans Act
- The Veterans’ Administration
- Private insurance
Deciding What Services You Need
Questions to Ask
- How long has the agency been serving this community?
- Does the agency have any printed brochures describing the services it offers and how much they cost? If so, get one.
- Is the agency an approved Medicare provider?
- Is the quality of care certified by a national accrediting body such as the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations?
- Does the agency have a current license to practice if it is required in the state where you live?
- Does the agency offer seniors a “Patients’ Bill of Rights” that describes the rights and responsibilities of both the agency and the senior being cared for?
- Does the agency write a plan of care for the patient with input from the patient, his or her doctor, and family, and update the plan as necessary?
- Does the care plan outline the patient’s course of treatment, describing the specific tasks to be performed by each caregiver?
- How closely do supervisors oversee care to ensure quality?
- Will agency caregivers keep family members informed about the kind of care their loved one is getting?
- Are agency staff members available around the clock, seven days a week, if necessary?
- Does the agency have a nursing supervisor available to provide on-call assistance 24 hours a day?
- How does the agency ensure patient confidentiality?
- How are agency caregivers hired and trained?
- What is the procedure for resolving problems when they occur, and who can I call with questions or complaints?
- How does the agency handle billing?
- Is there a sliding fee schedule based on ability to pay, and is financial assistance available to pay for services?
- Will the agency provide a list of references for its caregivers?
- Who does the agency call if the home healthcare worker cannot come when scheduled?
- What type of employee screening is done?
Administration on Aging http://www.aoa.gov
Meals on Wheels Association of America http://www.mowaa.org
Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging http://www.uwo.ca
Canadian Institutes of Health Research http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
Home healthcare: a guide for families. United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging website. Available at: http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/Press%5FRoom/Products%5FMaterials/fact/pdf/Home%5FHealth%5FCare.pdf. Accessed October 31, 2013.
There's no place like home—for growing old. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/theres-no-place-home-growing-old. Updated October 28, 2013. Accessed October 31, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013
- Update Date: 10/31/2013